A few days in Barcelona

We spent three days in Barcelona, sharing an apartment. When it rained we stopped and chatted, catching up on each other’s news. Rob & Lorraine had just toured parts of Spain and Morocco, including a week on the Camino, so there was lots of news.

We planned some touristy things like visiting the wonderful Sagrada Familia which of course changes each time you see it. Since our last visit to this famous church the inside had been completed and consecrated. I had previously visited in 1972 when it was a muddy building site, recovering from the civil war, and again in 2005 when you had to wend your way through concrete forms that were destined for the tops of the towering columns. As well as the completed inside there was an interesting exhibition on the elements of nature that inspired Gaudi to create his shapes and forms.

And only another 30 years of work is required to finish the building.

Keeping in touch with Gaudi, we also visited La Pedrera (stone quarry), the house which Gaudi designed for the Milà family on Passeig de Gràcia. You start on the roof-terrace, which is a delightful curvy experience showing off stairwells, weird chimney stacks and air vents.

Then down to the ‘attic’ (Espai Gaudi) which has a display of Gaudi’s other projects and some insight into how he created the organic curves in his buildings.

The last stop is an apartment which has retained the original style developed by Gaudi. Light was important, so the rooms twist and turn, with curious shapes, around outside windows and internal light wells.

All this hard work was rewarded with a beer on the beach at Barcelonetta, where we found some funny sand sculptures.

We couldn’t resist dinner at the ‘Quatre Gats’ (4 Cats) a famous restaurant which, in earlier years, was frequented by the famous Catalonian artists like Picasso, …, …, ????

On Sunday we headed out to see Montjuïc, for a wonderful view over Barcelona from Castell de Montjuïc. Of course getting there was half the fun, negotiating the underground, Funicular Montjuïc and then the Telefèric (cable car).

From there we headed to Tibidabo, 532m high, to see Barcelona from the other side. Negotiating our way there was also fun, on the Blue Tram, made famous in [….] book ‘Shadows of the Wind’, and then the Funicular del Tibidabo. It was blowing a gale on top of Tibidabo, however we enjoyed visiting the church which is more prominent on the Barcelona skyline than Sagrada Familia will ever be.

We ate close to the apartment that evening, and had the opportunity to pass by Sagrada Familia by night. It was very pretty.