Call me ignorant but I have no idea who Antoni Gaudi was. In fact, out of all the notable Spanish artists, I’ve only heard of two of them; Picasso, and Dali. However, I’ve seen at least three of Gaudi’s immense pieces today. The first one I visited was the Casa Batlló. This was a house designed by Gaudi and doesn’t seem to follow any usual building patterns; clear avoidance of straight lines. I didn’t go inside as the queue was pretty long and it would’ve cost me quite a bit of money so I declined this time. Maybe in the future?
The next place I went to was the Sagrada Familia which in all honesty just seemed to be a construction site. Once again the queue was massive so I didn’t visit. Plus, one visit inside was the same price as my three night stay in Valencia! Instead, I moved on to my next objective which was the Parc de la Ciutadella. In the park is a fountain designed by Josep Fontserè although there is evidence of possible contributions by a young Antoni Gaudí. I didn’t actually know this was there until I arrived, I was more excited to see some greenery in the city. After a few selfies by the fountain, I headed for the beach as I promised.
When I got to the beach I found myself a small spot away from most of the traffic, or so I thought. I must have spent about an hour laying there, just watching the world go by. The only thing that spoilt my visit were the blanket seller’s trying to flog their second rate wares. You would’ve thought headphones in, sunglasses on would’ve been enough to dissuade them, but clearly not. They kept approaching me and insisting I buy their merchandise. One seller actually tried to sell me sunglasses, as if the ones on my face were not there! I did notice one seller trying to sell something but couldn’t work out what it was as he was just mumbling and holding a carrier bag, on second thought he could’ve just been a homeless drunk.
I could’ve spent longer on the beach but could not cope with the nuisance that was the floggers so I moved on.
When I first arrived in the city, I thought I’d check out Las Ramblas which is the main shopping street and at 8am it’s pretty much desolate. At 4pm it’s completely different. Chock-a-block with people, both sellers and buyers, and both parties continually got in my way. I visited the local food market which, having previously visited Streetfood in Copenhagen, is quite a disappointment in comparison. The food is all uncooked so it’s more a case of butchers and fishmongers at a car boot sale. Reading my map, I was informed of a street that is supposed to be packed with Skate, Punk, Goth and Metal shops so I set my sights on there with glee pouring out of my shoes as I walked. Instead, I walked into a desolate street with only big skate brand shops selling their generic tat that you can get anywhere. All the guitar shops were shut down and the place looked more like a grotty, well – avoided neighbourhood. Safe to say, the glee fell out of my shoes as if I had a hole in them.