.::i’d like a baby rabbit for christmas. por favor.::.

20 10 2009

 

ahh.... sidewalks are so pretty here.

ahh.... sidewalks are so pretty here.

do you ever hear a song that just totally takes you back to a time & place in your life? today, randomly, in a clothes store in barcelona, i heard that song “kissing you” from the romeo & juliet soundtrack. you know, the one that came out when we were 16? with leonardo di caprio? ahhhhh i loved that movie. and that soundtrack. gotta find that one when i get home. but yeah, heard that song & it totally rocked me. then again, i also heard mika singing “relax. take it easy.” and i wanted to go throw up in the corner.

oy ve. where to begin?! barcelona!!!! te adoro. i covered quite a bit of ground today… for a half-day, not so bad. so, as you saw, i arrived in the BCN about 1:30 and took the metro to the city center before wandering my way to the cathedral and stumbling upon my hostel. it’s kind of tucked away on a side street near the cathedral, so it took me a minute, but i got there. i am much happier with this place… maybe because i’m on a bottom bunk this time, or maybe because i have a pink pillow 🙂 either way. good place. only downfall so far? no plug near my bed. so, currently, i’m sitting in the hall using a plug from the bathroom because… yes ma’am… it’st 12:30 am and everyone is in bed. guess the myth that everyone parties til 4am in these big spanish cities is… a myth.

 

block of discord... can you guess which gaudi is responsible for?

block of discord... can you guess which gaudi is responsible for?

i decided to first do a walk from my guidebook that would take me to la sagrada familia. the walk was just ok, but it took me through pl. catalunya (kind of the center of barcelona) and up pg. gracia, a wide open road where there are a lot of big-name shops. one of the many ways this city has reminded me so much of paris today. also on this walk was the “block of discord” (see above) with three very different buildings on one block that strike the eye as simply… strange. yes, gaudi was involved.  this walk was supposedly about a mile & a half. i am totally feeling every step these past few days, and you know me and walking. i’d SO much rather walk than take the metro. i guess the heavy luggage and miles of traversing these foreign cities are getting to my little feets. 😉

 

gaudi's masterpiece

gaudi's masterpiece

.::la sagrada familia::.
i knew i would love seeing this crazy place in person. it’s one of those places you just can’t look at in a book and grasp its entirety. this is perhaps the most starkly beautiful place i’ve ever seen… not so much in the classic sense, like st. peter’s in rome, but just in it’s simple (ha!), bare-bones architecture, a la Antoni Gaudi. i laugh because, yes, it’s simplistic in one way, but totally and insanely complex in other way. Gaudi is responsible for most of the crazy buildings here in the BCN, and this was his life’s work. he devoted the last part of his life to it, and it’s far from finished. they say the interior is to be finished by 2010 (doubtful) and the entire cathedral will be done in 2030 (hmmmm… don’t fool yourself). these are lofty goals, but with crews working on it every day i suppose it could happen. anyway! it’s completely “gaudy” on the outside but it’s terrifically simple on the inside. i say “bare-bones” and that’s what it reminds me of in there. bones. i took way too many pictures to count, but hopefully a few will help you realize what i’m seeing here.

a segment of the outer facade

a segment of the outer facade

 

IMG_1728

interior

there's a magic square!! lost symbol, anyone??

there's a magic square!! lost symbol, anyone??

.::la rambla::.
ahhhhhh…. i could go on and on about that place… but i had to move on. i wanted to take in a bit of la rambla before dark, so i headed back towards town and through pl. catalunya to this famous street. it’s a really nice, tree-lined, mostly-pedestrian walkway, aptly named, as most people tended to just “ramble” down this road, in no particular hurry. the most awesome thing about la rambla? for some reason, there are more than a couple vendors of birds and other… pets. just sitting there. as if this is the norm. lemme tell ya, i could’ve (and would’ve! if i didn’t have a transatlantic flight coming up on saturday) bought a rabbit for 12-15€
or any number of other strange things, right there on the street. included in the selection were hamsters, turtles (including baby swimmy ones!!), chickens, roosters, parakeet-type birds, and… wait for it…! a chinchilla. for the low low price of 50€!!! ohhhhh yeah, la rambla. i like you. check out my friends…!

 

baby swimmies!

baby swimmies!

an acrobat hamster...

an acrobat hamster...

*favorite!!*

*favorite!!*

.::la boqueria::.
oh yes. that was fun. love those little ones. wandering down la rambla i found the large market i’d read about… thought it might be like mercado san miguel, but no such luck. it’s a real deal place, like in paris! and really big. and really… thorough. a lot of stalls were closed (it was about 7) but of the ones that were open, at least ten were fruit stands, and they all had juicers, and they all had juice selling from 1-2. crazy amazing thing, fresh juice. i tried carrot+orange (interesting… mostly pulp, but pretty good!) and kiwi. i didn’t know you could really juice a kiwi. anyway.

kiwi juice...?

kiwi juice...?

 carrot+orange=interesting

carrot+orange=interesting

drinking these juices, i realized that, while on this trip, i’ve hardly had any produce. dunno why, i usually love a salad and fruit or something, but nope. the only fruit i’ve had is in my sangria 🙂 haha. so, since there are so many juice cafés here i think i’ll be partaking. and may decide to get a juicer at home! seems like fun. unless it becomes like one of my many other kitchen gadgets, sentenced to one thing: gathering dust 🙂 so aside from all the fruit… there were also fish vendors, nuts & dried fruit vendors, pastry vendors, and meat vendors. the meat vendors were… interesting, to say the least. let’s just say, i totally got an anatomy lesson in the market. see if you can identify the objects in this picture:

meat market.

meat market.

let’s see.. there’s pig feet, a huuuuge heart, someone’s tongue, and some intestines for starters… and the best thing i saw? get ready for this:

lungs!

lungs!

there was also a nice selection of brains, testicles, skinned sheep heads, massive livers, etc. i was humbled. i guess some cultures really waste nothing. they say, if you can’t find something you need at this market, it probably can’t be found. i believe it.

a.::las quinze nits::.
i decided to eat dinner at a place that’s apparently very popular… las quinze nits. i was told to go early, as the line gets very long and fills the plaςa reial. i got there around 8 (they didn’t open until 8:30) and the line was already maybe 40-50 people long. jeeeez!! luckily, the place is huge, so everyone waiting pretty much got a table right away. i’d heard they have good catalan food for cheap, and that was the truth! i had a full, awesome meal for 25€. and lemme tell ya what that included. a 1/2 liter of sangria (yes ma’am! it was soooooo good too), a huge dinner-size “side salad,” some chicken croquettes, veal kebab with hummus and potatoes, tiramisu, and a cafe con leche. yeah. a ton of food! actually, the coffee was free, because my server spilled sangria on one of my travel books and felt really bad. 😉 anyway, that was good stuff.

gone in no time.

gone in no time.

 

after dinner i headed back here so i could get some rest… tomorrow should be another full exciting day. i plan on going to montjuïc (mtn of the jews, how appropriate) if it’s not raining. the forecast calls for “heavy rain” (*sigh*) so we’ll see. i may end up in museums all day. either way, off to bed! peace out, see you mañana.

peace,
james

e

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One response

13 02 2010
Jeana Ariola

Great superb post bud. I’ve had a blast reading your posts and have found them awesome. Keep posting more

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