KelsieGleason's Travel Journals

KelsieGleason Kelsie Gleason

  • 28 years old
  • From Illinois, United States
  • Currently in Barcelona, Spain

Visions and Revisions: Discovering the Culture of Barcelona

This journal will serve as a collection of my experiences, observations, and reflections over the next four months of cultural immersion in Barcelona.

La vida loca

Spain Barcelona, Spain  |  Feb 21, 2011
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            I haven’t updated for almost a week, but I’ve done a lot of cool (and crazy) things since my last entry. On Friday we took a day trip to Girona and Figueres to see the cities and visit the Dalí museum. Girona is only about an hour and a half away from Barcelona and it is such a beautiful city! The buildings along the river are painted bright colors and there were Catalan flags everywhere. The city is smaller than Barcelona, so it was cleaner, less crowded, and even more relaxed. Who knew it was possible for a city to be more tranquilo than Barcelona? We walked around the medieval area of the city to see the cathedral, the wall that was built to guard it from attacks, and an old Arabian bath. We wandered around the old Jewish quarter and ate lunch before heading to Figueres for the Dalí museum.

            The best description I’ve heard of the Dalí museum is that the place is “mental”… The museum was absolutely amazing but at the same time it was completely crazy. Dalí designed the museum himself from the town’s old theater, so the entire building itself is a work of surrealist art. There was a huge glass representation of a fly’s eye at the top of the building (a compound eye composed of thousands of individual photoreceptors called ommatidia… thanks for that, Invertebrate Zoology). There were tons of paintings with multiple realities within them—one was a group of people on the beach if you looked at it horizontally but a face if you looked at it vertically and another one was Dalí’s wife looking out a window onto a beach but if you squinted your eyes and backed up it was really a pixilated image of Abraham Lincoln. Another painting he made just by throwing squids down onto a piece of canvas. There was a video playing of an animated film that Dalí made with Walt Disney called “Destino,” a representation of Mae West’s face made out of 2 paintings for her eyes, a sculpture for her nose, a couch for her lips, and a huge arch of blonde curls for her hair. There was a garden full of sculptures of monsters and an old Cadillac (you can pay 1€ to make it rain inside the car) and the plants in the garden were planted in the shape of a “G” for his wife Gala. Dalí is even buried inside the museum, right under the fly eye. The place was absolutely insane which made it so much more fun to see than any other art museum I’ve been to. By the time I walked out of there I had seen so many crazy things that nothing could surprise me.

            In fact, even some of the strange food I ate at lunch today wasn’t even all that surprising. We ate at a Galician restaurant called Mesón David and most of us were brave enough to try pulpo (octopus) and sesos (calf brains). The pulpo didn’t taste too bad but it was a little disconcerting to look at your plate and realize that your food had tentacles. As for the brains, I was surprised that they actually tasted pretty good (if you tried to forget about what you were eating). It looked like fried chicken but the texture was pretty shady. It was complete mush under the breading, but it was just another of many adventures in Spain. No one can ever call me a picky eater again!

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  • User Profile Photo
    Adegbenro_Adewale has read KelsieGleason's journal and gave it a thumbs up Thu Mar 3, 2011
    do thumbsup
    that was a fabulous experience described by a more fabulous person like you .
    going by the vivid account given , you have taken as many as reads this to girona & figueres in barcelona .

    but more interestingly , i have never thought of eating & forgetting what it is .

    Thanks for the lesson .