Our Trip to Spain Part II

After spending time on the coast of Spain, we hopped to Barcelona, where we stayed at a lovely Airbnb right in the city!  We specifically stayed in Eixample, which is a hip and trendy section in Barcelona, with many phenomenal restaurants closeby.  Our Airbnb hosts were incredibly warm and gracious, so if you are going to Barcelona and looking for a place to stay, shoot me a message and I can refer you to them!

Barcelona is much different than some of the other cities we have visited in Europe.  It is much more modern compared to the castle towns we visited in the south of France, or Florence in the heart of Tuscany.  Barcelona reminded me of a European New York City because it is partitioned into different sections- for example, the Gothic Quarter, which is where you can find the famous shopping in La Rambla, Eixample is where you’ll find the trendy restaurants, Grácia is where Gaudí’s famous Park Güell was built,  and this is just to name a few.

We only had two days in Barcelona, which really isn’t enough to cover it all, so we had to prioritize!  We chose to visit quite a few of Gaudí’s architectural masterpieces, ate like a local in a gentrified neighborhood that specializes in tapas, toured La Rambla, and experienced a huge indoor fresh food market.

Casa Battló
Built between 1904-1906, Gaudí incorporated elements of nature throughout: skulls and irredescent scales on the front of the facade, shells and other elements of the sea inside.  What amazes me about Gaudí’s work is that he incorporated unique artwork into his architecture!  He was truly a genius and now one of my favorite architects!

The facade of Casa Battló looks like skulls and colorful dragon scales

The facade of Casa Battló looks like skulls and colorful dragon scales

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The entry stairway in Casa Battló

The entry stairway in Casa Battló

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Gaudí incorporated elements of the ocean into this house.  From the bright blue colors to the shell-like décor.

Gaudí incorporated elements of the ocean into this house. From the bright blue colors to the shell-like décor.

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Looking through the blue glass in the spiral staircase- Gaudí purposefully made it to look like you are looking underwater.

Looking through the blue glass in the spiral staircase- Gaudí purposefully made it to look like you are looking underwater.

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On the roof!

On the roof!

Segrada Família
Gaudí’s most impressive work of art.  Trying to dodge a million tourists, these pictures don’t do Segrada Família justice.  This beautiful church is immense!  Construction began in 1882 (Gaudí starting on the job in 1883 after the first architect resigned) and won’t be completed for another 10 years.  Segrada Família incorporates aspects of nature, like the ocean, rainbows, trees, and even bones.  It would be impossible to count the number of sculptures on the outside of this church!  Each sculpture is grouped together with others to tell a passage from the Bible.

Trying to dodge a million tourists, these pictures don

The side reflecting the Passion of the Christ. The spires look like bones, and the pillars look like trees!

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The other side of Segrada Família. Every sculpture is part of a scene that depicts works from the Bible.

Segrada Familia

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The first sight when entering.

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Gaudí loved light and wanted to use it to create visual splendor.

Segrada Familia

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The pillars were formed to look like tree tops

The pillars were formed to look like tree tops

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Right above the altar.

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A closer look above the altar.

Gaudí got killed before his time in a streetcar accident.  His tomb is in the bottom of Segrada Família.  He wanted light to touch all areas of the church, which is why there are windows all along the top of the tomb.

Gaudí’s crypt is in Segrada Família. He wanted light to touch all areas of the church, which is why there are windows all along the top of the crypt.

Just a portion of The Passion of the Christ sculptures.

Just a portion of The Passion of the Christ sculptures.

One of the doorways near The Passion of the Christ side of the church.

One of the doorways near The Passion of the Christ side of the church.

We took a tower tour.  I

We took a tower tour. I’m afraid of heights and almost passed out walking from the top down the spiral staircase!

Park Güell
Some of the most iconic pictures you will see of Barcelona were taken at Park Güell.  The gardens surround the architectural structures at this park.  Colorful mosaics adorn every piece of architecture!

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The main entryway at Park Güell.

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Gaudí intended this area to be a marketplace, and it is directly under the famous overlook of the city of Barcelona.

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The ceiling of the marketplace. Crazy, right?!

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The garden walk leading us to the roof of the marketplace, where you will find the beautiful city overlook.

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The roof of the marketplace.

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The iconic view of Barcelona from the roof of the marketplace in Park Güell.

Rooftops at Park Güell

Mercat de La Boqueria
A large market full of fresh and unique foods.  Anywhere that offers fresh oysters on the half and champagne is at the top of my list!

The entrance to Mercat de La Boqueria.

The entrance to Mercat de La Boqueria.

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Tapas on Carrer Blai
The tapas experience on Carrer Blai was one of Barry’s favorite parts of our trip (I agree!)  Our gracious hosts told us to go here for the best tapas in Barcelona. This street was a trek away from our Airbnb (it took us a train and a long walk to get there!) But it was completely worth it!

Carrer Blai is lined with tons of tapas restaurants, all of which open their doors for people to enjoy food and drink inside and outside.  Carrer Blai only permits foot traffic, since there are tables in the middle of the street.  Tapas time is the Spanish happy hour!  Tapas selections were both sweet and savory.  You can pick platefulls of delightful finger foods, and the server keeps count of what you owe.  What’s best is that you can go back for more, as many times as you want!

Where to find Carrer Blai if you happen to be in Barcelona, looking for tapas.

Where to find Carrer Blai if you happen to be in Barcelona, looking for tapas.

A view of the best place to eat tapas in Barcelona- Carrer Blai.

Carrer Blai right at tapas time.

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Tapas time!

Two of each, please.

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The housing surrounding Carrer Blai

The housing surrounding Carrer Blai

Well, that is our trip in a nutshell!  I love to talk travel, so if you are thinking of going to Barcelona or the Costa Brava region, and want recommendations on where to visit, I would love to chat with you and give you some suggestions!  Thanks for stopping by!

 

L~ F~: