Having meandered this marvelous Catalan city for a week I have collected more impressions of this destination influenced by art and architecture, the glorious Mediterranean and the surrounding hills. I like it a lot and can see why it is jam packed with tourists, many coming here to take a cruise. The enormous cruise ships dominate the harbor enticing thousands of people to board.
I’m not a fan of the big cruise ships and how they can change a city just by their sheer volume. I hope that doesn’t happen here. I like Barcelona and hope it doesn’t loose its essential character in the mad dash to attract tourists. I like it the way it is.
Here’s some of what I observed.
The folks who live and work here love color.
Maybe it is part of the Spanish exuberance for life. Could be left over influence of the Moors, the impact of bright sun and clear sky. Antoni Gaudi certainly has to be a major influence. I saw profusion of color in shops, on people and in the art and architecture. Even the phone company is called Orange.
The city is under renovation.
Two cathedrals, a major market, Guell Palau, the Maritime Museum, the National Art Museum–all surrounded by trucks, cranes and scaffolding. Sometimes we had disappointments about not being able to tour. After a couple of days I started asking concierge if our planned destinations were open for guests.
It’s a creative city.
Loved the cute yellow talking touring car. The talking part was controlled by GPS system–clever. The folks here claim invention of submarine, although, too bad, inventor wasn’t able to get the funding needed to develop his ideas. Narcis Monturiol went bankrupt.
We saw dozens of street performers like guy perched on cane making me wonder how he did that. I couldn’t resist purchasing felt puppets and fabric books from this cute and talented textile artist, Almacen Marabi. Being creative is important in this city. I could feel the energy.
The Spanish love their soccer.
We were there on a game day and heard lots of talk in the shops and by the staff of hotel about the upcoming match. It was fun to not only watch the teams battling it out on the huge field in front of us, but also to observe and participate in the spectators’ great enthusiasm. The deep roar of the crowd made it clear when they disagreed with a call and their excitement when home team scored.
Couldn’t resist capturing these three Danish fans choosing their pre-game lunch. I watched them order and consume mountains of food. Guess they figured they needed lots of energy to keep up with the Spanish fans. Alas for them. Barcelona won 2-0.
To read First Impressions of Barcelona, click here or scroll down for previous post.