Camera discreetly pointed toward the ground, someone will inevitably ask me: “What on earth are you taking a picture of?”
Those who know me well have an answer for that one: I love to take photos of my feet. Walking, standing, in the air, under a table – there’s something kind of poetic about documenting where the trusty pair takes me each day.
(Psst… the middle couple are my favourite, how about yours?)
Barcelona: resplendent with dust and wrought-iron verandas and hills meeting sea.
I’ve returned from a deeply restorative vacation, taken by the way the Spanish live. Slowly and meandering and with frequent stops for (excellent!) espresso and siesta. The cliché of “European time” is very much alive in this old city, where they rise late and dine late and sleep even later.
A thought on the city’s storied Gaudi presence: it’s haunting and more ephemeral than the majority of Barcelona photographs lead one to believe. He’s there, sure – in the befuddlingly spectacular Sagrada Familia and intricately tiled Parc Güell - but Gaudi’s work is less omnipresent than I imagined, and I like that. There’s so much more to the city, tucked in nooks and alleyways that offer perfect Catalan meals and sticky figs and wailing guitar.
And of course, time spent with a dear friend (who is otherwise much too far away) made it a special getaway. “Sad stuff” and impromptu swing-set photoshoots. Sea-swept glasses and a guy named Luis. Gelato, cheese (too much cheese), ad hoc tea parties, crazy business schemes. Even with Kenyans between us, thanks.
Barcelona: I still despise sangria and prefer my dinner before the clock strikes twelve and am curious about your lack of proper bakeries. But - your markets and pillars and abundant anchovies and prehistoric succulent-jungles and coconut-pistachio ice-cream - and mostly your gentle reminder to slow down – more than make up for these tiny indiscretions.