Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day 6 | Barcelona August 31

Gaudi Day!  We woke up early and met Ryan's parents outside their hotel on La Rambla.  We quickly head to the metro so we could arrive at Casa Mila right when it opened (we had a schedule people!).

When we arrived at Casa Mila, there was no one there, so I thought we arrived at the wrong location.  After flipping through my travel book to compare the picture with what I was looking at, and reconfirming with a lady holding a clipboard, we went to the ticket window to buy our tickets.  Ryan and I scored with our student IDs again.  We decided it was totally ok, because we missed out using them for most of our Italy trip.  Who cares that we still weren't students then.  Next year we'll be too old.

So to back track, Gaudi.  Gaudi, or Antoni Gaudi was a modernist architect that lived in Spain.  His work is all over Barcelona.  Tragic story- he died by getting hit by a tram.  So be sure to look both ways when crossing those streets!

On our docket for the day, we were going to tour Casa Mila, swing by the Block of Discord, head to La Sagrada Familia then finish out Gaudi sights with Parc Guell.

Casa Mila was an apartment complex that he worked on.  The tour let you go to the attic, roof, and one floor.

A miniature Casa Mila in Casa Mila.
the facade.
We all purchased the audio tours.  Since Ryan and I have a short attention span when it comes to audio tours, we opted for the shorter version.

dorking it out with my headset and map

us Mordoff's are pretty cool...
First stop was the roof.  This housed the miniatures.  It also looked like a whale.  I felt like Jonah.

Within a few minutes, we already lost Ryan's dad.  After circling the attic a few times, we all found him on the roof.  But no wonder, because it was way cooler.  The roof was great, an odd mishmash of shapes and textures, but fun.  It also had an amazing view of Barcelona.

loved the tiles.

So you can be on the roof too, a few videos!

After a while on the roof, we headed to the apartment floor.  I was bummed to find out that the place was decorated "like what it would have been like".  How come no one keeps their stuff?  I want to see what was actually in the building.  Oh well, it was fun to explore and look at the funky stuff.

mirror shot!

doll house church

We then went down to the lobby, and were on our way.

looking up through the atrium

Then it was off to the Block of Discord, which was conveniently just down the street.  It is a street that has three houses designed by three major modernist architects: Muntaner, Gaudi and Cadafalch.  It's the cool street.




Illa de la Discordia lamp post

Then it was back to the Metro to go to La Sagrada Familia.  Time for a history lesson.  This is a massive private-funded Catholic Church that has been under construction since 1882.  Talk about procrastination!  Gaudi designed the church and worked on it for the last 15 years of his life.  He died in 1926, so other people have taken on the project in his absence.  It won't be done till 2026.  The project is funded by donations and the entrance fees.  That is why it costs an arm and a leg to get in, and they charge to ride the elevator.  Hmm...

So anyway, the church is amazing, partly because it is so HUGE!  The facade has two themes, one side devoted to the birth of Christ, the other to his death.  They both look very different, style wise.  Everything in this church is a symbol for something or another.  All very neat, but I forgot most of it. 


video (from our Go Car tour)

We all purchased audio tours, ours for a discount, which turned out to be a blessing.  We decided to take the over-priced elevator ride to the top of one of the towers.  The line was about 90 min.  So during that time we all listened to the extended version of the audio tour.

It was finally our turn after about 90 min, and we crammed in an elevator to get to the top.  We were somewhat disappointed with the view, it was hard to see out of the small windows, and we thought we were going to get a better view of the roof.  I also was getting major heebeegeebee's with the height and lack of secured railings. 

Jesus was here in '08!
To get back down, you walked.  Since we were in a tower, it was a long spiral staircase.  Ryan and I thought it would have been better as a slide.  Super-fun-happy-slide.

Ryan shot a thrilling video, like all of ours!

[Ha! Just watched that and realized it is all black, sorry you wasted your time!]

Once we were down, we toured the inside of the church.

I thought it looked like teeth.
made of three different types of stone

busy, busy, busy
part of door

like every great church, they had snacks.  For purchase of course.
Once we were done touring the interior, we went to the outside, the Christmas side.  We snapped a few photos, finished off the M&M's, then went on our way to find lunch.

too much stuff!

After walking around a few blocks aimlessly, we settled on a chain-type restaurant right across the street.  Since it was close, it was overpriced and somewhat bland, but food nonetheless. Ryan ordered Paella. I got a frankfurter.  And so we ate, and washed it down with Coca-Cola light. yum.

We then hailed a cab to drive us to Parc Guell.  Ryan's parents hadn't been in a cab yet.  We think they are fun, those crazy drivers.  Parc Guell was a bit too far to walk, and not really close to the metro.  The park has a lot of funky decorations, which can really only be explained via pictures.

The top had people sitting all along the bench.  The view from here was incredible, you could see all the way out to the sea.  And all the major sites.  Up here, people were selling odds n ends, and people were playing music.  It was fun.  But dusty.  That was one thing we noticed about the parks, they don't really do pavement, so you walk on compacted dirt.  It kept getting in our flip-flops.  No good.

After walking around and looking at Gaudi's major work here, we decided we wanted to leave.  Ryan's parents wanted to explore the park further, so we bid them adieu, hopped in a cab, and headed home.  We hadn't really siesta'd since we'd been there.  So we decided this was a fabulous idea.  I got some shut-eye, and Ryan did some work.  Once I woke up from my nap, I wanted to go shopping- Ryan was still working, so I grabbed my things for a much needed retail therapy session.

I had seen really cool shoes that the locals were wearing.  They looked like keds/vans- brand is Victoria.  Very simple.  I didn't have any tennis shoes like that, and I thought it would be fun to wear for the rest of our trip.  Shoe shopping in Spain was funny.  They have all their shoes in a window that faces outside.  When you find a salesperson, you walk them over to the window and point.  Luckily I knew the Spanish translation for the size and color I wanted. And here they are in all their glory:

I then went to a store called Stradivarius.  It had tons of clothes, with pretty good prices.  I had seen a lot of women wearing small floral pieces, so I found a cute flouncy skirt, with fall colors.  I also grabbed a belt.  And a necklace. : )

After my fun shopping spree, I went back to the hotel.  We got ready to go visit one last church, and then for dinner in the Ciutat Vella area.

sporting my new skirt and belt!
We went to the Santa Maria del Mar church.  This church was built by wealthy shippers, and is pure Catalan Gothic.

After touring the church, we grabbed some espresso, then walked through the Ciutat Vella area.  We liked it over here.  Certainly had character.

We then found a fun restaurant that had tons of outside seating.  For this meal, we went all out.  We ordered bread, gazpacho, tortilla, paella and sangria.  Everything was so yummy.  We ate a ton, and enjoyed sitting outside.  The weather was great, and a few musicians had been playing throughout our meal.

After we stuffed ourselves silly, we slowly strolled home, and went to bed.


  1. Every day of your trip seems better than the last! I am so happy that you two had the chance to go & I've loved reading through your adventures! :)

    Also - those shoes you bought are adorable. LOVE 'em.

  2. I do love my shoes. And they were only 15 euro.


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