At home when you enter a building you’re on the 1st floor. Fairly basic. But here in Europe the ground floor is not the first floor it’s the entry floor and you’ve got a story of steps ahead of you before you’re at the first floor. Here in Spain it’s called the entresuelo which can fairly disheartening when your destination is the fourth floor (good thing we travel lite). As is pretty common in most big cities the street level of the buildings is where the commercial activity is located with flats or apartments on the upper floors.
Here in Barcelona it’s the same, but where many cities (New York, Montreal, Chicago) have stoops, landings or outside entry steps, that’s all behind walls or big doors here. From the street you just see the walls or the metal roll down doors, all very unassuming except for the ever present graffiti. But go inside and there are some fantastic homes, apartments and courtyards. The most famous that comes to mind is the interior courtyard at Gaudi’s La Pedrera.
Here are a few that surprise.
Another surprising thing is many of the apartments have balconies but they are very small, maybe only big enough to put a few plants on and extend a few strands of clothes line. Consequently there’s no place for the area residents to hang out, and so they gather in the narrow streets. This is where they talk story, have a smoke or just sit on the curb chatting with their neighbors or whatever. People take their young kids out with their bikes or push scooters and more or less cruise. Of course there are small street level shops, restaurants and local bars where you can get a bite to eat or have a drink too.
Aloha, Mikie ~just a blogger (fightin’ like a girl)
~Psst, tired of politics? Check out Travel in the Categories drop down menu (right side panel) for my blogs posted from various & interesting locations.