Tuesday, February 24, 2009

HOT FLASH FROM BARCELONA: Weird Things

I've wanted to come to Barcelona ever since I saw All about My Mother. It's the movie that turned me into an Almodovar groupie. Watching his movies is like eating. It's a sensual experience, and this movie, set in Barcelona, is a feast for the eyes.

Aside from physical beauty, Almodovar also sees the beauty in freaks and weird things and life on the margins. I thought about that today at Gaudi's Park Guell, a hilltop park overlooking Barcelona and the sea, with walking paths, mosaics, small fountains, flowering crabs, and blooming mimosa trees.

A scene in All about My Mother (or is it Volver?) is set here, and as we wandered the grounds, I read about Gaudi's patron, wealthy industrialist Eusebi Guell i Bacigalupi. He happened to meet Gaudi at an exhibition in Paris in the late 1800s, and from that chance encounter flourished a productive relationship, one result of which is the Park Guell in Barcelona. According to my National Geographic guidebook, Gaudi and Guell overheard passersby complaining that one of Gaudi's buildings was too "weird." Guell is said to have remarked, "Mr. Gaudi, now I like you even more!"

Photos: mosaic tile at the entrance to Park Guell; mimosa tree in bloom in the park

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just now read your Paris/Spain blog - what a lovely respite from my busy work day. Lovely, lovely.

I look forward to more details upon your return.

Wendy

fresca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ddip said...

As our father said yesterday, Barcelona is all about embracing the goofy side of life. It's very open to odd things and I can see why Almadovar seems to love it.