Had you asked me several years ago where I wanted to visit, where I wanted to go, which city or place in the world was highest on my bucket list, my answer would have been a resounding, “Barcelona!” I have wanted to go to Barcelona for a long, long time. A big fan of quirky architecture, often photographing “drunken buildings” (as reflected or otherwise) experiencing the architecture of famed Catalan master Antoni Gaudi was at the top of my bucket list. It was one of those places I have wanted to visit for a long time and, if I am being frank, never thought I would get to see firsthand.
Sometimes last year, I was approached by a photography gallery in Barcelona about doing an exhibition of my work. I was excited and jumped at the opportunity, but still never expected to experience the city firsthand. Most of the times these exhibitions, you see, wind up with me at some packing/mailing type of store, shipping my precious photographs in packing crates and a lot of peanuts for protection. I seldom get to visit the places myself, but my artwork? Now, that has been to many a cool place. I expected Barcelona to be no different. Luckily, I was wrong.
The good folks at the gallery, you see, really wanted me to visit. It was kind of expected I visit. I was forced into it! OK, maybe not, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Bottom line? I got to go.
What can I say about Barcelona? I have memories of walking around Las Ramblas on a Sunday morning. I was almost the only one there, as the shop owners were just getting started loading and unloading their goods for the day. It was quiet and I got to walk along the not yet bustling shops in a moment of solitude. I went to an amusement part at the top of a hill next to a giant church and took photos at a place I dubbed, “Our Lady of Perpetual…AAAAAHHHHH!” as I could hear the screams from the roller coaster while exploring the extended arms of the holy statues there. I went to a bullfighting ring, now converted to a shopping mall with a park atop, and experienced wonderful views of the city and surrounding areas. I did get to see Gaudi architecture, spending a day in a park he had designed, also stopping to check out his famed church (still under construction) and a place the locals call, “The House of Bones” on “The Block of Discord.” (It’s Casa Batllo, as shown above.) I lived in fear of wild seafood (giant squid, anyone?) and enjoyed gin and tonics on a beautiful rooftop patio with Moroccan lanterns and palomas attempting to wrestle me for bar nuts.
Barcelona is a wonderful place. I hope to go again someday. You can see my full Barcelona gallery on Carol’s Little World here.
Until next time…