Arriving in Barcelona

Greta Chapin McGill - October 3, 2014

Arriving in Barcelona at nearly midnight after a most exhausting travel day one would think everything would be closed.  Not in this city.  Barcelona is vibrant and lit. People crowd the little streets  Bars, tapas and gelaterias are open and doing brisk business.
It is New York, only much more cosmopolitan, international and polite.  Barcelona is my new favorite city.

Barcelona,  the capital of the community of Catalonia is  Spain’s second largest city. My apartment is in a district known as El Born.  Some of the most interesting shops, bars and boutiques are located in this old part of Barcelona.  The Picasso Museum is steps from my front door.  The Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar is just around the corner.

For me Barcelona is all about the architecture of a city of artists.  There are beautiful fanciful facades on many buildings, one just has to look up to see buildings adorned with dragons, umbrellas and flowers.  Barcelona is birthplace of Catalan Modernism.  A style of architecture championed by Antoni Gaudi.

I have not seen all of the Gaudi work in Barcelona, I will see more, but today I did see the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia.  This Basilica speaks to Gaudi’s great life passions.  Architecture, nature and spirituality.  The overwhelming scope of this great work begun in 1882 is still not completed. There is construction everywhere.  Although I took photos inside the Basilica I feel  I can never capture the color and scope of this great work.  It is like nothing I have ever seen.  It is truly the personal interpretation of Antoni Gaudi.  It felt to me as if I were eavesdropping on a personal conversation between God and Gaudi.  As a World Heritage Site it is indeed worthy of a visit.

Barcelona is also about the influence of Pablo Picasso.  The Museum bearing his name is housed in five adjoining palaces built in the 13th and 14 centuries.  I could have moved in!  It was incredible to see Picasso from his early roots to the paintings I have known and loved for many years.  I sat and sketched from his paintings and studied his lines as if I was sitting at his feet.  I learned so much.

I  hiked up to the Jean Miro Foundation in the Park De Montjuic.  The climb was totally exhausting and worth it.  Jean Miro’s work is so personal so involved in his own thinking each piece is a intimate meeting with the artist about his thinking and his process.  The simplicity of his work is in itself complex.

After dinner and flamingo dancing I must get ready to hop a jet.  I travel next to Palma de Mallorca to soak up more Spanish influence. Ciao for now!