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Every voyage is an exploration and every journey a discovery of the true self. -Kidore Hobbs

It’s no accident that “adoptee” and “authenticity” both start with “A.” As I’ve chronicled

The Goodbye Baby gives an insider view of growing up adopted.

in The Goodbye Baby-Adoptee Diaries, my way through a forest of adoptee-induced emotions is journaling. Another route is travel. As an adoptee who spent a lifetime searching for a sense of family and a “real” family tree, I go to unknown for self-understanding. As Martin Burber sagely remarked, “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”

Europe calls me. My late birthfather Giovanni Cecchini was born in San Martino Sulla Marricina, Abruzzo, Italy, and my late birthmother was German. Two years ago, I explored eastern Germany. Recently, along with lifetime gal pal Jeri, I traveled by ship on a tour aptly titled Mediterranean Odyssey. Each day we disembarked to spend a day or two in a different city. The countries we docked at were Spain, France, Monaco,Italy, and Croatia. Italy, of course, was a top destination (more about Italy in a future post), but for years I’d dreamed of traveling to Barcelona, Spain and seeing the architecture of Antoni Gaudi.

This month that dream became a reality! Barcelona was the first stop of a 2 1/2 week-long Viking Ocean Cruise. Spain’s Catalonian capital is a visual feast. A great city brimming with history, wide boulevards, a magnificent L’Arc de Triumf, elegant buildings and a wonderful atmosphere. After hours in airplanes traveling from New Mexico to Spain, Jeri and I were eager to walk, and walk we did…

We strode the famous Las Ramblas – a mile-long leave pedestrian way. A wonderfully wide road, completely closed off from cars, the route drew us back several times during our Barcelona stay. Sidewalk cafes serving tapas provided lunches, each one tastier than the one before. A highlight was the extensive open air market, literally bursting with lane after lane of beautiful fruit, vegetables, meat, cheeses, baked specialties, flowers, spices and more.

The best of Barcelona, however, comprised the astonishing creations of Antoni Gaudi, the brilliant and endlessly creative nineteenth century architect. He produced wonders such as La Sagrada Familia Cathedral, Casa Batlló and La Predrera. Having always loved Art Nouveau, I resonated with Gaudi more than any other aspect of Barcelona. Herewith, Gaudi details that reveal the man’s genius.

Window of La Familia Sagrada Cathedral

“House of Bones”

Atrium, Casa Batlló

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Join author Elaine Pinkerton on alternate Mondays for posts about adoption and life. Your feedback is invited. Coming in May: her newest novel All the Wrong Places (Pocol Press).

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