Barcelona is such an eclectic city. I thought that I knew it well and perhaps I did when I last lived here.. So has it changed so much or did I not pay as much attention to the various districts as I am doing now? In any event the daily walks are eliciting tantalizing sensations in so many different senses: the unique smells, some of which I remember from times past; the sounds and the colours; even the feelings on the skin are all welcomed sensations. There is a boldness that I do not recall from times past.
There was no graffiti then but there was also less colour and it was a little on the worn-out, grey, Franco-era style. This was not unlike the patina worn by buildings in post communist era immediately before they rose from the ashes to become shining stars in cities like Berlin, Dresden and Prague, to name a few. Now the buildings appear brighter and every spare wall, or so it seems, is plastered in colours. Graffiti here is a unique form of art, practiced extensively and I watched several young men with cans of spray paint change the existing images on a brick wall along a popular boulevard.
It was magical how they flailed the arms that held the cans and transformed the old with colourful fresh new art. I was told that this is done regularly and have been able to confirm that previous works have, indeed, vanished and been replaced by new and equally dramatic ones. Last Sunday afternoon I headed for Barceloneta and was amazed by the exquisite sandcastles being built with fountains that flowed and turrets that were ablaze with lights. I took one picture and then returned about four hours later to see the same castle take on a completely different hue. As we walked towards the Column of Colón, which marks the end of the long boulevard called Las Ramblas I noticed this brilliant sculpture dedicated to the Olympic games.