Wandering is a Useful Skill

The past few days have been fairly busy.

First of all, I moved.  The residence in which I was living was primarily locals, and also quite far from the city center.  I am now living one block from Passeig de Gracia, and a five minute walk from Plaça Catalunya – the start of La Rambla.  It’s very nice.  So as soon as I got settled, I started up on my wandering again.

Yesterday, I got a surprise day off from work.  I was only supposed to go in for a meeting, but the meeting got cancelled.  As soon as I found this out, I (sort of) planned my day.  Step One was to get on one of the busses that stops outside of my new apartment and go to a stop called Monumental.  The bus approached the stop, and I realized I had already been there, so I kept riding.  The bus passed a space that looked like it enclosed a very strange roller coaster.  I got off at the next stop to walk back and check it out.  Unfortunately, it was not a roller coaster.  It was something easier on the eyes (and the stomach).  The space was called Parc Diagonal del Mar.  In this park stretched a long twisted metal sculpture (that I later found out went on for more than a block), as well as odd ceramic pots for trees and vines.  I stayed for a little while, and wandered the park a bit.  ImageImage

After the park, I got on another bus.  This one took me to La Sagrada Familia.  I walked around the perimeter of the unfinished cathedral.  It is incredible – and watching the construction being done on it is really cool.  I didn’t go inside this time – the line extended around the block just to buy tickets.

There was still plenty of time left in the day to see one more new place.  One of the apartments that I had looked into was located near Plaça d’Espanya, and I was curious to see where I might have ended up living.  I took the bus down to the plaza.  By the time I got there, the sky had gone all gray and overcast, which made the whole place look very uninteresting.  All I saw was a monument in the center of the plaza roundabout.  I checked my map and read that about three blocks away was the Parc de Joan Miró.  I figured I could check that out while I was in the area.  I started walking around the plaza to get to the street that would take me to the park.  I looked down the street I was crossing and saw a huge palace at the end.  Now, that is something interesting that required further investigation.

The palace was Palau Nacional, which houses the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya.  In front of the palace is a large fountain that extends from the top of the hill on which the palace sits, down to street level, terminating at a portion called the Magic Fountain.  The whole area was incredible.  Apparently there is an event at the fountain one night of the week.

After ascending and descending the hill to the Palau Nacional, I continued on my way to the Parc de Joan Miró.  The park was uninteresting with the exception of a giant sculpture by Miró in one corner.  The sculpture was enormous, and tiled in a very typical Miró fashion.

After that I headed back to the apartment.  I walked by a monument on Passeig de Gracia that, from the back, looked like a woman staring longingly at an ice cream cone.  It turns out it was a flower.  But I think it is much funnier if we imagine a beautiful statue including ice cream.  (More delicious too.)

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That’s all for now.  This weekend should bring an exciting new post.  (Although as of this moment, I have no plans.)

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