Gaudí means Fun
I have been visiting Barcelona the last six days. Great weather!
We started with 22°C the first two days. Then temperature dropped
down to a daily maximum of 14°C, but the sun was shining all day long
while at home, in Berlin the first snow was falling.
Of course I arrived somewhat prepared - before the journey I read about the
great Art Nouveau architecture and its most famous master Antoni Gaudí, who
also created the incomparable basilica
Sagrada Família, my girl Ania was keen on
visiting the vibrant markets, esp. La Boqueria.
The new neighbours
But something that I really did not expect to encounter in the city of Barcelona was greeting us with their loud voices from the very first moment when we were leaving the metro station at Arc de Triomf: Parrots. Right in the centre the trees are full of greenly feathererd Monk Parakeets. Originally from South America they have in some places of Barcelona become like a plague in the last ten years or so. Their number seems comparable to the pigeon population and with their screeching voices they even predominate the clamor of the seagulls.
Unfortunately these parrots are really shy. Unlike the pigeons they stay in the treetops, where they build huge nests together. Therefore I can only link this nice video from somebody who had more luck in filming them.
Barcelona is the new Zürihagen.
Other things that stayed in my mind:
- Barcelona is expensive: In Restaurants and Cafés you pay at least twice what is normal in my home town Berlin: 3.50€ for the smallest ice cream in an ice cream parlor feels more like Zürich Bahnhofstrasse. Entry fees are also "world-class": A ticket for the quite small Casa Batlló (picture to the right) of Antoni Gaudí costs 21.50€ and for visiting the roof of Casa Milà a few numbers ahead the Passeig de Gràcia you would have to pay another 20€ per person.
- Barcelona is a bicycle city. Broad bicycle paths and a city-wide system of bike rental stations called Bicing which unfortunately is only available for residents.
- On the other hand there is less car traffic than I expected in a south european city.