When we stepped off the train a week ago in Barcelona, we actually felt we’d entered a tropical heatwave. That was a week ago, after leaving frigid Marseille. The past week has been a lovely, sunny reprieve. However, the past couple days have been overcast and a bit more temperate. That is to say, jeans and jacket weather. You can always spot the locals. They’re the ones in down jackets, knee boots and scarves. While we too have taken to wearing jackets and scarves, my knee boots were left behind in Paris. Oh well, today is sunny and mid to high 60’s again. Very nice.
We are staying in the Eixample (pronounced eye-SHAM-plah) which is the newer part of the city developed beginning around 1864. Here are some buildings sited around our neighborhood. Yeah, this is the new neighborhood. Quaint, don’t you think?
The Eixample is home to many of Antoni Gaudi’s architectural creations, La Pedrera (also known as Casa Mila is an apartment building), Casa Batllo and the most famous, Sagrada Familia. The Sagrada Familia is the huge church that Gaudi is most known for. It has been under construction since 1883 and is a geometrical marvel especially considering the tools available at the time. The completion goal of 2026 marks the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death. This is too huge for one photo. Look closely at all the details.
Antoni Gaudi is considered the father of the Modernist architecture movement. He said his inspiration came from God and the natural world. Barcelona has many examples of this type of architecture from Gaudi himself and his followers.
We’ve enjoyed the tapas (small plates) style of eating here. You order several small dishes and get many different tastes and textures. The food is not spicey yet it is quite tasty. There are lots of seafood dishes. Here’s a sampling.
This Catalon specialty was also a specialty in Portugal. I never tried it there. When it presented again, I caved. It was actually quite tasty especially with the ice cream.
Had a bit of a scare last week. While using the WC, I dropped my phone in the loo. Lucky for me most john’s
in Europe are low flow so don’t have much water. I noticed immediately I’d dropped the iphone and retrieved it.
Seems it sustained little damage. After a two day drying out all seems to be working fine. Phew!!
There is an Apple store here. We’re four blocks from the major shopping district in Barcelona. I’m talking major! You’ll find all the designer labels, Cartier, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, Prada, Dior, Hermes, and the list goes on. We can be very proud as along this avenue you can also find Adidas, Nike, and Timberland as well as Apple. And my luggage is already full, dang!
On Sunday we visited the main cathedral. Construction on this structure was begun in the 13th century and finished six centuries later. The facade was built at the end of the 19th century according to a Gothic design dating from 1408. There was a gentleman playing the classical violin on the steps so we did the Spanish thing and sat at a cafe to listen for a while.
Afterward we strolled down to the waterfront and on down to the beach. In spite of it being overcast, it was a very busy day at the beach. People were running, walking, biking, skateboarding, rollerblading, paddling, and even swimming in wetsuits. We also noticed a windsurfing lesson going on. The beach was covered with volleyball games.
As usual, we were the third table sitting at the restaurant. In typical fashion, the place filled up around us. Yes, we are the trend-setters. Note that I only say this about the mid-day meal. We’re not out eating at 9PM. Sunday was an official paella day. Delicious!
Yes, you are seeing correctly, that’s Doug paella on the other side of my plate. We each had our own.
I’m going to close with a few more pictures from La Pedrera, Gaudi’s apartment building that is one of the best representations of his work. The following five pictures are from the rooftop of La Pedrera. Gaudi wanted this to be a pleasant place for residents to walk. Therefore, he ‘decorated’ the necessary rooftop structures such as chimneys, staircases and airflow stacks. It does make for an interesting walk. Imagine this rooftop when completed in 1912 without the chain link fence. It took six years to complete this structure.
This is the day the Lord has made.