Sunday, February 20, 2011

Barcelona, Spain, Part 4: June 29, 2010

So on our third day, it was mostly a day of Gaudi architecture and other cool looking buildings.  We went to two Gaudi buildings: Casa Mila, and Casa Batllo, which was the one we went into.  Along the way, we saw many other beautiful buildings.  We will keep the words to a minimum, as there isn't a lot to say, so just enjoy the fantastic architecture!

Kinda looks like a fantasy movie castle in the middle of the road!

Sometimes between all the really cool, freaky, detailed "traditional" buildings, a really modern one popped up!  This one, which looks like it has silver vertical waves, are actually windows.  If you walked past the building to the other side at the same angle this photo is taken, you'd see the windows peaking out from the flat side of the "wave".  Very simple but cool idea that gives the building a very different look depending on what angle you are looking at it!

Here is Casa Mila, a very famous Gaudi building. When we got there we went to see how much it would cost to go inside the building... and almost shat our pants! It was €11!! What the hell! We were still able to go into the gift shop and from there you could see the inside a little bit...

Here is the view of the inside of Casa Mila from the gift shop window :P The gift shop entrance was off the main street but the shop itself extended all the way into this atrium. 

All around Barcelona there were these amazing tiles on the sidewalks. These were designed by Gaudi (we had seen similar versions at Park Guell). These add so much character to the city!

And here is Casa Battlo, another hugely famous Gaudi building. It's also known as "The House of Bones," since the little balconies look like skulls. Guess how much it was to go inside? €11? Nope. €15?? Nope... it was freakin' €17.80!!! We were determined to go inside a Gaudi building though, so it was between paying almost €18 for Casa Battlo or €11 for Casa Mila. In the end we went with Casa Battlo because this building seemed much freakier and more unique. We figured if we were only going to see one, it may as well have been the cooler one! Although we couldn't afford to eat for the next two days... :P Hahaha

This is the building right next to Casa Battlo. We don't think this was a building of any particular significance but that's what we loved about Barcelona... even an "ordinary" building looked incredible and unique...

Inside Casa Battlo, this is the first thing you see, a spiral staircase made of wood with the side designed to represent a spine. As you can see the wood is all carved and looks very cool and wavy. A lot of this building and aspects of it were inspired by skeletons and marine life.

Mushroom fireplace! Smurfs must have been Catalan. Notice the awesome seats inside the mushroom... wicked shroom for two!

Inside one of the main rooms (with windows out to La Rambla) was this incredible moulded ceiling. Gaudi designed not only every detail of the house itself but also every piece of furnishing. This ceiling light was specifically designed to go with this ceiling, and as you can see the result looks super cool!

Same room (you can see the ceiling and the light). The stained glass circles in the wood carved door frames were each made of different colours and textures. They were also made so that the colours of the glass would look different depending on whether you were looking at them from one side of the door or the other. Gaudi designed this space with a extreme attention to light and how it behaves.

The atrium inside the house. As you can see there were many floors to this house, and at the top is a skylight. The tiles in this section gradually changed from a light blue at the bottom to a deep blue at the top. Gaudi thought that by doing this you would see a more uniform shade of blue since the top areas would receive more light from the skylight. We also found that it gave a very underwater feel to the place.

On one of the floors there is an exit to the back courtyard of the house. Notice how Gaudi chose to place two columns right next to each other, right in front of the doors. He apparently did this on purpose so as to defy the conventions of where columns would normally be placed.

Here's the back courtyard. Oh, and Cliff too :P

A view of the building from the back of the courtyard. The building's more tame here at the back, but it's still very nice... Oh and Stefan's there too :P

At the top floor of the house the colour scheme really changes and everything is very white and sculpted looking. Stefan thinks it all looks like it was made from Mentos or marshmallow... Hahaha. Reminds us of the Greek islands!!

Funny alcove underneath a staircase... It was giving birth to Stefan!

On the roof top. Make sure you click on this picture to enlarge the picture and check out those chimneys!! Each one is decorated with a mosaic.

Another part of the building giving birth to one of us...

This is the top of the building's facade. As you can see on the back side (not facing the street) it is one giant mosaic, and the front side are scales in many shades of purply blue. The ridge on the top looks like a spine, and this whole thing looks like a dragon's back to us... how amazing and cool is this?!

Here you can see more of the scaly roof and a turret (the tower-y thing)... which is also entirely covered in mosaic tiles. We hope the guy who put that together got paid reeeeally well!

A room at the top of the building. On that table is a guestbook you can sign. The arches in this room were used out in the corridors on the top floor as well, and they were a new type of arch designed by Gaudi. This room is supposed to look like a rib cage of a whale... we'd say he succeeded, wouldn't you?? :) We this there is something very "Ivory Tower" (from The Neverending Story) about this room too! Cliff finds it very tranquil but Stefan doesn't necessarily agree... 

Inside another part of the building, where you can get a good look at the tiling. See how there are many pieces that are specially cut for the parts of the wall that curve.

Back out on the streets of Barcelona... here is another random cool building! The photos that follow are all of random buildings that we found very appealing.

Wouldn't it be fantastic to live here and have one of those balconies as one of your own?!

Placa Catalunya in the evening...

La Rambla at night.

And that brings us to the end of another fantastic day in Barcelona.