Photography / Travel

Day 11-12: Barcelona, Spain

from Photographs of Europe, May-June 2002 by Tim Darling     (Click on the photos..)

Tuesday, May 28 - Barcelona, Spain

Pamela and I went to a youth hostel together, got beds, and walked around the city for a few hours. The sun was bright and harsh when we passed three of Gaudi's buildings so I didn't take many photographs.

Later she was tired so I walked around the pier alone as the sun was setting. And I thought: how many people that you've known and once cared about can you fit in your head? I can see how a line of once comforting faces now tagged with the decay of time and regret could drive you crazy. Or maybe some days when you're alone, it might drive you crazy not to have memories of old friends, even the ones you only knew for 2 or 3 days? Me, I want to get to know people as well as I can, even if I think I'll only see them for a few hours.

Wednesday, May 29 - Barcelona, Spain

I headed back to Gaudi's Casa Mila in the morning and went up to its rooftop.

I also went back to his best known building (and, 75 years after his death, still not yet completed), Sagrada Familia ('Sacred Family'). It's a cathedral with tall spires that you can walk up.

I was apparently the only person in Barcelona who couldn't figure out which stairs in the spires were for walking up and which were for walking down. I went up the down stairs which were only wide enough for one person, so I had to run up 100 steps to get to the next rest area before someone came down that section of the tower.

At 3, I met Pamela (who had been to the Picasso museum) at the zoo to Snowflake, the only white gorilla in captivity. Sadly there was a sign that said she wouldn't be around for the next week, so we skipped the zoo. Seeing Snowflake was what I wanted to do most in Barcelona. I even had a photo of her taped in the front of my journal, the only photo I had in there. So instead we walked around the Barri Gothic section in the old part of town and Pamela cheered me up, even if not purposely, by trying to hang from tree branches to do pull ups.

I went out by myself again to walk by the pier and up the west side of town around sunset. There was some sort of protest in the streets but I don't know what for or against.

The best part of Barcelona is its La Rambla, especially at night. It's a wide pedestrian walkway with two smaller car lanes on either side. It is crowded with artists, musicians, puppeteers, florists, fortune tellers, and mimes. The mimes are the best; 'statue people' might be a more fitting term. They only move when you throw coins into their jar. There was a guy dressed in all gold holding a sword; a headless man playing an accordion; a man painted in all white sitting on a toilet; a green jack in the box who jumped out for coins. Most of the people on the street separate themselves into groups so on the south side, near the beach and the pier, are the cartoon impressionists. Then further up are the henna tattoo artists, the florists, and then the musicians at the far end. The statue people are more interspersed.

I stood in front of one chanteuse, a Londoner who was dressed all in white and wore angel wings. She sang and played guitar for a quarter of a song and then froze until someone threw in more coins. I listened to her for a couple hours. She played Tori Amos's China and a few other songs, some in Spanish and some that she had written, as I learned when inquiring about them later when she was on a break.

Day 13-14: Barcelona, Spain

Your Comments

Great site!!! I have enjoyed a lot reading your stories as if they were a trip novel and watching the pictures. As for Snowflake, he is said to die in few months (cancer) but u still can see him in a webcam ( Regards!! and good luck.

-- Paco, Oct 1, 2003
great pics! i will also visit the city in september for a long weekend. i will for sure read your trip report... will go by myself so interested in meeting some locals as well. chau!

-- erik, Aug 25, 2004
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All text and pictures copyright © 2002 Tim Darling.