23 July 2013

Cavorting in Catalonia: A Leisurely Walk in l'Eixample

After checking out the Sagrada Familia, I decided to stay in the neighborhood and take a little walking tour. The neighborhood of l'Eixample is perhaps one of the neighborhoods I am most fond of in the city. It is composed of numerous large octagon-shaped blocks, which widens at intersections, allowing for cars to park. If you find an aerial view of Barcelona, chances are you'll see these blocks of land, neatly lined next to each other, with the towering Sagrada Familia right smack in the middle and the Avenida Diagonal bisecting the neighborhood.

Granted, the Barri Gotic perhaps is more interesting to explore, with its narrow streets and maze-like orientation, but I think if I were to live in Barcelona, I would definitely try to find an apartment in l'Eixample. I took an afternoon stroll in this neighborhood, and somehow, this is the neighborhood that I fell in love the most.

I mean, look at the wrought-iron facades of the buildings! It gives off a 1920s allure that somehow the other neighborhoods just lack. Yes, I do understand that each of Barcelona's neighborhoods have a personality, and I guess the personality of l'Eixample is the one I like the most. I'd love to have a balcony overlooking the streets, as the cars go back and forth. I love how every city block looks identical in shape, as each building forms a piece of the octagon. I love the leafy streets and the Catalonian flags that are draped in pretty much every balcony. I love the facades and the parks that bisect the neighborhood, creating these oases of greenery and modulating the undesirable aura of vehicular traffic.

Another thing I like about this neighborhood is the fact that it is perhaps the bastion of Modernisme in Barcelona. As this is a relatively young neighborhood, it was a very good canvas for architects like Antoni Gaudi and the rest to display their art, designing gorgeous buildings that makes the casual traveler (me) just melt.

Oh well, I love l'Eixample, with its orderliness and perfect symmetrical form. Who knows, Barcelona might be my next city to live in. Oh, to dream...

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