November 06, 2006

Oh, Gràcia!

Carrer Gran de GràciaThis weekend I spent quite a few hours in Gràcia, a beautifully tranquil place after the centre’s touristic madness.

On the border of the Eixample district, it’s streets are to some extent rigidly planned and grid-structured. But I’m not sure if it forms de facto part of Eixample. Actually, I don’t think it does. From what I understood, Gràcia, back in the good old days, used to be a town outside of Barcelona which was then swallowed up by the ever expanding city. This can be seen in more instances, for example with the neighbourhoods of Sarría and places beyond Hospitalet.

Either way, this separateness of the barrio, as I soon discovered, makes for it’s complete and refreshing difference. Narrow streets with thick-packed leaves, a different kind of people, and many great cafes, each of them one I wouldn’t hesitate a moment to enter and spend the whole day.

So much, that after lingering around on the Saturday, I returned on the Sunday evening to discover more of it. The street that has alternative cinema Verdi in it, no clue what it’s called, has a whole bunch of cosy, folksy restaurants and bars in it, and the food they serve isn´t too bad either, as my Warwick co-Erasmusee and me soon discovered.

Oh Gràcia! It’s such a great place to spend Sundays, sitting, drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes (although I have abandoned them at the moment), looking at the people. Doing nothing, or, at the most, exchanging anecdotes of the previous night.

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