Saturday, August 17, 2019

Barcelona is Soooooooo GAUDÍ

The sign in this window said TRAVEL CHANGES PEOPLE.  Yes, it does.  Barcelona has a different feeling for me than any other city in Spain.  The wide avenues, the metro underground, the cafes...even the coffee is frothier and creamier.  Malaga has charm and grace, Madrid is very cosmopolitan, but filled with a sense of frenetic energy.  Here in Barcelona?  I feel Antoni Gaudí in my soul as I walk down the richly decorated thoroughfares and stare at buildings, especially Casa Milá and then Casa Batlló.  The facades appear to be covered in gingerbread icing, small balconies look like hobbit dwellings and there is light everywhere.  Gaudí loved bringing light into every corner of his creations.  We chose the Casa Batlló to explore, so we stared at the beauty of Casa Milá and decided we’d neither seen anything quite like it before.  Caroline and I stood among others equally as stunned as we were this afternoon.

Casa Milà

Casa Batlló 
 By now, my confidence is growing by leaps and bounds as I remember parts of this beautiful city, so we took a circuitous route back to Plaza Cataluña where the metro would take us to our hotel.  And what should my wondering eyes see?  A restaurant named SILVÁN, the surname for my ancestors from Fuentesaúco, Spain.   Now, I must do some research to find out if they are related to me...?

No, but the day was not over.  After a few hours rest, a shower and a little snooze, we prepared for Francisco Javier Albertos and his wife Conchita to pick us up for dinner at 8:00.  It was great to seethem again.  He is an author and historian I met though my connection to Hawaiian Spaniards.   After a metro ride and another walk across the same streets we’d traveled earlier today, we arrived at a restaurant with linen draped tables, crystal glasses and ambience that embraced us immediately.  Javier ordered several “small plates” and they were amazing.  I loved the pimientos píquelos, small green roasted peppers that melted in my mouth, ibérico ham sliced thin, tomatoes on crusty bread with olive oil, bacalao salad, and two other dishes I can’t remember.  

By the end of the evening, they’d introduced us to El National, a renovated    antique car garage with fish restaurants, bars and a Hollywood make-up mirror room.  There were also a row of antique wash basins and historic photos. 

 And then, Ice cream in another place near our metro stop.  

The evening was so very nice.  Conchita took Carolines hand every time we crossed the street to keep her safe.   Neither could converse in the other’s native language but it still worked.

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