Posts Tagged With: Gaudi

Oh Barcelona!

It was some coincidence that as I was sipping some home-made sangria last week and TV-surfing, there was a 30-minutes series on ‘Ports of the world’ on Arte (my go-to-channel for travel & culture combined with listening to some french!) and that evening’s feature was Barcelona!Barcelona ship

That evoked some strong memories of my 3 days in Barcelona a couple of years back. While everyone who visited the city had raved about it earlier, on Night 1 we found our way to the hostel through narrow alleys with hoards of Asian (Indo-Pako-Bangladesh, yeah yeah we are everywhere) owned stores and tons of women in skimpy flashy outfits trying to get our attention (not so much mine but that of my male buddy!). And this was right off the famed ‘La Rambla‘!

But I suppose Barcelona is one of those cities that grows on you with each passing day. On Day 3 as we left for the gorgeous city of Valencia, I was already wishing that I had more time to explore and discover the Spanish capital. A vibrant city that appeared to be grappling between the much-wanted siestas & late night fiestas and a plummeting economy that was resulting in unemployment.La rambla

Here are some images that partly represent the city:

1. Food

Vegetarian food was a shocker! Yes, I was aware that Spanish cuisine primarily dealt with meat but I was hoping that I would have at least one veggie option in Spanish eateries with the warmer climate and all. That was totally not the case and while I won’t complain, I had to live off patatas, eggs and of course sangria.

food

Note: Visit the chaotic and somewhat-inexpensive street mercado near La Rambla if you ever visit Barcelona to see and savour the wonderful selection of vegetables, fruits, chocolates and creepy-crawlies fresh off the coast.

2. Gaudi

Gaudi is omnipresent. Gaudi is Barcelona. Or as the locals would say, Catalonia.
gaudi

3. Art & Entertainment

One thing that city is not short of is colour. Quite a contrast from northern Europe and its grey-beige-blue atmosphere. There are performers around every nook and corner in touristy areas and some of their petit-spectacles are amazing.

ART barcelona colour barcelona

Spend an hour or so listening to some of them play spanish music off the guitar. Amor! Amor! Amor!

Enough said.

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Categories: Spain, Travelogue | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

The Doors, limited edition!

YellowI loved sketching and more specifically, architecture during my teen years and at some point my uncle, an architect, persuaded me to take it up as a career option. Life had other plans and so flew by, the years. A bit of travel here and IMG_2222there within India brought the camera out and photos of quaint constructions, temples, and other such structures were taken. My interest in buildings ended there.

And then came along Europe where all of a sudden the atmosphere was so different from that back home and the architecture – an integral part of European history – very much preserved and oh-so-beautiful. When you are suddenly part of another culture, there is so much excitement and so much to Redsoak in that sometimes, you miss seeing the obvious.

The obvious here, being doors – such an essential component of every home. As I walked back from school one evening exploringFloral a different route, I saw this closed boulangerie (bakery) with what I thought was a very interesting looking door.  The Japanese part of me (that plays a very dominant role in my travels) immediately got the good ol’ Canon out of my bag and a couple of photos were quickly taken before I continued to stand and admire it a little longer. 

After that, everywhere I went, my mind got attuned to paying extra attention to doors. Evidently, European homes try and blend quaint with colour and some of these doors are testimony to that.

Sagrada Familia

And while we are on Europe and architecture, how can I miss mentioning Sagrada Familia, Barcelona and Gaudi’s famed structure that draws thousands of tourists each day. But to be honest, I didn’t fancy it that much – possibly having not spent as much time inside as I should have (I absolutely loved the other quirky works of Gaudi, though).  Gaudi’s life is a fascinating one and we got a brief introduction to it through our hostel tour guide. Nevertheless, back to the subject – any guesses what I loved most about the church? Yeah of course, the door.

Two massive heavy-looking entrances made of stone and metal. Dark and covered with a sculpted jumble of words adorning the outer panels. Apparently, the words are taken from the Bible representing various languages including Catalan with some highlighted in gold, notably Jesus in the centre. Divine, indeed.

Now living in a ‘concrete desert‘, door-observation has taken a break as there’s not much variety to the hotel suite-like doors here. And funnily, as I bring this post to an end I suddenly realise how I’ve rarely come across an open door. Yes, all doors that I passed by were invariably closed, what a contrast to Indian homes! Something to do with the cold weather, or perhaps it’s in the culture? What do you think?

And on that note, please do take a look at the little colourful album I put together here for more proof on closed doors! (Ps: I’m still figuring out Pinterest).

Cocktail

Categories: French chapter, Travelogue | Tags: , , , , | 13 Comments

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