Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Gaudi experience in Barcelona

Oh! Chia and I have had jammed-packed holiday in Barcelona so far. The interesting things that we have noticed is that the people here are not as good looking as in Valencia! Well, that is my opinion. Barcelona feels very much like every other big city, but I do admit, that the tiny quirky boutique shops, the tiny delis, and patisserie shops that stem off La Ramblas (the main street for tourists) are really really good.

Also, the owner of our B&B (Dieago) is really really nice, and super informative about how to get to places, little insider secrets for quicker routes to take, or where to buy tickets and avoid the huge queues. He is really jolly and laid back. Chia summed it up nicely with 'everything he does is like a joke'. He is awesome.

Sagrada Familia

On Sunday Chia and I got out early to make our way to Sagrada Familia, the famous church that Antoni Gaudi designed and built half way, before being hit by a tram, leaving it unfinished. The queue was super long, but Dieago told us to go to a small bank on the corner across from the church, as it had an ATM which sold the tickets for entry. He was so right! Getting those tickets from the ATM allowed us to skip the long queue, and avoid sun stroke!

I do like my churches, but this one is by far my favorite. Each small and grand aspect of the church has a purpose.

For an example, the church has two beautiful motifs on the front and the back of the church. The way we entered from was with the detailed motif of the passion of the Christ, with scenes from the last supper, to judas' kiss, to the crucifixion etc. This side of the church is positioned so that the sun will light it as it sets. Whereas the other side, is the nativity scene, with the three kings, shepherds, Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus etc, and this is positioned in a way that when the sun rises, it will be lit.

The inside of the church is even more beautiful. Gone are those dark, scary stained glass windows depicting martyrdom and the like. Gone are the scary paintings of the devil. Instead the church is bright, white, fresh, and the spectrum of colours from the windows, gives this church a feel of celebration, as opposed to imposing fear.

The columns are designed in a way to look like tree branches and the ceiling looks like leaves and are designed to allow as much natural light into the church as possible.

YouTube Video

And below is the most boring, tired, flat and mundane video (as described by Chia) that you will ever see. (In my defence, I had very little sleep that night).

Park Guell

We then made our way to Park Guell, which was a private residential estate designed by Gaudi, but had been turned into a park for the public. Again, Chia and I were in awe of the wonderful and wacky imagination of this architect and artist. Things just seemed like they came from the world of Alice in Wonderland. The colour, the designs such as stone pot plants, were just out of this world!

After our long and very hot day, we found a nice little place to have tapas and sangria. It really hit the spot!

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