Saturday, November 30, 2002

In a few short minutes we board a ship out of Barcelona, bound for Genoa...and from Genoa, a train to Rome. Barcelona has been ecstatic, but I am looking forward to Italy--the food and the culture are so much more familiar to me, coming from my home in Brooklyn's Carroll Gardens, and I have always dreamed of making a pilgrimage to Rome. This isn't as devout as some of my Sunday school teachers would have wished, but such is life.

Today we visited Park Guell, another of Gaudi's unfinished, rambling masterpieces--a hillside of unnatural art that blends into the landscape until it seems as if the natural trees and stones seem out of place. I have rarely been as affected as I have been by one architect--I admire him so much, for his failures and the ramshackle, half-baked nature of his visions. They seem so earthy to me. I like earthy.

We have also spent a great deal of time wandering the Barri Gotic, seeing the beautiful cathedral and the tiny, winding cobbled streets. In a small hidden square we stood as a bell rang and ten thousand children flooded in, all laughing, playing with balls, jumping rope and using their GameBoy Advance handhelds. It was a wonderful afternoon--the sun was hot and strong for November, and on Las Ramblas people dressed in semi-cheesy costumes that occasionally turned brilliant, like the monochrome man, in titanium white facepaint, who sat on an equally white toilet, miming shitting so well that you had to laugh out loud and pay him. Everywhere there was three card monte, played with hollowed-out carrot tops and a tiny green pea.

I have to finish this, eat another tapa, get some cafe con leche and catch our boat.

11:56 PM