Saturday, April 21, 2012


I'm back and all ready to tell you about Barcelona. We decided to fly from Rome to Barcelona because it happened to be cheaper than taking a train. We got to Spain close to midnight, so we went straight to the hotel and bed. The next morning we got up early and headed out on our Gaudi tour.  If you don't know who he was don't feel too bad. I'd never heard of him either. Grace however is a huge fan and acted as our tour guide, easily navigating the city streets and metro.
Our first stop was Casa Batllo. Quite the unusual bit of architecture. It's supposed to look like Mardi Gras, with masks and bones. Lots of pretty tile work which is Gaudi's trademark. Grace said that we had to see the house at night, so we did that our last night there. There is another picture of it lit up at the end of this post.

We didn't go in to the Mardi Gras House, because the one Grace really wanted to visit was  La Pedrera.  All I can tell you is WOW! Gaudi must have been a tiny bit crazy if you ask me. All I could think about was what the neighbors must have thought. We waited about an hour to get into the house, but it was well worth it.  The roof top terrace was my favorite part. The view of the city was great, but the sculptures and artwork were amazing. The only rain we had on the whole trip happened while we were inside La Pedrera, so we took our time and listened to Grace translate all of the descriptions of things because everything was written in Spanish.

Next on the Gaudi tour was the Sagrada Familia
To get there we walked through lovely parks with trees in bloom and fountains everywhere. I'd show you some of those pictures, but for whatever reason this program is not letting add them in here.

Anyway, the church or basilica was magnificent. Gaudi died a very tragic death before he could finish it, so based on his plans and drawings they are trying to complete it by 2030. It's huge already, so one can only imagine how grand the finished product will be.
I was in awe of all of the stained glass work and tile. Light just bounces all over the place. Really breath taking.

Day 2 in Barcelona the weather was much improved. We took the metro out to Montjuic Park.  Home of the 1992 Summer Olympics. It's kind of up on a hill overlooking the city. What a beautiful venue for the athletes.

Next we rode in a sky lift up to the top of the mountain to the Castle Montjuic  . The view was totally picture perfect. The Mediterranean was as blue as blue could be, and we could see just about the whole city.

From the castle we rode the metro again out to the beach. We found a great place for lunch with outside seating, a view of the water and the best paella and sangria ever. I think we sat there for close to 2 hours and then headed off to our last Gaudi site. One of his most acclaimed projects was the Parc Guell.

Gaudi actually lived here while he was working on the basilica. Everyone in Barcelona seemed to be at the park that day, so once again we had a few crowd issues. Grace really wanted us to see this special place. Like I said, she is a big Gaudi fan and very keen on his work. I'm still of the opinion that the guy was a bit nuts. The park especially reminded me of something that you would imagine in a hobbit world, or some kind of fairy land. Odd shapes and very colorful.

Here is the first house I showed you all lit up. It was just magical to look at. 
While we were in Barcelona, we also visited the Picasso Museum. I think I mentioned in an earlier post that Grace is also big into his work. The first time she was in Barcelona she visited the museum, but it was one of her favorite spots and she wanted to see it again. I have to say, while I totally enjoy some of his work, he too had a pretty crazy side. While looking at some of his art I could just hear my mother in law say "well even I could do that". My thoughts exactly.
Next up - Granada.


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