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Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Barcelona, day two

We got up relatively early and enjoyed a quiet breakfast in the hotel restaurant. Once we were on the street we made it to the nearest stop of the red line tourist bus. We decided to go the entire loop with commentary from the guide on board. During the tour we came along various points of interest that we wanted to visit in the afternoon. Both of them buildings by world renowned architect and artist Antoni Gaudí.

First impressions from the bus

Casa Mila

The first, an apartment building designed around an oval courtyard. Casa Milá was completed in 1912 and is now a world heritage site. The design included some very innovative features for its time, like underground parking and separate elevators for the owners and the servants. Also new to the era were en-suite bathrooms, an enormous kitchen with eating area, and separate maid's quarters. The roof is a marvel with beautifully sculpted chimney stacks, reminding me of star wars, the movie. The entrance fee is modest and worth it. The balconies have wrought iron railings that resemble kelp like seaweed.

Casa Mila

Casa Mila, courtyard

Casa Mila courtyard. looking up

Casa Mila, attic

Casa Mila roof terrace, those are chimneys

on the roof of Casa Mila

Another building by Antoni Gaudí is Casa Batlló. From the street it is a wonderful sight. The roof looks like a dragon's back and the exterior features include pillars in the shape of femurs and very biological designs all over. The entrance fee was too high for our budget, but we still found a lot to admire from the street. There seem to be no straight lines in the design, it's an amazing building and well worth a visit.

a glimpse of Casa Batllo

from across the street the roof is a marvel

The cathedral designed by Gaudí is called "La Sagrada Familia" or the sacred family. It too is a building so unique, you'll have a hard time finding something more spectacular. One side kind of reminded me of Salvador Dalí, pure art nouveau. However, the spires are pure Gaudí and nothing looks like it anywhere. Construction started about 100 years ago and is still underway. Most of the construction is funded by tourists so it is a good place to tour.

You have to see this to believe it

Spires, under construction



Not too ornate now, is it!?

The other side looks like a Salvador Dali design

After visiting these places we were hungry and walked to the marina area to find a place to have some tapas near the water. With not too much effort we found a lovely tapas bar on a barge floating in the marina. We enjoyed a couple good local cervesas and some delicious tapas before heading back to the hotel for a freshen-up and a little break from the walking. Later in the evening, for some bizarre reason, we went for Chinese food, I don't know why, we're in Barcelona eating Chinese food?! When we are on the Mediterranean coast?! Just call us crazy!

Tapas and Cervasas

La vida es bella

We ended the day just relaxing in the warm Barcelona evening air strolling through the alleys. What a great city Barcelona is, so vibrant and alive with young folks backpacking. Street musicians and comedians entertaining the crowds in the many little plazas that are scattered through the down town core. We were so comfortable and relaxed, and felt like the town had embraced us completely.


  1. Barcelona is definitely on our list of places to visit. Love the architecture there, it is totally amazing. I have read and seen pictures of the cathedral, hard to believe that they are still building it. Love the pictures.

    Kevin and Ruth

    1. Thanks for joining this blog Kevin and Ruth! I am writing much more, and hopefully some day I too will be writing in real time. Looking forward to your adventures in the EU.