Barcelona—the holiday destination of Champions, and where M. and I have spent the last 4 days.
Oh it was good, it was extremely good. The weather was sparkling (30-35 all the time and never less than 26 at night), the city was magnificent and brash and proud, and the food…oh God, the food. If you have never been to Barcelona and had the tapas, the really good stuff, then your soul is not complete.
The city is a fucking wonder—every building, every corner, every street is a work of art. You wake around in a permanent daze, gazing ever upwards as one spectacular pile after another floats by. You wander up some little street and stumble upon a medieval square, or a gothic church, or some bent and twisted house from the bubbling mind of the dead master, Gaudi.
Figure 1: Casa Batlló
And the Cathedral…the Sagrada Familia, started by Gaudi a century ago and continued by others is undoubtedly the most amazing work-in-progress in the world. You stare at it in wonder and cannot believe that the lunatic was allowed to build it. The lines and angles and blocks of organic, melted-looking stone…I cannot imagine any other person in any other place getting away with something like this.
Figure 2: Stained glass window in Sagrada Familia
In 2026 it is due to be done, and I if I were you (which I’m not, yet) I would really, really go see it while it is still the most utterly surreal building site in existence.
I tell you, Barcelona is just packed with dramatic stuff any of which would put a normal city to shame. Look at this, for Christ’s sake, something me and M found accidentally while looking for something else:
Figure 3: A Fucking big fountain (M. removed at her own request)
And the locals just wander about smugly, jumping on and off their vastly clean, cool and efficient metro assuming that everybody has it as good as they do. The bastards.
Nobody is left out in sunny Barcelona. Check out this recycling centre for handicapped people:
Figure 4: Wheelchair-friendly recycling
And the food…I’ll make this short, but no life is complete without a trip to the wonderful La Tramola (right on the corner of Passeig de Gracia and Gran Vía Corts Catalanes). Perfect food (lots of locals in evidence), pefect location, and the friendliest waiters you could find. And the Pa Amb Tomaguet (bread with tomato)…oh God, kill me right now, this very minute.
Figure 4: Pa Amb Tomaquet to die for
Ryanair flies there now from loads of locations (even from Shannon so you Irish have NO excuse at all). So what, I ask, are you waiting for? Hmmm? Well?
Normal sarcastic service will be resumed tomorrow, I promise.
/ El Paddy