Sunday, June 12, 2011

Barcelona, Spain, Part 6: July 1, 2010

Our last day in Barcelona we visited the Sagrada Familia. We had great expectations for this building so we left it for last. At our hostel on the first day we were told by a fellow traveling couple that they felt the admission fee (€11.50) wasn't worth it. But we don't know what crack they were smoking because this was an incredible experience! Easily one of the great things either one of us had ever seen in our lives. For those of your who are unfamiliar, Antoni Gaudi is the architect of this church, but it was never finished in his lifetime. Multiple architects have taken over since then with lots of euros spent to complete this massive undertaking. It is designed with three different facades, the Nativity facade, the Passion facade, and the Glory facade, the last of which is currently being constructed.

Here is the building as we're approaching it!

In these photos is the Nativity facade, which is the oldest one. Its architecture and sculptures are done in a very over-the-top and excessive style, which is in stark contrast to the other facade.

Here is the Passion facade, in a much more modern style. The columns are supposed to resemble tree trunks, a motif that is repeated inside the church.

You can see in these pictures the massive trunk-like columns and the incredible architecture. The ceiling looks like a canopy!

Really nice stained glass window!

For an extra €2.50 we went up one of the spires (totally worth your money).

Check out these little bundles of fruit! Each one is covered in mosaic tiles. Everything in this church (like the Casa Batllo) is thought out in so much detail and there is so much to see.

Spiral staircase down one of the spires.

You can see more clearly the sculptures on the Nativity facade here. Incredible workmanship!

We can't remember what this building is but it sure looks nice, right?!

Down a shopping street.

Check out these jeans! Who the hell would wear these?! (Our sincere apologies if you own a pair.) At first we thought the store just hung up three pairs on one hanger or something, but it's actually, really, truly just one pair of jeans. Really.

Nice archway into a plaza.

Delicious Turkish food!!!! How we missed it! This little lady is Gina, someone we met (along with her mom) at the camp grounds in Cinque Terre. We had a lot of fun talking and realised we might be in Barcelona at the same time. And we were! It was so great to see her again, and sort of surreal!

Mmmmm sangria!!!!!!!!!!

Cool graffiti! Someone decided to spruce up their locked-up store front gate!

We came back to the Magic Fountain in hopes for a light show... SUCCESS! It was coordinated with music, and was awesome!

And that concludes our time in Barcelona (finally we posted this last post!). All through our trip before coming here we had talked to people who had expressed how amazing it is. And it definitely exceeded our already-high expectations. The city has a great energy, a great vibe, very alive, and the architecture is absolutely incredible. It has a very intimate, artsy, cultural feel yet it is such a big city. It feels small and huge at the same time. There is an endless amount of things to see in this city. The waterfront is beautiful, the weather was amazing, and all in all it is one of the greatest places we've ever visited. We think everyone should try to come here before they kick the bucket!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Barcelona, Spain, Part 5: June 30, 2010

Our fifth day in Barcelona was spent mostly on Montjuic, where a lot of the venues for the 1992 Olympic Summer Games are situated!

Cliff on the funicular on the way up to the mountain!

View of the funiculars from our carriage with the city in the back. To the left of the big pole you can see the Sagrada Familia, which you'll see in a later post :)

The gardens outside a fortress on Montjuic.

From here you can see some of the Olympic venues.

A view of the inside of the Olympic stadium. We didn't go on a tour or anything but we did manage to walk around one little section where we took these photos.

This is the some of the grounds in this Olympic area in front of the stadium and some of the other venues. We're not sure if the tower had anything to do with the Olympics, but now it's a radio tower.

The front entrance of the stadium. Even though the stadium itself is pretty modern in its design you can see the facade of the front still retains a lot of traditional elements.

Near the base of Montjuic, looking down the street which ends at Plaza Espanya. You can see in the middle the "Magic Fountain," where there is a light show on some nights set to music!

The National Museum of Art of Catalonia, which is at the base of Montjuic.

Central monument at Plaza Espanya.

Check out this ginormous chocolate croissant!!!!!!!!! Sadly we didn't get to eat it, just look at it :P

Down by the harbour: a cool modern statue! From one angle it's a funky face, from other ones it's just some abstract sculpture. FYI this side is just an abstract side :P

The boardwalk by the water...

Interesting house with really funny windows...

MMM! White chocolate truffle with raspberry filling!!

Some random really nice building!

Cliff sat on the bridge by one of the marinas. The bridge actually leads to a massive, sort of floating mall with a theatre and everything!

A shot of Stefan on the bridge with the city in the background.

The South end of La Rambla (where the waterfront is). This is a photo looking towards the water.

We went back to the Magic Fountain that evening in hopes of catching the water and light show, but alas... it was not to be. Try again tomorrow!