Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tuesday: Gaudi Day

It's 11:00 PM on Tuesday and the sound of car horns, rejoicing, air horns, and raucous explosions are filling the streets of Barcelona. The big Futball game between Madrid and Barcelona was tonight. Apparently Barcelona won.

Today was Gaudí day! We started the day off walking to Casa Batlló, a house that was designed by Antoni Gaudí in the early 20th century. It was absolutely breathtaking. Gaudí did not like order or straight lines, so every line in the house was curved. He used a lot of mosaics in all of his art. One of the things that impressed me was how he treated tiles on curved walls. He broke them evenly and laid them in a geometric pattern over the surface. Everything was very neat and intricately done. The theme for the building was based mainly on water. Gaudí used a lot of blues and greens in the color scheme, and there were sculptures of aquatic animals dispersed throughout the house. One of the local names for the building is Casa dels ossos, The House of Bones, because many of the architectural features look skeletal. Below is a picture of the façade of Casa Batlló.

From there, we went to this wonderful little restaurant and had the menú del dia. I had tuna cannelloni, pork stuffed with cheese, and ice cream. I absolutely love the food here! (Pictured: tuna cannelloni)

We went to Sagrada Família, a Cathedral designed by Gaudi. The coolest part about this building is that it is still being built. It was started in 1882 and has been growing ever since. Completion is set for 2026, the centennial of Gaudí's death. Simply. Amazing. The size was mind-boggling and the amount of detail and symbolism was enough to take anyone's breath away. The towers pictured below aren't even the tallest ones in the plan. Once finished, there will be a large spire measuring 170 meters (560 feet) tall, representing Jesus Christ. The inside is massive, with even more architectural amazing-ness. It will hold 13,000 people, once completed, and it contains a choir loft that can hold up to 1,000 singers. We also got the opportunity to take an elevator to the top of one of the towers. I posted a picture showing the view from the top.

After the Sagrada Família, we stopped for some coffee and appetizers at a small bar, then headed back to the apartment for some planning and some much-needed rest. About an hour later, we went across the street to a quiet, little chinese restaurant. It was, well... Spanish Chinese food...

I am beyond exhausted, but feeling very blessed to be here with my amazing family. I can't wait to see what happens tomorrow.

¡Hasta Luego!

Aden and Jorge

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