After two days in Barcelona, Ron and I were ready to see some of the city's iconic sites in more detail. Think Barcelona, think Gaudi. He was one of many influential artists and architects at the beginning of the 20th century that changed forever the look and reputation of Barcelona. Antoni Gaudi, however, stands out because of the existence of many of his buildings that are iconic of Modernisme - the avant garde movement in Catalunya affecting architecture and art. Indeed, Gaudi is still building one masterpiece 131 years later - La Sagrada Familia - even though he died in a tragic accident in 1926.
|This is the side of the church built after Gaudi died|
|This is the side of the church completed before Gaudi died|
He began building his masterpiece church in 1882 and it is still being built according to his design and is not scheduled to be completed until 2026. It was consecrated by Pope Benedict as a Minor Basilica in 2010 and is known officially as the Expiatory Church of the Holy Family.
|This is Gaudi's model of the finished church|
|Casa Batlló (front)|
|Staircase from entry|
|The walls are painted like the skin of a reptile|
|Interior of central stairwell|
|Looking up toward skylight above central stairwell|
|Looking toward backyard patio|
|Back of the house|
|In the attic with airways and skylights|
|An attic room|
|To the rooftop staircase|
|Stairway to roof|
|Rooftop sculptural elements|
We left Casa Batlló and walked a couple of blocks along the boulevard admiring many of the artistic elements of buildings and street lights.
It was still a little early when we arrived, so we ordered off the Menu before the Tapas of the Day were ready.
|When we arrived, the staff was busy preparing the Tapas of the Day|
|After getting the Tapas of the Day ready, the staff eats lunch.|
It was good we were early, because lines started forming for seats soon after the Tapas of the Day were posted.
|The crowd started coming in after 1PM.|
Here is a You Tube video about Tapas 24, showing the ingredients and specialties of the day:
After lunch, we got back on the Touristic Bus and headed for Montjuïc to see some cultural sites.
We visited the Poble Espanyol - Spanish Village, which was built for the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition as a living museum of the regions of Spain. This tourist site gets slammed a lot for it being a kind of made-up Spanish Village but both Ron and I found the narration and the buildings to be very informative about the regions, peoples, and culture of Spain that we would not see on our trip to Europe. Indeed it reminded me of Balboa Park in San Diego, California with its Spanish building replicas built during their International Exhibition of 1915.
|Palau Nacional, currently an art musem (MNAC)|
The next morning, we were picked up by our taxi driver by a prearrangement and were at the Barcelona Airport (BCN) within 15 minutes. We flew to JFK in New York City, then to Salt Lake City, and finally arrived at the Albuquerque Sunport (ABQ) by 10:30PM (about 23 hours of flying time including layovers).
This was really a "trip of a lifetime" and I am so happy Ron and I could share such a wonderful experience.