Barcelona! Or, as I like to think of it, the land that Gaudí built.
Barcelona was a good place to start my trip, because, if you ask me, going to Europe is like going for a swim in the ocean. You want to ease in slowly and acclimate yourself to the temperature before jumping all the way in.
And, what better place to do that, than in a locale where you actually speak and understand the language? I’m not talking about Catalan, which was fascinating to hear. I’m talking Spanish, of course.
I can’t tell you how helpful it’s been all my life, to know more than one language. Considering I live in San Diego, and along the US-Mexico border, it’s downright fortuitous that my Venezuelan parents had the foresight to speak to me in their native language. That, plus the fact that I spent some of my youth living in Caracas, sealed the deal, making me, more or less, fluent.
Barcelona proved to be an exciting, cosmopolitan city, one that has the most amazing architecture, thanks to the work of Antoni Gaudí, whose name is probably synonymous with the city. We visited some of Gaudí’s most significant works, La Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, and Casa Batlló. I loved them all, but, of the three, my favorite was the park.
Gaudí has a distinct style that is whimsical, colorful and embraces curves all at once. He works with tile in such a bold way that it takes your breath away. His work is a joy to behold. Plus, admission to the park is free and boasts stunning views of the city.
Every city I’ve ever visited in Europe has its charm and beauty in terms of its rich art and architecture. But, the structure that nearly made me have a case of the vapors, and brought me to a new height of euphoria, was the Palau de la Música Catalana.
Built in the early 1900’s by architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, I have never seen a more exquisite and dazzling building, both inside and out. Every corner, every column, every speck of space your eye can rest upon–from floor to ceiling–had something unique and
mesmerizing to take in. This was a building that captured my heart and soul, as no other building ever has. A celebration of Art Nouveau, it is the only concert facility listed as a World Heritage site.
If you have never seen it firsthand, do not wait a second more. Add it to your bucket list. Better yet, pack your bags and go at once!
Luckily, I brought along my trusty camera, taking well over 2,000 photos throughout my trip. I wanted to document every nook and cranny of each place we visited. I was on a mission to see it all and capture it all for posterity. Uploading all these photos was almost the end of my computer. Choosing which to post here, was almost the end of me. So, I hope you enjoy my photos, and, if you want to see them all, I’ll be hosting a slideshow at my place every night between now and New Year’s Eve. By then, surely, we will have seen all my photos! And, now, without further adieu, Barcelona!