#12 Barcelona: Part 2

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.

Summer Olympics 1992 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 wish my photo did this edifice justice.

A little closer view of La Familia Sagrada

Guell Park

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.

In Park Guell

Also in Parc Guell

Lovely Parc Guell.

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.

An area once filled with sellers, now empty.

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.

Casa Mila aka La Pedrera

The interior corridor of the apartments that surround the building.

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.

Statues of a man and a woman on the rooftop of Casa Mila

A surprise finding more Gaudi from the rooftop of Casa Mila.

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:

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jacqui
    Jul 28, 2011 @ 23:30:24

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your amazing journey with “us”! My first trip abroad was to Spain (a college graduation present in 1971).Back then, I traveled with four other Americans and one Basque fellow – a friend of one of the Americans. He was so proud to show us his “adopted” country (since he was Basque and not really Spanish). The next time you visit, promise me to visit the Basque Country. Pedro would not forgive me if I did not extend tha invitation.

    My trip was truly awesome (before that word lost its meaning from overuse) and I’ve been fortunate to have visited Barcelona several times since then and plan to do so again in September.

    Did you see “The Fish” in Barcelonetta? When I was last there my pal and I dined at Sept Portes (spelling?) on the most incredible seafood platter known to man or woman. And we walked all over, too.

    Did you see the swans at the Cathedral? My pal found them to be the most lovely aspect of all in this amazing city. Hat’s off to you for surveying all of its charms for your fans.

    I always enjoy these virtual visits with you and aspire to emulate your touch for making your emotional and physicial reactions to the places and people so vivid to your loyal readers.

    And I promise to make my comments more succinct in the future.

    Reply

  2. Sheila Clapkin
    Jul 29, 2011 @ 09:27:04

    When you visit in; September have some Tapas for me. I didn’t get around to them. Time ran out.
    Tell Pedro that we have visited the Basque Countryside and found it most charming and meaningful. I have some photos from there and remember driving past a home where the men were gutting a deer. The woman were watching. The memory has never left me. We had our own car, so having independence while traveling is a blessing. We finally crossed over into Spain in a town called Honorrabia, or something like that. It was siesta time, but we walked their empty streets loving this little town. It has another name, too. I usually do not want to return to places, but this is one area I will go in a moments notice. We should have stayed longer there, but we had a deadline of some sorts.

    Thank you for sharing your lovely experiences in Barcelona. I you could have been with us, guiding and directing to special spots in the city. Another time, perhaps.

    Reply

  3. Charlotte
    Jul 29, 2011 @ 12:07:36

    Nice job describing the complex and rich visit to Barcelona. It is truly a city of cosmopolitan sophistication, charm and unique character, overwhelming masses of people. and breathtaking sights. The other Gaudi building we saw from the PG de Gracia was the Casa Batilo with its colorful facade. The Sagrada Familia cathedral was an astounding wonder of the world. I’ve never seen anything like it. I was surprised to hear about your cancellation of a future tour with Gate1. I was also frustrated by the hotel location. You described our morning at Parc Guell so perfectly. I too, lost a purchase from the vendors due to slow decision-making as they ran from the police. I loved wandering and meandering the alleys of La Ribera and the Barri Gotic area. I so enjoyed a snack on the squares as I rested, enjoyed the moment, and people watched. We saw such amazing sites. I have enjoyed reliving our travels from your perspective and insights so much. Thanks for sharing our adventures with the world in your writing.

    Reply

  4. sheila clapkin
    Jul 29, 2011 @ 14:39:51

    Charlotte, your writing is beautiful. Thank you for your “take” on our trip as well. I have never ever sent the blogs to any fellow traveler. YOu are so kind and so appreciative. I thank you with all my heart. I am glad I trusted you with my fear and anxiety about posting.
    Sheila

    Reply

  5. etty10
    Aug 02, 2011 @ 20:11:58

    Beautiful photos and description. Just came back from Spain and reading this, made me go back to all the beautiful places we just visited and see them again. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply

    • Sheila Clapkin
      Aug 02, 2011 @ 22:03:33

      Thank you for reading and thank you for making a comment. I found your blog and enjoyed reading. I will go back so I can enjoy it when it is so late at night.
      I will subscribe and then when you post I will be one of the first to read your essay.

      Reply

  6. Barb
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 13:31:02

    Finally. I have taken the time today to devour your blog – all of it – and loved every word. It is factual, touching, laugh-out-loud funny, and your photos are artistic. Hey, maybe you were “Gaudied!” We were in Barcelona in 2006 and 2007 and loved it, too! To walk through Park Guell is to walk through a work of art. So happy to meet you – thanks for sharing your blog. Keep that great attitude going, you turtle you!

    Reply

    • Sheila Clapkin
      Aug 14, 2011 @ 21:51:45

      I am so pleased that you read and loved every word. And coming from you is an honor. I told everyone about your beautiful book of photos and how
      they brought back the trip in such vivid terms. YOu are so motivating for me. We just returned from a wonderful 4 day, three night jaunt up the coast of California and I thought Nahh, I am not even going to write about it, but seeing your comment made me realize I like to write up our trips and appreciate a reader like you.

      Reply

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