Barcelona!

The nave of La Sagrada Familia.  The tall columns are modeled after trees.

The nave of La Sagrada Familia, a massive cathedral designed by Antonio Gaudi.

Four awesome things in Barcelona:

1.) Tickets

Tickets is a tapas restaurant owned and run by the Adria brothers (of El Bulli fame).  It’s considered one of the toughest places in the world to get a table…as in nearly impossible.  The only method is a rushed online booking, exactly 3 months beforehand, when a limited number of seats are made available.  But since we’re drifting across Europe at whatever speed our momentum takes us, planning that far ahead wasn’t an option.

Tickets!

Tickets!

By our logic, since the tables are booked so far in advance (often by out-of-the-country foodies), there ought to be a few customers who can’t keep their reservation.

Dinner at Tickets

Dinner at Tickets

Sometimes it is better to be bold (and/or lucky) than prepared.  We arrived at Tickets, smiled nicely, and requested a table for two.  Within 10 minutes we were seated.  I know I don’t even have to say that the food was ridiculously good, but I will: the food was ridiculously good.  Thank you, Tom and Laura, for the amazing wedding gift!

2.) The Picasso Museum

This very cool museum primarily displays works of Picasso that pre-date his fame.  There are sketchbooks from childhood, paintings from adolescence, and assignments he completed in class.  Unlike the abstract creations of his adulthood, his early drawings and paintings are beautifully precise.  The exhibits are in chronological order and it’s fascinating to observe the stylistic evolution to “classic” Picasso.

Miro painting from Pompideau in Paris (the museum in Barcelona didn't allow pictures)

Miro painting from Pompideau in Paris (the museum in Barcelona didn’t allow pictures)

3.) Miro Museum:

We like the Spanish artist, Joan Miro.  A lot.  Not only because of his huge paintings featuring bright primary colors, but also because he makes these cool little guys:

Barcelona-23

sculptures on the roof of the Miro Museum in Barcelona

4.) Antoni Gaudi (architect)

Gaudi’s works, including Casa Batllo, Casa Mila, Park Guell, and La Sagrada Familia, have come to symbolize Barcelona.

Casa Mila's curved facade

Casa Mila’s curved facade

Although La Sagrada Familia maintains the layout of a classic European cathedral, it is otherwise unlike any other in the world.  Construction began in 1882 and is still underway, scheduled to be finished 2030-ish.

"The Passion" facade  of La Sagrada Familia viewed from the side

“The Passion” facade of La Sagrada Familia viewed from the side

Gaudi experimented constantly with shape and structure, modeling new designs after what he saw in nature (see photo gallery below).  The smallest details of this massive church are intricately designed with purpose and meaning.  From the huge columns and ceiling, modeled after a forest and its canopy, to the animals and fruit that decorate La Sagrada Familia’s spires, it’s a perfect representation of Gaudi’s mad genius.

the linear statues in front of La Sagrada Familia

the angular statues in front of La Sagrada Familia

Mandy sitting underneath one of the stained glass windows in La Sagrada Familia

Mandy sitting underneath one of the stained glass windows in La Sagrada Familia

Full Gallery: click on images to enlarge:

1 thought on “Barcelona!

  1. Mandy, I had just read the “Barcelona” segment of your blog last night. Early this morning, awakening at 3 am, I turned on some TV channel and behold! they were showing an hour-long segment about Gaudi and his architectural wonders! I recognized his style even before I found my glasses to read the description of the show, just from your blog!! Talk about timing! Thanks for adding to my ‘cultural knowledge’.
    Nita

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