Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Spain Part 1: Barcelona

This is a trip that we have been planning and have been excited to go on for months, not only because we were going to be spending 10 glorious days in Spain, but we were going to be traveling, wining, and dining with Jon's parents, Lori and Joe.

We started our adventure in Barcelona.  Barcelona is Spain's second largest city located in the Catalonia region. This region has its own language, Catalan, and some Catalonians consider themselves as part of a different country. We were excited to explore this cosmopolitan city, which has amazing architecture, history, and food. To start the day we walked from our hotel down car free streets to a beautiful cathedral and had a look inside.

The big Gothic cathedral (not the same one as above)

We then made our way to Guell Palace designed by Gaudi. Gaudi's work is all over the city and is very distinctive, unique, and FUN! It's as if you've stepped into a Dr. Seuss storybook, with twisted iron sculptures and curved stones adorned with colorful mosaic tiles. His art is visually stimulating and exciting to look at.

Hello there!

Before dinner we went to the Picasso Museum located on a narrow street. The collection was really fascinating and it seemed to focus on a lot of his earlier work (before cubism) with other more well known pieces from later in his life. We weren't allowed to take pictures in the museum so the following are from our walks around the city.

Near the Picasso Museum
A small empty street

Walking around town
A theater
The market

We made our next day in Barcelona our full Gaudi day. We first took the subway and trekked uphill to Park Guell, which includes many structures designed by Gaudi, including a plaza and three kilometers of paths, walkways, and steps.

Lori & Joe at Park Guell

More stairs!!!

We then walked to La Sagrada Familia, which is one of Gaudi's most famous works in Barcelona. It's a huge basilica that has been under construction since 1882 and is still not finished due to Gaudi not leaving complete plans for it after his death, it being a very complicated structure to work on, and of course money woes. They were hoping to complete it in 2026 on the anniversary of Gaudi's death, but some estimate that it won't be complete for another 30-60 years! Unfortunately, the snakelike Disney World line that wrapped around the basilica prevented us from wanting to go inside, but the outside was quite impressive!

Our next stop was La Pedera (Casa Mila), which is a very unusual apartment building designed by Gaudi, built between 1906-1912.

On the terrace- Lori & Jon

The last stop for the day was Casa Batllo. By this point we were so tired that we didn't go inside, but we enjoyed the fun designs on the facade of the building.

Dinner in Barcelona was spectacular. Each meal was better than the next filled with paella, a variety of tapas, and wine.

Dinner the first night
Dinner the second night
Fois Gras... yum!
Seafood paella
We really enjoyed this city and will definitely be back in the future! Next stop... Bilbao & San Sebastian!


  1. bellissimo post Cheryl e John; Barcellona sembra veramente il posto adatto per un viaggio da fare da sola. Forse è tempo di preparare le valigie?? :))

  2. I want to go to Barcelona!! WOW! What an amazing and very fun city! The first thing I want to mention is that I noticed from the pics from not only this blog but previous blogs, that most of Europe has the most exquisite and fascinating architecture! The cathedrals are absolutely beautiful, and so gorgeous! The buildings and statutes in Barcelona are so different and very exciting! (You're right, it definitely reminds me of a Dr. Seuss storybook!) You feel like a kid again by just being there! The apartment building designed by Gaudi was fascinating and very cool!! Barcelona is a "happy" city and it definitely put a smile on my face!!