....To Santiago

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

We start this pilgrimage in Barcelona

Though Gwen, my daughter, has never been out of the United States, she has a pretty sophisticated palette and certainly knows about the artist Gaudi, being an art history/studio art student who is just graduating from college.  She has seen probably countless images of sculpture, paintings, and architecture, but what can prepare you for being in the physical presence of an architectural wonder, a creation in actual building materials of such a fantastical nature?

Our tour of the art centers of Europe will start with Barcelona which will be, I think, a fabulous place to start our journey, a pilgrimage to the great art centers of Europe.  I consider this a pilgrimage, which is a Way of cultivating an inner state of wonder and reverence as much as it is an outer Way.  When I think of Barcelona, I become immersed in the most bohemian, the most relaxed, the most offbeat milieu which I can possibly conjure.  And being surrounded by surreality takes one completely out of one's ordinary mind and plunges it into Wonderland.

Having never been to Barcelona, I am enjoying fantasizing about it from my home perch, and with great anticipation do I look forward to gauging Gwen's reaction when we land in this first city of Europe.  For though we land by air in Madrid, I have decided to forgo the capital city to hop the train for this flavorful outpost in the northeastern section of Spain bordering on France.  Even the language is offbeat:  we will be in Catalan territory, among Catalonians.  Gwen and I speak no Spanish, much less Catalan, so here we go!