Barcelona…My Candy Cart Part I
The first time I arrived in Barcelona, I did not imagine what I would experience through the years with this Catalan City.
I had heard a lot about It, from friends, and co-workers, in general I thought I had enough information about the city, I even, followed the Olympics Games in that place, I thought I had an idea of some places because I saw how they prepared the city for that, but is never enough, yes, that city is beautiful, but I’m going to tell you how I experienced it, and why that city has a little piece of my heart.
As you know, I work on ships for the last 11 years, which allow me to reach good ports, bad ports and very bad ports, although it is not the case in this city, many times these bad or very bad ports, turn out to have incredible cities so we started well.
The day I woke up in Barcelona was one of those ports that looks good, I saw so much from the top of the boat where I was working making breakfast, that I was already filled with emotions, but at the same time I did not imagine what Barcelona would show.
Then the challenge was to ask for few hours free and believe take time to get to know the city, specially a city that has too much to offer.
On cruises and in very low positions, that was almost impossible, you had to organize your time very well and create a plan that would allow you to get to know the maximum of a city in few hours, my first day in Barcelona, I had the purpose of visit one of my best friends and just talk, about what I thought, about how difficult my life was and what I had gotten myself into, it was a beautiful encounter, after so many months finally seeing someone I knew, and I could talk to, somebody in front of me that I can trust and express all my dramas.
During those few hours I did not see where the taxi was taking me, I did not hear any sound but the one from my own interior telling me you are in a place that looks beautiful and you are not enjoying it, it was my hours of freedom and was in that conversation during a very Spanish lunch, when my friend did a smart move, and instead to listen to my depress stress, introduced me to Gaudi and his work and something clear after that time was that I definitely had to spend more time getting to know the city and trying the unbelievable great food.
As an architect I studied something about Gaudi, but basic, I was not one of his followers, but that click helped to give him a second chance, yes, me giving Gaudi a Second chance, funny not?
In the way I had chosen as a job (cook in a ship), and to devise a plan that would allow me to get to know the old continent, Europe, I had a plan set. Working like crazy, does not matter how many hours, but at the same time earning those hours that would allow me to invest time in getting to know all those places I had dreamed of.
As a cook I had no idea of the gastronomic development that Barcelona was going to provide me, my intention was to get to know Gaudí and his work, to get inspirations from his art, so as I worked for breakfast and was almost two months away from finishing my contract, my boss showed some mercy and allowed me to have a couple of free hours in the afternoons. Still remember that German Sous Chef trying deep to get me some free time.
Before I continue I know that people from my work is reading this, Is the main reason that i need to clarify that eleven years ago life on boats was totally different than it is now, that is why I speak this way. I was working long hours, I was not the favorite and I was the new, I had a lot of things to prove to people that live in other concept of working and because of that was why I need to find ways to find hours to get into my purpose of working and travel. Cruises change considerably, are not a prison, but before they worked differently and the conditions of employees with low positions were different, and I started low and in that conditions.
Returning to Barcelona, it is the most important thing to get to Casa Batlo or the Gaudi’s House, but the line to enter was so long that I would need invest too much time to do it, as a typical architect my sense of sight is well developed, so I look at many things around, especially windows or things that I thought Gaudí will like to create and that was the key….windows. maybe I did not have the time but to look into windows until I get that time will help to feed my brain with what I was looking for.
Common Sense and calculations led me to think that from some other building I could see something about that historic house. Common sense helped me a lot to save time as well as walking very, very fast, so I took a couple of photos and I kept walking and just almost diagonal, was La Pedrera, another of Gaudi’s works, beautiful, weird, complicated, fun, but elegant I was fascinated and I felt very identified with his architecture and interested more in his work, I already knew about La Sagrada Familia but my time, as already I have mentioned, was very limited, on the way back to work, I remembered the windows of Gaudi’s House, and as my calculations predicted, one of the windows of a store looks exactly to an area of Gaudi’s house, so I managed to go and in some floors i experienced in a short time and thanks to the internet assisted me to have a better idea of what I would see inside and later on with much more time I could visit and see details
Back on the ship, I would only stop a few minutes at the top to contemplate this almost complicated city, but which aroused much curiosity.
And did you go to La Boquería? It was my friend’s question on the phone. La Boquería, what is it? I replied. A Chef and haven’t you been to La Boquería? she answered, and I thought she was joking, I started my research on that place where I had to go as a cook. I was so embarrassed, I called myself a cook and I preferred Gaudi than the food market? I need to go back to Barcelona was my thought and my goal.