The weather in Barcelona cooperated with all of our plans for three days. The day before we arrived they were treated to thunderstorms bringing the temperatures down, giving the days and nights a spring-like feel. Our panoramic tour in the afternoon allowed us to see several buildings for the 1992 Summer Olympics held here in Barcelona.
The name Antoni Gaudi is synonymous with Barcelona. Gaudi was an important architect who gave the city special landmarks using his style, direction and visions. We were treated to a viewing La Familia Sagrada. This Cathedral is named after the family that commissioned its being built. It is hard to explain the awesome nature of the experience standing in front of this work of art. It is not finished in Gaudi’s lifetime. He was supposedly hit by a tram in June of 1926 and was not on hand to oversee the completion. The city of Barcelona, as you can see from the following photograph, is working to finish the restoration of this resplendent work. The have planned to open the finished work in June of 2026 marking the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death.
I could hardly sleep waiting for the early morning taxi ride to Parc Guell, a project that was made possible by the commission of The Count of Guell as a city-garden. The garden, which is designed and executed by “Gaudi”, was finished and made a pubic park in 1923. We were advised to rise early and take a taxi to visit this park early because later in the day it becomes too hot and the crowds are impossible to maneuver.
As you can see, Parc Guell is a must see and takes several hours to enjoy to the fullest. One thing that happened truly is an unplanned and very exciting traveling experience and it happened in Guell Park the day we were there. When the small group of us arrived at the park we had it all to ourselves. It was stunning and unforgettable. We toured the park uninterrupted by crowds and other travelers. When we finally wound down to the ground level, sellers of souvenirs arrived to set up their shops on the ground in the main sandy area of the second level of the park, but what happened with the police and the sellers is the story
I said to Skip, “Gee, look at all the stuff they are selling on the ground.” Naturally, we all went down to see; maybe they had something for our loved ones back home. I purchased several pairs of earrings; they had been paid for and bagged. Then a hell of a racket started, “Policia, Policia,” and all of the sellers rolled up their goods in blankets and swooped them up. Tourists had items grabbed out of their hands and within what seemed like seconds the sellers were there and then, they were seen running like mad out of the park. Where was my camera? It was in my pocket with my brain. I could not record this event. All I can show you is the empty space that had once been filled with sellers and their goods.
It happened so fast and we were in the middle of it in kind of stunned state. What now? We left to further our Gaudi experience, but Parc Guell now has a primary and a secondary meaning for those of us who were there at that instant.
When in Barcelona you become “Gaudied,” which means you try to see all the Gaudi you can while there. (I made this word up for myself)
After leaving Parc Guell we continued by taxi to Casa Mila, also for the records called La Pedrea (meaning stone)
It is called Casa Mila because the Mila family commissioned Gaudi to build this apartment house and using the main floor as their family residence.
When visiting the Casa Mila you visit the entrance, which was once the Mila family’s living space, then, you travel by elevator to the rooftop.
When you wind down to the Attic space you explore and then, finally you visit an apartment. I enjoyed becoming “Gaudied”
We saw the façade of one more building of Gaudi representation, but the name escapes me. How about a photo? Let me know the name of this building if you find out or you already know.
Next, we walked all the way down the Les Rambles to La Boqueria a massive food market. We lingered. As we ventured on the Rambla full of incredible shops, rows and rows of outside restaurants down the middle of the street and people, cars and many taxis everywhere, we found a spot to eat. Traffic going one way on one side and the other on the other side, pedestrians on two sides and down the middle. All the while you are enjoying your food and drink, you can have a 360-degree view of everything. It is pleasant actually.
We walked and walked to get to the Placa Catalunya. When we finally arrived we passed the important Fountain of Caneletas and it is said: “Whosoever drinks from the fountain of Caneletas will always live in Barcelona.” We didn’t even let the spray touch our skin. Barcelona is beautiful, but to live here is for someone else. God’s blessing to all them.
Palau Nacional by day:
Palau Nacional illuminated fountain at night: