Sunday, April 26, 2015

Jesus and Nemo visit Barcelona

Hello Friends, I have been trying to be more up to date on my posts but you know how it is, the world’s a busy place. This past Christmas our friends Chris and Florrie took us to Barcelona. We had a wonderful  trip and enjoyed our

Barcelona is a beautiful city at this time of year. They take their Christmas holiday seriously; I was honored to be there.



Even though I have a way with words I couldn’t tell you what a Glup Glup Christmas would be like, but I hope you all had one if that is your holiday.

Our original plan was not to have an almost exclusively Gaudi trip but that is what we had. None of us thought to check to see how the holiday would affect our plans. Actually, Nemo mentioned it but we don’t always take him as seriously as we should. You know what they say about all creatures great and small!

In case you aren’t familiar with Antonio Gaudi here is a little information about him.

We went to Park Güell our first day there, as it was one of the only places open. It was a lovely day, we enjoyed spending it outside.


Park Güell was originally commissioned as a park for Barcelona aristocracy. Now it is a park for the people of Barcelona, who are allowed into all parts free. The areas you see us in are free to everyone. The bench was great, it pretty much encircles a huge sandbox. Families can hang out all day if they want.                                                            

                                                                                                                           Kids run around and play, friends chat, and everyone has a great time. You can see some of the beautiful tile work on the benches, the backs are decorated too since you can see all sides.


Here are a few of the animals in the park. The lizard is quite famous, and don’t worry, it didn’t eat Nemo. P1070350Nemo and I both enjoyed his company. Later we saw another Gaudi building with a roof line that looked sort of lizard-like.


As I said, families like to hang out on the benches. Here are our new friends; Mike, Miranda, and Maddy. They were visiting the area and enjoying Gaudi.


Here is another section of the park. Gaudi used similar curves in the attic of one of his apartment buildings.





DSCN9597This building was originally named Casa Milà but is usually called La Pedrera which means quarry, because it looks like stone. The building


was originally designed as a home to the wealthy Milà family. It was designed to hold apartments and officers. The owners had trouble renting it because people thought it would be too difficult to furnish the rooms due to their odd shapes.


Nemo and I were intrigued by the structures on the roof. In some ways they are scary but in all ways they are wonderful.



The green class is broken champagne bottles.


We are all trying to convince Chris that the roof of the little place we will build in North Carolina could look like this.



Here are some of the arches like the ones we saw at Park Güell.

Here you see Chris on the roof, that is la Sagrada Família in the background. It is the most beautiful church I have ever been in, and I’ve been in a lot of churches, but not to the exclusion of other places of worship.


Another building we visited was Casa Batlló. Gaudi designed this building for Josep Batlló, a rich aristocrat.  The Batlló family lived in the lower two floors while the upper floors were rented out as apartments. The colors and shapes are borrowed from the sea. The balconies look like skulls, very unusual.



Nemo and I couldn’t resist having fun here. Casa Batlló had so many intriguing areas. Nemo felt practically comfortable in this building. He said it reminded him of home.  



We loved this giant fire place, we want one like this in our house someday.


A few more pictures of Casa Batlló. This is a central shaft that lets in light.


Here we have the roofline that reminded me of another giant lizard.


Even the exit was amazing.                                                                      

Last, but most amazing was the Sagrada Família. There is so much I could say about this beautiful and spiritual place but this blog is getting long and I’m getting slow so I will share this link and encourage you to check it out:

We spent hours wandering around inside and outside. This is what we saw as we walked out of the Metro. As you can see they are correct to call it an unfinished masterpiece. But doesn’t that really describe everything and everyone?


This guy has a big job, he is holding up one of the pillars. 


The façade was unique. One side looking somewhat like those sand castle made with fists full of wet sand, or like the rocks we saw in Wadi Rum.


The other side had much harsher lines, but both sides were covered with Christian stories and symbols.

DSCN9645  I couldn’t help wondering what the skeleton was up to. DSCN9644




And then I wondered if George Lucas had ever been to Barcelona.


Gaudi, like me, was very much a fan of nature. These pillars were designed to look like trees.

Inside, we enjoyed watching the play of light and the way it changed throughout the day. You can also she the organic forms Gaudi used inside the church.



Here is the alter; it was unusual.


At the end of the day we all did a lot of climbing; we went up one of the towers. From there we could see. It was good exercise for our bodies and our hearts. We met people from all over the world and from widely different religions; everyone was in awe of the Sagrada Família.


I know this is  lot of pictures of one building but as I said it was totally amazing.

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I hope to do better next time and write a little sooner. Over spring break we had some pretty special company; in fact one of them wrote a guest blog. Now, I have to get into the creative mood and write about the rest of the break. Until next time adiós.