Monday, October 30, 2006

Barcelona Birthday

Thursday night I finished work, and headed to my much anticipated flight to Barcelona for the weekend. Arriving just on midnight, it was 23C in the Spanish city, and very lovely!

Waking up in my hostel room to texts, and presents and cards that had arrived in London during the week, I began my 29th birthday with chocolate and sprinkles. I wandered down Las Rambles and found somewhere for brunch, where I got several calls from home.

Rambling along the main tree lined street, I walked through bustling Boqueria Market, and then through the cobbled and tiny streets of Barrico Gotico. Finding the Dali museum, and then Museu Picasso, I had an art filled afternoon. The Picasso collection, with history and artistic journey well set out, was very good, and in a very beautiful space and building.

I then walked along to Parc de la Ciutadella, and the gardens, up to the Arc de Triumf. As darkness fell, walking back along Las Rambles, into the anti-climatic Placa Reial (maybe it´s hard to match the place of this time last year!), and then past the Christopher Colombus monument and down to the port at night, was busy and pretty.

Saturday, after another glorious lie in, I took in the works of Gaudi - my new hero! First to Casa Batllo, and it´s pretty facade, before going over to La Padrere, and the amazing residence here. Functional chimnies, ornate and beautiful, this building is gorgeous. One of my favourites - I want a house like this when I grow up! It was commissioned as a private residence, and Gaudi came up with this design. Genius!

Then onto the awe-inspiring and breath-taking Sagrada Familia. Gaudi was brought onto this project, put some grand plans into action, which are still far from complete today. Walking around the grounds and looking up at the spires and ornate features that are complete so far, and then seeing the pictures of the man´s vision. Wow! Talk about man with a plan! Going up the 60 meters to the stage high up in between the towers allows an amazing veiw of the city, and mountain surrounds - plus all of the detail far up in the sky on the shorter of the planned spires. I definately want to come back here to see the completed version!

Following on the Gaudi path, I made my way up to Parc Guell. This is another of Gaudi's projects, which he planned and actually ran out of funding to complete in full (I can relate! Hee hee!). The park is set high up on the outskirts of Barcelona, with another amazing view of the city to be veiwed...and amazing structures out there too. The inside ceiling of the would-have-been market, with the rooftop mosaic pretty, and pretty amazing.

That evening I popped into the church of Santa Maria del Pi for a peek, before finding somewhere for dinner along the busy Las Rambles. Basking in my post-sunshine all day glow, the weather was lovely all weekend!

Yesterday I set off to the hills overlooking the water, thinking I would see the Olympic Stadium from 1992. Not to be, but I found the Fort up there, and another amazing view of the city, with the blue Mediterranean, over to the city, and over the mountain surrounds. From here I took the cable car across the Port, and made my way to the beach for some sun worshipping.

As the sun was setting, I Metro-ed over to the Espanya area to see the National Museum of Art of Catalyna, and then the Olympic stadium grounds behind that in the twilight, before heading out to the airport for my flight back to London, my birthday weekend over.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Sounds great. :-)

    Happy birthday - and see you on Monday for KEVIN!


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