Our time in Barcelona went too quickly. Even with the most stringent of itineraries we couldn't fit in all we would have liked. However we knew from the moment Barcelona was on the table, Gaudi was on the table too. He is almost synonomous with Barcelona and a trip to the city without seeing his work is criminal! Ok, not really criminal, but we knew he had to feature. So this post will walk you through some of our Gaudi highlights. If our time was unlimited I would have loved to visit Casa Milà as I have it on good authority that it is home to one of Barcelona's best sunset views. But back to what we managed to cram in on our trip and my SD card. We arrived in the early afternoon after an incredibly comfortable journey on one of Spain's high speed Renfe trains - equipped with big comfy seats, headphones and Spanish Monsters Inc. 2, for those who can translate or are enthusiastic enough to try. After dropping our bags off we raced out of the door to see the bonkers-crazy-mind bloggling-awesome sight that was right on our doorstep.
The Sagrada Familia.
I had once visited the Sagrada Familia years ago, but the change in the building since then is incredible. Whilst the finished product will be insane, I'm sure, part of the thrill in visiting it over its construction is the change in the building. Both in progress and architecture style. This Basilica newbie was pretty excited to see it, too!
We made our way inside after admiring the gothic Nativity facade (pictured above).
And I was blown away by the detail of the lofty ceiling supported by tree-like stone beams.
We had (cheerily) opted for an audio tour to guide us through Gaudi's masterpiece. We learned that Gaudi was obsessed with how light touched his creations. The Sagrada Familia has been consciously created to make the most of every drop of natural light at different times, dawn, day and dusk.
The colours truly are awe-inspiring. And even though the place mills with tourists there is still a sense of spirituality and peace.
The way the colourful, soft light touches skin and stone alike is quite beautiful.
The artificial light too is used thoughtfully and in moderation.
There is beauty and detail everywhere. I don't want to show you too much, in case you are planning to visit yourself.
And if you do plan to visit, make sure to go up one of the towers.
We opted for the Passion Facade and it was breathtaking - if not a little narrow and tourist heavy!
From the towers you can enjoy views of Barcelona.
Much of which is interspersed with the scaffolding surrounding the Sagrada Familia. There is a strange and enchanting juxtaposition about the place.
The view from the towers also makes the perfect spot for a Barca selfie.
Indeed a wonderful opportunity to take in the view and perhaps strike a pose.
Yes, yes, we are utterly ridiculous.
And if you're not interested in modelling atop the tower, simply admire the incredible artwork that the Sagrada Familia is famous for.
We also wanted to make our way up to Park Güell, as you can't visit Barcelona and not wader through this incredible place.
I couldn't help but buy this tshirt on our way there from Typographia. Featuring 'GAUDIzilla'. I wasn't nearly cool enough to be in Typographia, where each design is unique to the shops location, but I am thrilled with my tshirt.
Anyway, Park Güell.
Created by Eusebi Güell and Antoni Gaudi, Park Güell was originally created for well-off families in the area of the park. It was to be devoted to residential use and enjoyment and locals still frequent the park today, the majority of which is free to enjoy.
If you're interested in seeing Gaudi's work in the park up close though, you will need to pay admission into the Monumental Zone. Book ahead as you will need to reserve a time slot to go in.
The planning and euros are worth it. A chance to marvel at Gaudi's work within touching distance is quite an experience. He is one of my favourite architects by far, someone who seemed to build his imagination around him.
Mostly constructed in beautiful mosaic, the architecture and sculptures are colourful and captivating.
Tourists queue to be pictured with Gaudi's Lizard, for luck, for tradition and for the sake of it.
A compulsory shot if you decide to wander through Park Güell's monumental zone.
It's a rare thing to capture him alone without a tourist stroking his ceramic scales. So if you want this picture, prepare to be firm.
Gaudi framing Gaudi.
Mosaic detail is everywhere.
And the view from the Nature Square is another fantastic one. As Park Güell is situated at the top of Barcelona and atop a hill, you can see right down to the sea.
Another selfie is of course compulsory.
The Nature Square is surrounded by an undulating bench, which is of course covered in a rainbow of tiles and patterns. I can't imagine tiring of such creativity in what could've been an everyday space.
J made the most of his panoramic camera and captured the wonderful strangeness of the bench.
After getting our fill of the monumental zone we made our way into the green hills of the park. Even without the colourful mosaic, it continues to amaze.
I wish we could've seen more Gaudi during our stay, but his style is echoed throughout the city. And I'll have another Barcelona post coming your way soon, which will cover touring, tapas and trying to relax for ten minutes on our crazy adventure!
Adiós for now!