Hace mucho tiempo no nos escribimos

Blog updates succumbed to summer ennui this year, but there’s nothing like refreshing time away from the U.S. to get the words flowing again. It’s remarkable what a reliable metro system with occupants who know how to act in public will do for my overall humor.

I’m writing this from the patio of my hotel on my second night in Barcelona. It’s 11 o’clock at night, but that’s not late in Spain, and my jet lag isn’t going to accommodate any kind of decent bedtime.

The flight was long, but the accommodations have been perfect, and the weather accommodating. The forecast indicated a chance of rain, but I only experienced the cloud cover, which kept things from getting too hot. The humidity is high, nonetheless.

The Passion facade of La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia occupied the bulk of the morning with La Palau de la Música Catalana in the afternoon. The spectrum of artistic sensibilities that comprise the Sagrada offer a panoply of artistic movements, from the classically rendered Nativity facade to the more modern and cubist Passion facade that opposes it. And for all of its exterior complexity, the grandeur of its vaulted interior renders a stark contrast. The stained glass is spectacular and the palette of colors that emerge from the stained glass windows and pied columns astounds the senses.

Barcelona is a charming city. The Catalán dialect spoken here strikes me as an interesting fusion of French and Spanish. The architecture is beautiful and everything is clean. I’m looking forward to the Picasso museum tomorrow. Then I’ll be off to Madrid.

View from the Nativity facade of La Sagrada Familia
The concert hall at the Palau de la Música Catalana

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