Thursday, March 6, 2008

barcelona -- art, architecture, and appealing oddity

barcelona is a very interesting city. buildings look like melting ice cream underwater. there is a cuisine that isn't necessarily the easiest to get used to. they speak a totally different form of spanish, catalan, so that they need a translation from one version of spanish to the other in the museums. and the cava is never-ending! we had a wonderful, design-inspired time.

the stained glass at the top, as well as the two pictures above, are from the segrada familia. the building of the cathedral was begun by antoni gaudi in 1882, and completion is not scheduled until 2020. it's amazing to watch a great example of modern architecture still being built.

we went to the casa batllo on our first day in barcelona and were completely in love. the building genuinely looks like melting ice cream and fish all at once. it's colorful and magical -- like a toy house for adults. every detail is skewed in such a way that it makes you question your balance. the stained glass is spectacular, the facade and chimney tops are a mosaic of tiles, and the attic ceiling is made of warped arches.

la pedrera is a similarly warped, but somewhat more subdued, building created for the mila family. it's currently used for both tourist visits and private residences. the chimneys in the first photo sort of look like mer-men, while others on the rooftop (which looks like an adult jungle-gym) are covered in broken glass from cava bottles.

park guell is tasty. that's the best way to describe it. all of the architecture looks as though it's straight from a hansel & gretel story, covered in candy and melting ice-cream (i know i use that analogy a lot when it comes to gaudi's work!). the entrance is above, with details below.

scary, monster-with-teeth looking bolsters.

i honestly think that great adventure's buildings were inspired by these structures (though, of course, much more crude!).

taking a break in barcelona is summed up in one word -- cava!!! it's akin to champagne, made in exactly the same way, but is much less expensive. we took a day trip to do cava tasting in the penedes region, and found our way to the codorniu facility. isn't the entryway above just beautiful? it's like a church dedicated to cava. =)

dave double-fisting cava in the tasting room.

this is what happens when i have too much cava early in the day...

food in barcelona is not always the easiest. when we ordered fish there, we got a plate of fried sardines, whole. dave couldn't eat them, but i did -- after taking the heads off!

finally, we wound up in this great sandwich restaurant on our last day there called sandwich and friends. i wanted to go there specifically because of the above -- a giant mural done by illustrator jordi labanda. how cool is that?

1 comment:

bridalwishlist said...

great pics. i adore barcelona. we went there on our honeymoon. i was so at peace there that i am thinking about moving there when my youngest son is in college.