I'm off to Fomentera tomorrow to stay with Eva Eckhardt in the solar home she built in the 1970's with her then young son. Eva and I go back to my Koln days throughout the 1980's and before the end of the Berlin Wall when it was ever-prospering as West Germany. I'm ready to fly with my carry-on, and will leave my suitcase with Carlota and Jose until back for an overnight in Barcelona at the HMV Hostel on April 3. I'll leave for Tel Aviv on April 4 via El Al, hoping no Israeli bombs will be raining on Iran.
I walked down Carrer de Verdi today. My apartment sits at its very top. As I descended the long hill, the atmosphere grew livelier with Brazilian, Argentinian, Japanese, Spanish and Middle Eastern restaurants and pastry shops lining the way. The offerings are way beyond the limited menu of the cafe/bar Montreal across my street. That's a favorite haunt of smoking/drinking macho men (likely long unemployed) from daylight to dark.
A Middle Eastern dish caught my eye, Palestinian Moussaka. I had to try it and was lured in as well by the friendly greeting of the proprietor. I sat in the outside courtyard near a brick oven, two rain barrels, and a fledgling tree rung by a circular depression in the dirt to assure it be well watered, I was drawn by the seductive shadow cast by the sun shining through overhead vines in the early afternoon light. The Spanish sun in that still warm part of the day is soft, not as it would be in relentless summer. It's nothing like the sun in India that claims you, takes ownership and never lets you go no matter the years. Perhaps there its the aroma(s) that heat up in the warmth and washes over you. Here's it's a lazy light and no wonder the Spanish seem to come to life later in the day as the sun begins to disappear.
My salad was perfect: finely chopped lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes with minced parsley. I needed the veggies as this is another heavy carbs country. When the Palestinian Moussaka arrived, I vowed to cook the simple dish when I get home again. It's just sliced eggplant well cooked with red and green peppers in an oil and lightly tomatoed sauce. It was accompanied with a mound of delicious yellow rice with small rounds of carrots peeking out and hidden within as if blackbirds cooked in a pie.
This most satisfying meal was topped with Spain's wonderful cafe con leche. Not normally a coffee drinker, I've come to love it here.
It's the angle of sun in that peaceful courtyard, the afternoon shadows that captured me. Already not yet 3PM, there was a cooling breeze coming by. My light bag had a sweater and shawl for later when the cool set in. I was still set to walk on.
I gave it try to find the HMV Hostel where I'll be staying in on April 3. Lo, with the help of the Barcelona map, I found it. Asked at the desk about accepting my suitcase even before I’d arrive, I was told, it’s no problem. I then walked to Diagonal Avenue and the Passeig de Gracia where I found a bench to view the passing scene. It's a fashionable part of town, at least the shops tell you so, Feragamo, St. Lauren, and on. The folks who pass by are a mix of locals and tourists. Only the rarest fashionista appeared. I randomly took photos of passers by. These are the pic treats for the day.
It may be at Eva's solar house won’t be on line and that I may not be able to power the IPhone or the battery in my camera. More news will follow when time permits and there's a web connection. Meanwhile, do remember that I consider you all my traveling companions and think during the day what you might like to know about this artist's journey.
My pics end with a motto on a tile that’s embedded on the wall by the escalator on the way home from the Valcarca Metro stop. Good advice, you’ll agree, for all.
Sending lots of love from this sun filled land, and here are the pics of the day: