Friday, June 12, 2015

Santiago to Barcelona June 5 - June 8

We are guaranteed to be the worst dressed tourists in Barcelona but I am hoping that shopping will alter that situation.

Barcelona is overwhelming, intimidating, vibrant, colourful, crazy busy and wild. It is people and more people, motor scooters and boulevards, markets and shops, cafes and tapas and futbol. This is the Saturday that Barcelona plays Juventus for the championship of the European Champions League and everyone in Barcelona is wearing their FC Barcelona team shirts and it doesn't take much imagination to realize that, win or lose, it will be even more crazy and probably dangerous on the streets tonight after the game.

We spent the day wandering the streets and weaving around the masses of people out and about today. As busy as the streets are no one seems to be in a hurry or have anywhere specific to go, unless it is the beach. In Toronto it may be busy but everyone there is single mindedly focused on getting somewhere as fast as possible whereas here it is all about ambling along, stopping for a gelato or cafe with no hurry no worry.

Early Saturday morning we found the market off La Rambla and it did live up to its reputation. It is absolutely huge with rows and rows of stalls of fresh seafood, tapas and wine counters, fresh juice smoothies and fresh fruit, meat counters, candies, nuts, spices and even a couple of vegetarian and vegan cafes and of course masses and masses of shoppers and tourists. We strolled down to the beaches stopping for drinks along the way and then worked our way all the way back up to La Pedrera, one of Antoni Gaudi's famed architectures.

Our hotel L'Antic Espaci is ideally located just quietly away from the Plaza Catyluna. It is quaintly and elaborately furnished in Victorian style with the most helpful concierge ever. Mornings start with breakfast served in a charming terrace.

Sunday morning we had a reservations booked to tour Gaudi's Casa Batlló which was amazing. This house was built in the early 1900's where whimsy meets genius. It is elaborate, decorative, whimsical and yet every single detail relates it to nature and is artistically and environmentally brilliant. If this is representative of Gaudi's vision, I am sure the Parc Guell and the Sagrada Familia that we are visiting on Monday will be just as awesome.

Gaudi's Casa Batlló is wonderfully fanciful and yet architecturally brilliant at the same time. He curves and overlaps walls to creat space and air flow and the use of the colours of stained glass plays with and changes the light like a living piece of artwork. The Sagrada Familia is all that and more. It is fanciful and futuristic towering majestically upward. My meagre literary skills could never do justice to a description of this unbelievable structure.

Gaudi's Casa Batlló




La Ramblas

Boqueria Market



They wouldn't let me in.....


Gaudi's 'La Pedrera'

Gaudi's 'Batlló'

FC Barcelona......Champs

Our hotel terrace having breakfast.

Torre de Catatrava.....1992 Olympic flame.



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