Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Let me take a selfie

Dearest Dan,

Wow! What a day it's been! Right now, we're both pooped and overheated! How did I do this for every summer I lived in Delhi?? Now it's all coming together...siestas, not venturing outside in the afternoons, drinking unfathomable quantities of ice cold drinks, and walking into malls and sneaking into shops that are air conditioned. All those memories of those heat-coping activities came rushing back to me as we tried all those tactics to beat the humid hot day that was today!

Still, it was amazing!

Thanks for navigating us beautifully today and sorry for getting so cranky hot and hangry today. I feel very excited that we have procured some groceries, fresh fruit, and items for a picnic lunch by the beach for tomorrow!

I still remember the feeling of walking out of the metro station and turning to see Sagrada Familia - Holy Family. It was funny how we both had the same thought at once - did "gaudy" come from Gaudi? Not to tarnish this amazingly brilliant artist, architect, and mathematician's phenomenal work,  but this was unlike ANY cathedral we've ever seen. To me, it almost felt like the stucco from the exterior facade was weeping mournfully and dripping like melting wax. The nativity facade was filled with ostentatious depictions of baby Jesus and there were large fruity colored tiled balls on the top of towers in the cathedral. The insides were filled with geometric precision and calming colors that streamed through the stain-glassed windows. I loved it all! Most of all, I loved learning about Gaudi and his work. His vision led him to create the start of something that began in 1882 and will not be completed until 2026. I kept thinking...when our kids come here, what will it look like?

A part of the Nativity Facade that we first saw
Sunlight streaming through the stained glass windows




The old and the newer

A long time in the making


More light streaming through


The nave from below looking up

After this amazing piece of mathematical wondrousness, we treated ourselves to some delicious paella!



Post-paella, we headed to feed more of our Gaudi cravings. This time to Parc Güell. What fun it was walking up finely angled and stupendously steep streets with some welcome help from mid-street escalators. We climbed and walked with the sun baking us right through and the break at that semi-air-conditioned cafe was a welcome one! I appreciate you saying I have quick reflexes, but I really did think that girl behind me needed the Heimlich maneuver! She was choking pretty badly. I was just trying to be helpful and do what I could to. Glad I didn't have to pull some of my ninja first aid moves and she was fine after some coughing.




Once up at Park Güell, we got some splendid views of the whole city. Still heating up, we hid under some trees until the sun eased up a bit on us. I think exhaustion and heating up had a lot to do with my not finding everything that new or exciting. However, right at the end of our visit, I found that tiny wall I fell in love with and once again renewed my wonderment and appreciation towards Gaudi's incredible skills and vision.


Us watching others in the courtyard





Found my favorite wall!



We ended our evening with more walking and a delicious tapas-filled supper in Gracia at Samsara. Thanks for indulging me with my second favorite pistachio gelato I have found in the world! I was such a happy kid!

Thanks, Ridhi - for the suggestion!



My takeaway from today, apart from delicious food, yummy gelato, sweating it out with you, being in the moment, and seeing some outworldly architecture was tourists. There were so many interesting things going on and I will remember sitting with you in the courtyard in Parc Güell, silently watching all the tourists - like us and not. We saw two women take selfies for 6 whole minutes at the same spot (variation in: degree of pouts, hair parting, selfie stick/not selfie stick, and more). We saw groups of people trying to get the right angle on their selfie. We saw people "riding" animal sculptures, clearly knowing just how old the piece of art was before them. We saw people go from room-to-room robotically to the next photo-taking point. We saw people see other people take a photo and stop and take one too at the same spot. All of this...

1. Reminded me of this - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yN1xomBlhSA

2. Made me grateful for trying to be in the present.

Thank you for being my companion in that.

On that note, my favorite selfies of the day ; )






And I love you Gaudi much,
-Suparna

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