Jul 09, 2018

A Gaudi walking tour and then more walking

Antoni Gaudi was born in 1852 in Catalonia and was considered the greatest exponent of Modernism.  Over the years he evolved towards a personal and unclassifiable style.  He was considered to be a genius.  Much of his unique style came from his study of nature, flow, form, color, shapes, light, animal and sea life and their forms, bones and more.  So much to say and to read about this man.  We knew a bit about him and had booked one tour as that was all our budget could manage ( it was an expensive one ) and after you have seen one Gaudi project that should be enough, right?  When we found the free Gaudi tour we knew that we would see more and we were pleased with that.  That tour led to more which you will see over the next few posts.  We could not get enough of his architecture.  The man was simply brilliant and beyond creative.  How fortunate that most of his work is in Barcelona and the surrounding areas.  We both took photos and some days there were hundreds.  It has been quite the task to sort them out over the next few posts.  So let us start with the Gaudi walking tour at 11:00AM on Wednesday June 6th.

We started the tour in this plaza where we saw the first commissioned work that Barcelona hired Gaudi  to do after he graduated from architectural school.  The picture does not do the work justice. This lamp post holds so very much detail which Gaudi would become famous for.  The city was not impressed with his work.

Next stop was the Palau Güell one of Antoni Gaudí’s early works in Barcelona and one of the most magnificent buildings of the Modernism. It is located in the Raval district, just a few metres from the Rambla.  This mansion was designed for the industrial tycoon Eusebi Güell and built between 1886 and 1888.

Our very knowledgeable guide took us through the ups and down of the construction and how after one of the many wars the family lost their home.  It is now the property of Barcelona and open for tours for a price of course.  This is one of the chimneys on the roof.

Casa Batllo which we have tickets to tour tomorrow, June 7th.

Gaudi renovated the facade which looked like this to what it is today.  During this presentation it poured rain twice.  The umbrella sellers were doing well.  I was dressed as warmly as possible and I did have my umbrella with me.  At this point I was coughing a lot but nothing i could do but keep taking cough syrup and suck on lozenges.  We did enjoy the presentation about the exterior of the building.  The color and detail were amazing.

Just four blocks away we came to Casa Mila, often referred to as La Pedrera.  If you look to the middle left you can see some dark sky which became darker.  The winds picked up and the rain fell in torrents.  Our guide told us that between the two homes this was the best to get a ticket for so we went home much later and booked a ticket for the next day.

We then took the subway to continue the tour at the famous Sagrada Família  which is a large unfinished Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, designed by Antoni Gaudí.  This is what it will look like when it is finished.

Construction started in 1882 and it is still not finished!  Gaudi was involved on a daily basis but of course never saw the end of the project.  There has been much controversy over this project.  At the moment it is said that it will be complete in 2026 but even our tour guide does not believe that that is possible.  There are so very very many towers and details yet to be built.  In fact there is an entire block of apartment buildings that must be destroyed so that the main entrance can be built.  What will happen to those whose homes will be destroyed?  Who will pay for their new residences?  Why was that block allowed to be built upon in the first place?

Our tour guide walked us around the three sides that were under construction and explained the changes over the years and some differences here and there.  Too much detail to take in.  Here we just finished getting wet yet again.  No Colin did not have his jacket with him.  This is where our free tour ended.  The guide only makes money for her time and knowledge by her well deserved tips.  I can only hope that everyone tipped her well.

Once again the tour went well over two hours and we were more than hungry.  I asked her to recommend a local place to eat and here we were.  Nice and warm with a view of the Sagrada Familia and the rain that continued to fall.  We had a large piece of the best spinach quiche ever.  To warm up Colin had a coffee while I had a lovely glass of Spanish wine.  The entire meal came to 13.6euro/$21.60 CAD, a very good price we thought.

Once we warmed up and the rain stopped we took the metro back to La Rambla where we walked about.  Yes there are a lot of tourists there but I wonder if they saw what we saw.

You have to look up and all around to see things.  Interesting artwork.

Outdoor massage?

Down one side street Colin found a store that sold the same shoes he had purchased in Rome. They did not have much of a color choice here but he did buy a second pair in beige for much less money.  Well they were made in Spain.

Everyone kept telling us that the weather was most unusual and it should be blue skies with sunshine at this time of year and that this was winter weather.  Nothing we could do about the weather so we just enjoyed what we could.  Just loved the detail on this building.

Guess we missed the Erotic Museum.

Just some detail on a small church we passed.

Looks like I was really moving.  We walked the length of La Rambla right to the water just so we could see what the area was all about as well as the port.

On the way back towards the metro station we stopped for a sangria.  So many tourist restaurants along La Rambla but we wanted to sit and enjoy the location and rest my feet :). Gulp!  That drink was just a euro less than lunch at 12.65 E/ $19,73 CAD.   That price was just for the one drink which we shared and I did not enjoy it.  Barcelona was the only place that when we paid with a credit card that they asked if we wanted it to go through as Euros or Canadian currency.

Always something to see.  She looks like she should be riding a motorcycle.

So we headed home via this interesting metro station.  There are three platforms here, where I am standing taking the picture, thru the arch to the next platform and you can see yet another arch with the red above it and a third platform.  Very creative visually.

So we got back to our cozy apartment where we rested a bit, changed for dinner and headed out to find the best tapas restaurant in the area as recommended by our host.  I had printed out instructions so we would not get lost.  We walked close to two miles and still could not find it.  I did  not have many more steps left in my feet so we headed back and vowed to stop at the first decent place.  I don’t have the name of the place but the outside patio was full of smokers and their smoke so we went inside.  It was very lovely looking although the menu was limited for us due to our diet.  We chatted with the owner in Spanish and he was surprised that we were from Canada and learned our Spanish in Mexico.  He kept commending us on our Spanish.

The photo is blurred but we ended up with a sushi salmon burger. The presentation was not what we expected, it came complete with wasabi and crisp fries.  Gourmet burger!  Then we had the long walk back.  I have no idea how I managed to walk so much in one day but now looking back I can see why my cold did not heal.  I never gave my body a chance.  Day after day I just kept pushing.  And the next day would be no different.  Stay tuned.






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4 responses so far

4 Responses to “A Gaudi walking tour and then more walking”

  1. ARIZONA GAL says:


    • contessa says:

      Yas lace it a good word. Barcelona is very different from the other places we visited. I saved it to the end as I thought we would just meander and relax. Nope, not us.

  2. Steve says:

    Thanks for showing the beautiful architecture and your tour. It takes time to put your vacation on the blog, a LOT of time. Thanks again.

    • contessa says:

      Thank you Steve, I really appreciate your comment. It too 3 hours to publish this post. HOweve I am doing it for us as much as for our readers . When we are old and homebound we will have some great memories to review via the blog.

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