29 July 2008

Gaudi was crazy

Today is it. It's over. Finished. Finito. The last day of my one year trip around the world. I was a bit cranky this morning, because I had to wake up at 5:30 after a late night out and catch a 7:30 am, €100 (!) train to Barcelona, where, with no Couchsurfing hosts available, I was forced to check in to an overpriced Lonely Planet hostel (my room, when I arrived, was full of empty bottles of vodka and passed-out backpacker chicks). But then I realized: I did it! I made it! I didn't go broke, get seriously ill, or die! I have everything to be happy about and thankful for. As this thought occurred to me, I was strolling along the tourist street of Las Ramblas, where there were insane numbers of tourists doing the usual insane, touristy things. But I walked tall through the crowds of pretend-happy holiday makers and didn't even hate them that much today. With very little in the way of an itinerary, I figured I'd just cut a broad swath through this extremely lively city (alas that I have only one day!) and have a look, at least, at La Sagrada Familia.

And, my God, if I may say, that thing is impressive! This was the one time I regretted not having a digital camera, and it wasn't entirely the fact that Gaudi's crazy masterpiece is the most interesting (and ridiculous?) looking cathedral I've ever seen, but it's still under construction (other projects completed in the same span of time include the entirety of modern civilization), and I've never before seen a monument of such proportions being built--from the inside, too! There were cranes all over the outside (like Dubai) and scaffolding like cobwebs on the inside (like most of Italy on the outside). Plaster models for the strange sculptural details were in the nave, workmen doing their work thing all over the place. Cool stuff. The most impressive thing about La Sagrada Familia is definitely the sheer amount of expensive, tasteless crap people were purchasing in the gift shop. I never saw so many €100 notes being passed over the counter for such crap (little miniatures of the cathedral, coasters, €7 pencils, etc.). What a waste. We're in a recession? Anyway! So much for Barcelona.

I am sorry to be leaving The World, but I am not entirely unenthusiastic about going home and jump-starting my life again. I want to see all of you, too! Everybody! Get in touch with me! Let's make plans! Help me find a place to live, too!

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One more post, the wrap-up, to come. Thanks for reading, my friends.

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