Barcelona: Day 2: more Gaudí and meeting a TB!

Barcelona Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 22 › view all entries
Canaletes fountain on Las Ramblas

Originally, my plan for my second day in Barcelona was to follow a walking tour listed in my Lonely Planet guide, but then I got a call from a fellow TBer, peter_australia.  We planned to meet up on Las Ramblas, but I had a bit of time to kill first, so I decided to check out the morning crowds in Plaza Catalunya.  I had a nice cup of coffee at a café and then headed down to the exposed Roman tombs just one block east of the Rambla del Estidis section of Las Ramblas.  Unfortunately, construction was going on in the area so only parts of the excavation were visible.

Slightly disappointed, I headed over to meet Peter.  We hit it off right away.

Gaudi's Casa Batlló
 Anyone who gets the chance to travel with Peter, definitely should.  He has my seal of approval.  As he had pretty much seen most of the city, he let me direct the day’s agenda.  Firstly, we decided to head to the Museu d'Història de la Ciutat, a museum dedicated to laying out the rich history of Barcelona.  The tour starts underground in the exposed Roman ruins, and as you make your way back up towards street level you also move forward in time through the various empirical occupations of the city.  I enjoyed the layout and thought the museum was a great way to get an idea of the history of that is so often represented in look and vibrancy of the city.  During the rest of the morning, we wandered the Las Ramblas areas and stopped for a quick lunch.

After lunch it was time for more Gaudí with a stop at Palau Güell and then a walk up the Passeig de Gràcia to see the Casa Batlló.

la Sagrada Família
 Now I realize this has probably been said a thousand times, but no picture will ever do that building justice.  It is so extraordinarily detailed, that I was simply speechless.  We did not go inside (next trip!), but even if you only see the outside, it is worth the trip.  I loved the colors and the soft, flowing, sensual lines.  There is something so earthy and physical about Gaudí’s designs…I really connected to it.

But if I thought that Casa Batlló, made me speechless, I was unprepared for La Sagrada Família.  I had gotten my first glimpse of it yesterday from atop Parc Güell and was already amazed by the sheer size of the building as it dwarfed its surroundings.  But as we approached it from street level, I had a whole new appreciation for the enormity of the endeavor.

view from Montjuïc
 We entered the area facing the Passion façade.  And while I understand that the purists may not love the discontinuity created by Josep Maria Subirachs designs for the Passion, they are extraordinary in their own right.  I found them completely entrancing.  It was amazing to me, that the figures, though angular and lacking significant detailing, evoked such emotion and life.  Of course, upon moving to the Nativity façade, I was even more awed.  The figures Gaudí created were equally emotion ridden and even more grand.  The detailing was incomparable, particularly in the way the stone appeared to almost drip off the building.  If I would have spent 4 hours just staring at the building, I could not have seen it all.  Words for it are simply lacking.

After a late afternoon siesta, Peter and I met for an attempt to tackle Montjuïc.  We climbed up the relatively steep slope for another great sunset view of the city.  I am not sure I would suggest the trek up the hill, but rather to use the funicular to see the sights.  To end the evening, we had a nice dinner of paella and sangria, followed with a few beers at Irish pub (why are there so many Irish pubs in Barcelona?).

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Canaletes fountain on Las Ramblas
Canaletes fountain on Las Ramblas
Gaudis Casa Batlló
Gaudi's Casa Batlló
la Sagrada Família
la Sagrada Família
view from  Montjuïc
view from Montjuïc
Passion Facade on la Sagrada Famí…
Passion Facade on la Sagrada Fam…
la Sagrada Família
la Sagrada Família
at la Sagrada Família
at la Sagrada Família
la Sagrada Família, Gaudis Nativ…
la Sagrada Família, Gaudi's Nati…
la Sagrada Família detail
la Sagrada Família detail
Nativity Facade on la Sagrada Fam…
Nativity Facade on la Sagrada Fam…
la Sagrada Família
la Sagrada Família
Passion Facade on la Sagrada Famí…
Passion Facade on la Sagrada Fam…
Passion Facade on la Sagrada Famí…
Passion Facade on la Sagrada Fam…
Cristobol Colon Monument
Cristobol Colon Monument
Gran Teatre del Liceu
Gran Teatre del Liceu
Palau Güell
Palau Güell
Barcelona
photo by: fivepointpalm