Barcelona, Spain

March 3, 2012 — My brain in Spain went kind of insane, and I only visited Barcelona. That ancient city of more than 1.5 million sprawls from Mediterranean beaches full of nudity to medieval stone alleyways full of restaurants to wide modern streets full of whatever the Spanish word for scooters is.

It has uniquely parceled up its 24-hour days according to some secret timetable that I wasn’t able to fully decode in the short span that I was there. Stores randomly closed during peak day hours for what I assume is siesta, except for the fact that none seemed to do so on anything close to a shared schedule. Few eat before 8 pm, and fewer still arise before 10 am. The city was more alive at midnight than at noon, and its street fronts are homily graffitied in a way that’s helpful for navigating the massive city.

The National Palace.
In every food shop and restaurant hung cured legs of Iberian ham complete with hooves, and the only way to stay hydrated is to drink plenty of wine. And while Barcelona has thousands of years’ worth of tradition, it also allows prominent experimentation. To see that, one has to merely see the architecture of Antoni Gaudi, some cat who was given full license to work his crazy vision in the city’s most public places.

I have a couple of specific sites that I’ll highlight here on OTIS in a bit, but until then, here’s a random overview of what bounced off my retinas while in Barcelona.

Take a left at this.
The building across the street Lego'd
perfectly into this one.
Street performer on La Rambla.
Placa d'Espanya.
Snails and snail-shaped bread.
La Sagrada Familia, by Gaudi.
More on this later.
Statue made of cell phones from an
enormous mobile technology conference
that was being held.
No se.
View from the bedroom window of my apartment.
Arc de Triomf. Can't be a city without one of these.
The Gothic Quarter.
Still in the Gothic Quarter.
Iberian ham. Proper etiquette is to gnaw on as is.
Which way is home, Senor Columbus?