Calling All Artists.
Oh Barcelona, you are so saucy and so much FUN. If you need a place of inspiration, a playground for your craft, or simply a place to relax and have a good ol' time, Barcelona is the place. As my intro to Spain, I could not have been more pleasantly surprised at the awesomeness of this city. Barcelona is eclectic, doesn't take itself too seriously, and celebrates its charming, over-the-top bohemian vibe. The skyline is like a cartoon, characterized by it's willowy modern architecture and tropical waterfront. We spent the day strolling down the Ramblas, munching on paella and seafood tapas and wandering in and out of artisan shops. I fell in love with Barcelona, which was the most pleasant of surprises.
// We juiced up. //
// Sagrada Familia Basilica //
The crowning glory of this town is (in my opinion), the Sagrada Familia Basilica, which is an epic church on the edge of town that was designed by Antoni Gaudi himself. This is the first cathedral-type church that I've been in that I felt like I could actually attend. Like for church. In fact, I wanted to sign up to become a member right there on the spot. And it's not just because I'm churchy. I'm really not that churchy. It's just that I've never been in a church that embraced and invested in such a radical display of artistry (and for those of you who don't know, I've attended some super cool, uber radical, artsy Jesus institutions, so that's saying quite a lot.) But this building was the most incredible work of top-to-bottom creativity, completely free of religious pretension and creepy omen-art. You could call it a modern design, but that just does not do it justice. When I think of modern design, I think of Ikea, and that just cheapens how I mean to describe this monumental structure. It was like a fantasy land out of Star Wars. Plus Jesus. AKA THE DREAM. Well, it's missing Yoshi, but that's about it. Sheesh I can't even talk anymore about it. Everyone must visit and see.
// Inside this crazy cathedral //
// La Rambla //
We visited the Picasso Museum, which was a ridiculous amount of fun and super educating. I had no idea how classically trained and talented Pablo Picasso truly was. His early work was completely traditional, characterized by spot-on portraiture and impressionist-style landscapes. Absolutely lovely; I think his early work is sorely underrated. His art radically changed as he spent more time in Paris in his mid-late 20's, which is when we begin to see his use of stark colors and bold shapes that ultimately defined his body of work as we know it today. This museum is so great. I've never appreciated his work as much as I do now, after walking through and seeing the transition in his lifetime of creativity. I have to admit, I surprised myself by falling in love with his Dovetail series (also called Les Pigeones), which are some of the last pieces he ever painted. Divine. I might have snagged a few prints while I was there. Not exactly in the budget.
Give Me More!
One day in Barcelona is stupidly too little. We were disappointed to get on our night train to Madrid and leave the sparkle of this city behind. Our day was like an appetizer (or tapa, if you will!), but it just gave me a hunger to return to Spain in the future, armed with more time and less agenda. This is a city you purposely get lost in. It begs you to visit, stay a while and deliciously appreciate the come-as-you-are vibe.