Well technically this was outside Barcelona but whatever. We spent the entire day at Montserrat which is a really unbelievable place. I only wish it weren't an hour and a half from Barcelona.
This was the day of Gaudí for us in Barcelona. Last time I was here, I apparently did not see nearly enough Gaudí. The way he fuses natural forms into his work in order to add meaning to the structure shows his mastery of both architecture and observation.
A walk in the park here is certainly anything but boring. I was amazed by how naturally he fit much of his work into the naturally occurring rock formations of the park.
Gaudí somehow makes you feel as if you are underwater throughout this house. The guy essentially invented sustainable design 100 years before it became commonplace.
One would think that visiting a place for a second time diminishes its impact on a person. When it comes to Gaudí, nothing could be further from the truth. The feeling that you get when you walk into the Sagrada Familia truly defies explanation and photos certainly do not do it justice.
Another day, another whirlwind of sights. This is definitely what I signed up for but it is exhausting.
Castle of Montjüic
We began our day at the fort that overlooks the city and has enormous historical importance in Spain, especially during the Spanish Civil War. There was some sort of artistic intervention going on at the fort when we visited that had a ton of flowers and such. I'm not so sure that covering a building with a grim history in colorful flowers helps at all. To me, it is an attempt to cover up a past that can be hard to rationalize but needs to be understood nonetheless.
Palace of Catalan Music
I can definitely see why this is a UNESCO world heritage site. the detail in the mosaics, stained glass and sculptures is astounding. Tours are at weird times but are very much worth it.
We saw the outside of this and the cloisters yesterday but the inside was finally open so we checked that out as well. It is amazing what people could do without power tools.
Its good to be back in one of my favorite places on the planet. I can't say exactly why but I really like Barcelona. Maybe it's the mediterranean, the narrow streets or the great weather, who knows? Anyway, we tried to do a lot today but, being that it is Spain (a very very very catholic country) on a Sunday, nothing was really open. We ended up exploring a large swath of the city by foot which was really fun. We also attempted to visit the Palace of Catalan Music but that too was closed by the time we got there.
I guess this counts as the only real thing we "saw" today but the main section of the cathedral was closed off today because it's a church, duh. Undeterred, we hung out in the plaza for a long time and took in the street performers and giant bubbles being blown before discovering the cloisters of the cathedral were open.