THE CITY OF COUNTS
It felt as if we had stepped out of the streetcar called “your average european city” and entered a dreamy realm. Miguel de Cervantes once summarised it as “the treasure house of courtesy, haven of strangers…” and Barcelona , the city of Counts, possesses something so alluring that any casual wording becomes redundant. This alloy of Gothic, Medieval, Modernist and contemporary districts had us wandering off for days.
A bubbly melting pot of experimentation and a relatively new formal language (both Catalonian and Spanish), the maximum exponent of which would be the massive work of Antoni Gaudi, along with the most avant-garde architectural tendencies have so deeply remodeled the city shape, while its former industrial areas were given buildings with the signiatures of Norman Foster, Arata Isozaki and Sandiago Calatrava.
Translating music : Would you be able to translate music into a building? Turns out this structure (Palau de la Musica Catalana) does. In 1908 Montaner built what would later become the Choral Society, combining so many different types of ceramic elements with metalic applications, sculptures, tiles, glass and murals. I could stand for hours looking at the facade, which to me it doesn’t only translate music into architecture but also reminds me of a prodigy child’s futuristic drawing.
Everywhere you decide to go next you will always end up into some kind of terrace, in front of a Palau (palace), a monumental street filled with hundreds of little graphic stores full of books, maps, globes, flowers or delicacies, until you finaly reach th Boqueria Market. Guilty as charged those who savor a great bottle of wine, or a loop of chorizo; Its stalls selling produce that attracts the attention of many gastronomes and restaurant owners who come here to buy it. Enter and you are lost in the alleys; with its stap you discover food, so well placed that it looks like a film set. We listened to the funny stories that the bleached-white-apron-clad ladies shout out, even while they were cutting dorados, tunas, singing the praises of their stalls.
Let’s just say that once you go to Barcelona you can hardly forget about what you’ve witnessed; You will need to put on your city-trotting shoes and leave the elegant pair back in the hotel. You’ll soon found out that one can easily move from one place to another, as the municipality of Barcelona provides for bicycle stations. Unchain that bike, move around and the go park it to your next stop; simply genius !
THE CITY OF COUNTS