Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Barcelona

Barcelona - where do I begin? Oh right! I can begin with saying it poured. Like really poured. Prune feet after 5 minutes outside because its raining so hard that the rain has soaked through my boots and squished up through the sole. Despite that - I had an amazing time. Honestly, I have never been so impressed with a city. The pictures wont be great due to the rainyness but you will get the idea.


First night in the rain.


We took the free walking tour to visit Gaudi's houses. This one was my favorite. The guide said there are several ideas as to what this house is all about. Some people think its a house that celebrates Carnival. The colors on the front of the house represent the confetti and the balconies are the masks people wear during the festival.

Another interpretation (which I prefer) is that the house is based on the story of George and the Dragon. The roof is the dragon's back - the colorful tiles it scales. The small turret on the left is George's lance. The balconies are the skulls of the dragon's victims and the columns at the bottom are their bones.


I didn't get to go inside (its expensive!) but I have seen some pictures like this one. Pretty cool.


Sagrada Familia. This mammoth was started in 1882 and has still yet to be finished. In fact another 30 to 80 years could be required!


Is anyone else seeing the storm trooper looking guys? Fun fact - more of these guys can be found on top of the La Pedrera - and according to our tour guide, George Lucas got his inspiration for Darth Vadar after visiting these figures.


See the resemblance now?

I would highly recommend Free Walking Tour if you are in Barcelona. The tour guides work for tips - so you pay what you think is fair, but you will learn lots of stuff.

For example I learned:

1. Gaudi was a vegetarian from a young age (more for health reasons than animal but whatever)
2. In his giant cathedral, which has still yet to be completed even this long after his death, he has sculptures of Herod the baby killer. The dead babies that are around Harods feet look surprisingly lifelike. Its because they are casts of real babies. Gaudi would go to the mourge and take stillborn babies and make plaster casts of them. Pretty gross and hardcore dedicated of him.
3. Worldly possesions meant nothing to him. He built amazing mansions for rich people that almost went bankrupt because he habitually overspent their money, yet he lived in a crap appartment, made his own shoes and held his clothes together with saftey pins.
4. He died after a tram hit him crossing the street. The tram driver, thinking he was a drunk bum, moved him to the side of the street and left. Someone eventually stopped and tried to hail a taxi to take him to the hospital but the taxi drivers didnt want to get blood on their seats. Someone eventually consented to take him. He died 3 days later.

Aside from Gaudi architecture though there is plenty to see and do in Barcelona. The streets are tiny and they are filled with great restaurants and boutiques.


The second full day in Barcelona the sun came out! I spent the day walking around, looking at shops, and eating as often as possible.







I wanted to just press my face up to the glass and try to smell all the treats laid out on the table. Judging from the marks on the window I would say Im not the only one.

What impressed me most about this city though was the graffiti! Amazing! Take a look for yourself.















Food places you should go!

Catbar
This is a vegan bar that serves burgers (on home-made buns) or sausages with baked beans, fries and salads. The bar is owned by Geraldine (I think she's Spanish but she speaks English and is super cool and stylish) and a guy from the UK (I didnt happen to get his name - but he gave me free chocolate vegan cake!). You wont be disappointed with the food or the sangria! I went here on my last night when I was alone in Barcelona and started talking to the guy at the table next to me and we ended up talking in French for hours (his English wasn't up to par and I dont speak Spanish).

Juicy Jones
This place was really great. The woman who served me spoke perfect English. The menu is immense and all vegan. I got a great avocado, sprout, apple smoothie and a vegan empanada and left totally satisfied but wishing I had more days to eat there.

Arco Iris
This was my least favorite of the veggie restaurants - not because it wasnt good - it just wasn't the most interesting. Good for vegans and raw foodies. 4 course meal for 9 euros.

Did I mention how cheap Barcelona is? The 4 course 9 euro meal was the most expensive meal I had. FOR REAL. I was kinda depressed when I got back to France and saw the 5 euro cheese sammies (which is all I can eat on the go in France).

Sorry for the mile long post! Hope you all get to go to Barcelona one day!

1 comment:

Mrs. Kroeger said...

Interesting stuff!