I'm totally in Spain right now!

Barcelona Travel Blog

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Chimney atop the Casa Mila (with a little Photoshop magic)
Just to note, the title of this entry pays homage to Allison's wonderful way with words...it is in fact a direct quote from a few nights ago. Anyway, I just got in from an insanely long day of touring Barcelona, so I will get as much out as I can before I fall asleep.

Yesterday was hands down the most exciting and memorable day of the whole trip. We had breakfast and a brief concert prep (which I will talk about in a moment) before setting off to see Antoni Gaudi's most famous works of architecture, the Sagrada Familia and Casa Mila. The Sagrada Familia, which is located just outside the old city to the northeast, is a basilica that has been under construction since 1892. At the time of Gaudi's death in the Twenties, the Sagrada Familia was only 20% finished.
Sagrada Familia...so awesome.
Part of the structure and the remainder of the plans were destroyed shortly thereafter by anarchists, slowing the construction drastically. Thanks to recent construction technology, however, the project is nearly three quarters done. The style of the church is categorized as Modernisme, a Catalan art movement similar to Art Nouveau. Needless to say, it was unlike anything I have ever seen before. The basic principle behind the spires and towers of the church is the caternary arch, a parabolic form based on principles of nature. In fact, for most of his studies, Gaudi would construct a web of interconnected strings with suspended weights to create the inverted form and then place a mirror below to view it as it would appear right side up. The interior forms are highly geometric, while still retaining qualities of Classical architecture.
Chad, me, Allison, and Ashley at the overlook in Parc Guell
I honestly could go on forever about this, so I will spare the close details for now. Be sure to look at the pictures I have though...it was truly amazing. When we first arrived, we found out that part of the building was closed for construction, so we weren't able to climb the spires then. It reopened today, so we made a point to stop by for a bit and climb that. Simply put, it's the most intriguing architecture I've ever seen.

After that, we walked a few blocks to the Casa Mila, a world-renowned apartment building and museum. The aesthetic of the design makes reference to marine life with undulating walls and iron-work kelp embellishments. The apartment itself was pretty interesting, but it was the terrace that I will never forget. When you walk out on the roof, you literally are transported to a fairytale place with all sorts of organic sculptures.
German Pavilion by Mies van der Rohe
I stayed up there for nearly 30 minutes in complete awe.

That night, we went to the first concert of our trip, a solo Spanish classical guitarist. The concert was held in a Gothic church downtown, which was quite an unforgettable experience. The guy was incredibly talented, so it was worth every minute.

Today, as I said, was very exhausting. We headed to see the German Pavilion by Mies van der Rohe at around 9:30 (another awesome work of architecture), spent nearly 2 hours there sketching and just enjoying the place, went back to the Sagrada Familia to climb the spires, and then hiked up to the Park Guell, another of Gaudi's masterpieces. The walk was intense, but the panoramic views of the city made it worthwhile. There are also some really fascinating monuments by Gaudi.
Me and the terrace atop the Casa Mila
I have had such a great time these past two days, mostly thanks to the amazing places I've been to and seen.

In other news, the food and weather are much better in Barcelona than Madrid. The meals are still not unbelievably tasty, but they're satisfactory. Every day has been clear and sunny, and the temperature never exceeds the 80s, so it's quite comfortable.

If the weather holds out, we are going to head to the beach tomorrow afternoon. I've also got to catch up on laundry and homework, so it's a good thing that we don't have any mandatory events planned. As always, I hope everyone has a wonderful day, and I will see you in the next update!
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Chimney atop the Casa Mila (with a…
Chimney atop the Casa Mila (with …
Sagrada Familia...so awesome.
Sagrada Familia...so awesome.
Chad, me, Allison, and Ashley at t…
Chad, me, Allison, and Ashley at …
German Pavilion by Mies van der Ro…
German Pavilion by Mies van der R…
Me and the terrace atop the Casa M…
Me and the terrace atop the Casa …
Cool door at the Sagrada Familia
Cool door at the Sagrada Familia
Clearly, its not.
Clearly, it's not.
Pigeons at a fountain in Parc Guell
Pigeons at a fountain in Parc Guell
German Pavilion + PhotoShop magic
German Pavilion + PhotoShop magic
S. Maria del Pi
S. Maria del Pi
Inside the Sagrada Familia
Inside the Sagrada Familia
Casa Mila
Casa Mila
Climbing the towers of the Sagrada…
Climbing the towers of the Sagrad…
At the highest point in Parc Guell
At the highest point in Parc Guell
Olympia Beach
Olympia Beach
Barcelona
photo by: fivepointpalm