“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” (Henry David Thorea)
A determination to show him, and herself, that she was brave enough travel without him, took her to Barcelona in late 2014.
Always top of her “to do” list, it seemed the obvious place to start. So, accompanied by a well-travelled girlfriend, she dipped an intrepid toe into the “city break” experience.
Enticed by Gaudi, she knew Barcelona would feed her appetite for a culturally rich life, but of course, it was more than that, much more.
The food … still warm enough at the beginning of December to eat seafood paella al fresco at the water’s edge! And delicious tapas accompanied by a full bodied Spanish red, an eating experience at it’s very best in a tiny bar just off The Ramblas, where they put themselves at the mercy of the owner and feasted on what was put in front of them.
The dance …. ah, the dance. An impromptu evening under the breathtaking glass mosaic roof of the Palau de la Musica Catalana … an unexpected chance to see raw, passionate, spine-tingling romany flamenco.
The music …. a candlelit Spanish guitar recital in Iglesia Santa Anna, a 12th century cloistered church, the audience of no more than 30. Such a privilege. Unforgettable.
And the art, of course, courtesy of Gaudi, and his fellow Catalan, Miro. Sagrada Familia remains a dusty building site, and the fact that it will seemingly never be finished is apparently the appeal, though its grotesque facade did little for her. His Park Guell was nevertheless a “must see”, with its crazy mosaic landscaping and breathtaking panoramic views of the city. Then an nspiring afternoon at Fundacio Joan Miro. Both artists were self-absorbed, determined visionaries, and both of them were, it would seen, mad – completely and utterly mad!
Barcelona – crazy, elegant, beautiful Barcelona -was everything she imagined it would be, and gave her a tantalizing glimpse of a life she’d imagined, in all its soul-enriching, thirst-quenching, heart-stopping colours.