I’m like a cat or an infant when it comes to lights and shiny things. Bling draws me in. Walking to the art museum at night post-dinner was a given. Ah, those Spaniards know how to suck in the simple-minded.
Example two of my propensity for bright things: a carnival that happened to be right outside our hotel door. Josh tried to play a game where you kick a soccer ball toward bowling pins. He hit a box holding the soccer balls, way off to the side of the miniature bowling lane. Then I ate a cone full of chocolate-y waffle thingies, which is way more important than anything Josh did.
We walked to and through Parc Montjuic, winding our way toward the Montjuic Castle. By “winding,” I mean “climbing.” The entire city of Barcelona is magically uphill. Go toward the park? Uphill. Leave the park? Uphill. You know that old man who claims he walked to school uphill both ways? Turns out he’s from Barcelona. The park was lovely, though, as was the weather. It was warm, around 80 degrees, but not stifling. Dakar humidity has been at in-the-shower levels recently, so comparatively Barcelona was Balmy-a-lona. Or something.
More rewarding views from Parc de Montjuic. Barcelona is a great city if you’re looking for a combination of beach and not-beach. The Mediterranean is right there if you need sand time, but the town’s of course chock-full of other things to do.
Said an obligatory hello to Gaudi. The Sagrada Familia was only about a quarter of the way done when Gaudi died in 1926 and the goal is to finish the structure on the centennial of his death, in 2026. Today’s builders just crossed the halfway point in 2010! What have they been doing all this time, you ask? My guess is halting construction to wait for daily miles-long lines of tourists. We opted to snap photos from the outside instead of spending hours in the queue. We only had three days in Barcelona, so we had to prioritize a bit. (Wine and tapas are high priorities, FYI. On vacation, ya’ll.) Seriously, though, La Sagrada Familia is intricate and beautiful.
Rachael Cullins is a twentysomething American girl living in Dakar, Senegal, with her husband and two dogs. She blogs about her adventures in Senegal and travels elsewhere in West Africa. She will reside in Dakar until summer 2013, when she and her family will move to another foreign post as part of her husband’s career with the U.S. government. In addition to West Africa, she has traveled to France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Italy and Costa Rica and plans to continually add to that list.