HACKTREKS IN SPAIN
only 3 Euros a day
beads glisten on your forehead as you peer up at an architectural masterpiece.
The lunch of a bocadillo and coca-cola was less than satisfying. Your
noisy stomach begs for something more. Lucky for you, youve just
entered yet another Spanish plaza where heladerías (Spanish ice
cream shops) line the narrow streets.
Especially as a young tourist, you can expect to long for the foods
of American eateries immediately following your first attempt at foraging
for a meal on your trip to Spain. Prepare yourself. Resolve yourself
to the fact that, while there is no place like home, Spain or any other
foreign land has its distinct culinary delights. For instance, in France,
you can sample fresh bread at a corner bakery while you feast your eyes
on the Eiffel Tower. In Italy, you might delight your taste buds with
your choice of homemade pastas before you enter the dream world that
is the Sistine Chapel.
But, in Spain, helado rules. Cheap, tasty, and above all, reliable,
helado makes for the perfect chaser to a plate of paella adorned by
seafood, or as the supplement to a meal so unidentifiable, it becomes
inedible. The flavors: tiramisu, coco café, fresa, piña,
straticella, and vainilla. The bright colors and fresh fruit garnishes
will engage in conversation with your rumbling stomach. It takes an
American student studying in Spain only about one week to appreciate
this craze of heladerías. Helado quickly becomes a staple in
American tourists diets, sometimes appearing more than once a
Bottom line: learn the Spanish words for each of your favorite ice cream
ingredients, quit counting fat grams, quickly scout out the closest
heladerías to each hotel you visit, budget at least three euros
a day for ice cream, and, above all, dont resist it. Helado, whether
you call Spain "home" or "home-away-from-home,"
is a way of life. So select a couple varieties, settle in on a delectable
type, grab a spoon (which come much smaller here than in the States),
and indulge, and indulge, and indulge
|The Art Lovers
taste of the freshly baked pastél I ate for breakfast lingered
on my lips. My friends and I stepped off our massive orange tour bus
and onto the grounds of Gaudís Park Guell in Barcelona,
Spain. Gaudí, a Spanish architect of the early 20th century,
created such masterpieces as La Sagrada Familia and La Pedrera in Barcelona.
The park is a playground for art lovers with Gaudís famous
mosaics adorning buildings, statues, walkways, and benches.
I had seen of Gaudís works in my textbooks did the
park little justice. I quickly split off from the group; I was on
a mission to find the most memorable spot in the park. Soon, this
place hung just above my head.
A lengthy staircase leads up to a platform where visitors can catch
a glimpse of the entire city of Barcelona, from the mountains to
the sea. But, just beneath this platform the ceiling is adorned
with circular mosaic works crafted from brilliantly colored tiny
tiles pieced together by a master. One particular mosaic pictures
a marvellously yellow sun surrounded by deep blue and green tiles.
those who, like myself, dont normally appreciate the art featured
in countless museums are enchanted by this place. Because, unlike an
art museum, the Park gives visitors the feeling of being a child again,
trying to absorb every minute detail of a new surrounding. Whats
more, while glimpsing up at these meticulously crafted works, sounds
of a single flautist playing "Ave Maria" waft through the
air, in my ears, and to my heart, permanently imprinting this memory
in my mind.
Picture it: your feet firmly planted in the soft, green grass while
works of art float above your head. Around you, visitors from countless
foreign lands join you in absorbing this place. You drink it up, enamored
by the beauty of this park: a haven decorated by nature and art alike,
situated high above the hustle and bustle of the second largest city
in all of Spain.
The park is located in downtown Barcelona on Calle Olot. Take buses
24, 25, or 28. It is open daily 10-9, May-Aug.; 10-8, Apr. and Sep.;
10-7, Mar. and Oct.; 10-6 the rest of the year. Phone: 93 424 3809
Katherine E. McGuinness
United States of America
Journeys in Hacktreks
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