I don’t think I’ve ever in my life come to the Mediterranean so soon in the year after several months of winter in the north. (Even if this winter was unusually mild, it was also unusually wet, windy and sunless.) So this sudden leap into comparative warmth and sun and spring is quite dazzling. It is sending my pineal gland (is that just a hangover from Descartes?) or whatever into overdrive.
Things I noticed on my way to meet the rest of the group at the airport. I will set them down now, however banal they may be, before they become familiar to me and hence no longer striking:
There are loads of squawking green birds flitting between the trees around the Arc de Triomf and the Parc de la Ciutadella – not encountered in Norfolk or Leighton Moss, so I don’t know their name and will guess at parakeets.
The plane trees are as white as bone:
Decorative motifs are more odd than familiar:
Cycling around Barcelona might be OK.
There seem to be more greengrocers than fried chicken joints.
When the city was extended in the nineteenth century, the planners went for a grid system but ensured that there were no right angles at the corners of the blocks; they are all cut across on the diagonal, giving more façade opportunities. (The importance of display in cities: discuss.)
I now have an addition to my occasional series of allegorical females with cogwheels (Barcelona on left, Gera on right):