First Time in Barcelona, Spain

I haven’t realize that my dreams were coming true. I thought everything would just be a hopeless imagination, not until I walked through the narrow streets of Barcelona.

My realization started when I was a sophomore student in the Philippines. A TV programme which featured the Spanish city captivated my attention. From then on, it has been my wish to visit the home of  Sagrada Familia.

Probably it was the most exciting trip we’ve ever had. I was really happy by just being there, breathing the same air as the Catalans. I couldn’t ask for more in those 4 days that we toured the place. Being there was like magic-more magical than my prom night.

Now, come with me and let’s reminisce the moments I had with her.

First stop the next morning was to visit the marketplace to buy some fresh seafood and fruits for dinner. I have read reviews about this place prior to our visit and all descriptions were true in a positive way. I specially liked the local vegetables sold at the market because they looked exactly the same as what we have back home. I saw sweet potato, purple yam, turnips and many more. My emotions were overwhelming as I browse through the pile and pile of vegetables and fruits.

The claustrophobic streets were frightening and so we avoided these alleyways as much as we could choosing a wider path. Even though it did give me a scare, that part of Barcelona’s landscape is synonymous to Venice and Amsterdam’s features.

Residential towering buildings are mostly looking like the one below. The embossed designs and the addition of marble religious sculptures show the piousness of the catholic country.

This architecture is somewhat a waste of material or probably this is how they recycle scrap metal. Whatever the purpose is, it is not pleasing to my eyes. Taking into consideration the modernistic approach of Barcelona to architectural design, in my opinion this does not make any sense.

Streetlamps reminded me of a landmark in the Philippines called Intramuros. When I was a university student, I used to go to the “walled city” and it was like travelling back to colonial period. For 333 years, Spain took over The Philippines. Another unusual architecture I’ve seen is this bridge with sculptures of saints positioned horizontally as if they are walking on the stone wall.

Merely seeing these watches made me thought of how surreal the place I was at. The display is a 1930’s representation of how Salvador Dali imagined time as shown in his famous painting ” The Persistence of Memory”. If it was not very expensive, I would have picked one of them.

The meaning of Dali’s painting when associated with dreams…

If Persistence of Memory depicts a dream state, the melting and distorted clocks symbolize the erratic passage of time that we experience while dreaming. Have you ever woken up and expected it to be still the middle of the night and are surprised to find that it is already morning? While we often are pretty good and keeping track of what time it is while we go about our days, keeping time while we are asleep is another story. There are many different ways to interpret the meaning of Persistence of Memory. If we look at the art through the perspective of a dream state, the distorted clocks don’t have any power in the dream world and are melting away because of that. In Persistence of Memory Salvador Dali illustrates how useless, irrelevant, and arbitrary our normal concept of time is inside the dream state. During our daily lives, we’re always rushed and busy, trying to get all of our work done on time. Many art scholars debate over whether these timepieces are clocks or in fact pocket watches, very popular accessories in the 1920s and 30s, when the Surrealists worked. The Surrealists laughed at most things middle-class society takes seriously, and that includes the importance we place on things like pocket watches that mark passage of time.

Finally, the Sagrada Familia which I’ve longed to see for more than a decade was our last itinerary on the second day of our trip. A rainy afternoon almost ruined our tour. We arrived from Montserrat to the site all ready to be impressed by the enigmatic cathedral. Astonished as I was, I forgot to take selfies. =))

We spent our limited time talking about the architecture, deciphering its meaning and just really appreciating God given talent.

I agree with Gaudi when he remarked,

Those who look for the laws of Nature as
a support for their new works collaborate
with the creator

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