On Novemeber 21st I got to go to Barcelona. It was my first time visiting the EU and was an incredible trip. Wish that I could have stayed a lot longer!
First had to go down to Tbilisi where I caught one of the last buses to the airport which leaves downtown at 9:30pm. This was on the 20th. My flight didn’t leave until the next morning around 7am. As most of you know I’m pretty damn cheap, so I couldn’t bring myself to pay $30 for a taxi when it would only cost me $.50 to take the bus. I’d seen people sleeping at the airport before so didn’t think it was that big of a deal. However, when I got there I didn’t see anyone sleeping and felt a bit apprehensive. So, I found a little nook behind the elevator and curled up on the tile. My gawd, tile is cold. That didn’t work out so well. My next perch was on some chairs which were far too short and narrow to be comfortable. Finally, around 3am I made my way over to the astroturf. Much better! Managed to get a few hours of lite sleep there before boarding the plane.
The plane ride to Riga was nice. The sun was coming up and it created a rainbow of clouds across the sky. Since we were heading west it almost seemed as if we were racing the dawn. Through one of the plane windows it was barely twilight and through the next dawn was breaking through.
When we took off from Latvia the sky was an endless sea of clouds, not a single speck of ground remaining. Reminded me of Langoliers. Started wondering if the whole world had disappeared below. I tried to catch a few winks on this flight into Barcelona, but it just wasn’t happening. I looked out the window at one point and gasped. The Swiss Alps were below, extending on forever. There were these crisp snow covered peaks where you know no human has ever set foot. Every now and again a town would pop up at the base of the mountains. Wonder what it must be like to live at the bottom of these giants. Some areas has mist handing in the mountains, shielding their bottoms from sight like they were swimming in a murky grey ocean. Clouds hung on the top dotting the mountains like bits of cream. At points the mountains formed bowls where the mist created a cloud soup. These mountains lost in the mist were brown and gave way to their blindingly white cousins on the horizon.
I was sitting on the wing and it was a striking juxtaposition of the airplane wing with one of nature’s most glorious achievements. Man cutting through nature, obscuring part of the beauty whilst making it possible to see. I wished that I could be set down upon one of those snow bank to sit in frigid silence. Have to admit that I cried a little.
Arrived in Barcelona where I met up with Rob and Aleta. Was so great to be with friends again. To be honest the whole trip went by in a kind of blur. I look back on everything that happened and can’t seem to quite piece together when each event took place. Just seems to run together. I blame this on lack of sleep and awesome company.
There seems to be a unique rhythm to life in Spain that I didn’t quite get accustomed to. Stores opened around 10, then would close again around 1 or 2. They stayed closed for a couple of hours, reopened and were closed again around 8pm. Seemed to me like everything was always in the middle of being closed. When things do close it changes the way the city looks completely. There’s not really any such thing as window shopping. All the businesses have big metal shutters which the roll down in front of the shops. We discovered you can easily miss a closed business if you’re walking on the same side of the street and can’t see the sign above it.
We ate so much delicious food while I was there. Nice to have a break from the monotony of Georgia. Sooooo many tapas! I also found that I enjoyed the seafood there. Not a big fan and have pretty much always been let down by what I’ve tried in the US. There were a couple of times that I wouldn’t have even known I was eating fish if Rob hadn’t told me. I’ll just list a few of the things we had: Deep fried brie with raspberry puree, potatoes bravas, bombas, soy and sesame chicken skewers, various croquettes, lots and lots of gelato, the best fried calamari ever, so much Iberian ham, cheese plates, black pudding, and more.
On Friday a couple more friends came into town. I was thoroughly blissed out! We went and saw a lot of Gaudi’s work together including a trip to Park Guell. The park was probably one of my favorite parts of the trip. It’s fantastic. You never know what’s coming around the corner. There is one space with these huge columns drawing your head up. The ceiling is a mosaic giving you the feeling of being under the sea. I spun around in the room, making myself dizzy, and filling my vision entirely with the tiles. That REALLY made you feel like you were under water.
On my last day we went to see La Sagrada Familia. For sure the most amazing church I’ve ever been in. The church architecture in Barcelona is very different from here in Georgia or Armenia. The Catholic’s sure do like their ostentatious decorations.
Trip back to Georgia was uneventful and tiring. I’m here for another 16 days before flying to Amsterdam. Then I’m off to Berlin and then back to California on Jan 4th 🙂