What a city!
I’ve just got back from a short trip to Barcelona with Mr.FancyingFrance. We let the train take the strain and set off from Carcassonne, arriving in Barcelona in under two and a half hours. It was a double-decker train; the first time I had been on one. We were on the upper deck and it was ideal for admiring some of the beautiful scenery as we headed south.
This was my first visit to Barcelona and I hope it won’t be my last. From the minute we stepped out of the station, I was hit by the heat, vibrant atmosphere and excitement of the city.
We decided to start with a hop-on hop-off bus tour. I’m a huge fan of these open top bus trips. They are a great introduction to a city if you want an overview of the main areas. We used this tour as a starting point to plan our visits over the next few days which was just as well as there is so much to see.
One of the things that struck me about Barcelona, apart from Gaudí’s influence, was the sheer beauty and surprises around every corner: statues, squares, parks, fountains and trees.
Antonio Gaudí spent most of his life in Barcelona and the style and impact of his architecture cannot be underestimated. Out of the ten most visited attractions, in Barcelona, four of them are Gaudí buildings.
We managed to see the Sagrada Familia , only from the outside, on this occasion.
This stunning building was begun in 1882 and is still under construction to this day. The anticipated date for completion is 2026. Gaudí worked on this project until his death in 1926, knowing that he would die before its completion.
We also walked up to Parc Güell, a park designed by Gaudí. From here there are stunning views over Barcelona.
This rose coloured building is now the Gaudi Museum and was Gaudi’s home from 1906 until 1926. It was designed by another architect, surprisingly. There is a fee to get into the museum, but no charge to enter the park. There is so much to see within the park but we decided just to wander through and bookmark it for a return visit!
However, we did make an in-depth visit to Casa Batlló and it was definitely worth it! I’m not sure my photos do the building justice. There are virtually no straight lines within the house and the use of stained glass, oak and mosaics is fascinating. As you climb to the top of the house, the glazed tiles change from light blue to dark until you reach the incredible roof terrace.
I think I could have taken many more photos but I was so overwhelmed by the sheer beauty and originality of the building that I was more focused on what I was seeing at that moment than actually recording anything.
Unusually, for us, we did succumb to having this photo taken. Even more surprisingly, it turned out to be relatively reasonable of both of us!
As this has turned out to be quite a long post, I will continue with a part two….