Thursday, August 15, 2013

Barcelona: The highlights

 

Well, its been a week and the sting of losing my iPhone to a hippy nitwit pickpocket has worn off.  So, now that I don't hate Barcelona anymore, I can share with you some of the highlights of Barcelona.  The biggest highlight was my company, Elisabeth and Randi.  We had such a lovely week together.

Amazeballs in Barcelona by day...
Rediculousness by night!
Unfortunately, I had taken a bunch of fun bar photos on my phone and hadn't uploaded them yet, so they were all lost.  What happens at Cheers and Razzmataz will have to stay there...

However, Randi took a million photos with her fancy camera during the day, so I can share some of the sights of Barcelona with you.  What better way to cram an entire city's history into a day, than to take a tourist bus.  As a resident of a touristy city, I always looked down on these buses, but I'm an asshole and will proudly wear that egg on my face. This was great, you could hop on, hop off and get a glimpse of everything in the city.  From this bus tour, we were able to identify landmarks that we wanted to spend more time at and follow up the following day. This was seriously the best 28 Euros that I spent in Barcelona.  So, Bravo Sightseeing Barcelona.


Norwegian Tourists!!!
Twinsies!



The architecure in Barcelona is stunning.  Its all so old and entwined with cultural significance and beauty.  Their most prestigious architect is Antoni Gaudi.  His presence is celebrated throughout the city.  He was largely influenced by gothic revival and his work consists of very intricate designs.  Actually, I would guess that this is where the English word "gaudy" comes from.  At first, I was not a fan.  It was so garish, I couldn't look away.

Defined as "ostentatiously ornamented; garish." The English definition of gaudy pretty much explains his work to a T.  This house below was actually my favorite of his works. I loved the fish scaling on the roof and when lit up at night, it looks brilliant and majestic.

Gaudi "Fish" house, Casa Batllo built 1904-1906
Fish Scaled roof!

Gaudi by night
All lit up...
Another Gaudi work that is a focal point of the city is his magnum opus, the Sagrada Familia.  Homeboy started this in 1915 knowing that it would never be finished in his lifetime.  In fact, they don't expect it to be finished until at least 2027.  It is brilliant in its ornateness and grand scale, but in my opinion, its horridly ugly.  It is so impressive though. It has a hint of gothic style, which I love, but then its topped off with weird glass bulbs of fruit.  This building is massive and takes up a city block and can be seen from almost everywhere in the city.  If I didn't know better, I'd think this guy was compensating for something big time ...or small rather :)

You know what this church needs?  4 more towers...
Sagrada Familia, under construction since 1915

Not sure if it can structurally hold itself up anymore, lets add webbing!

Beautifully intricate windows

It almost looks like its dripping plaster, but if you look closely its sculptures






I also liked the FNAC building.  It had an incredible view and we passed it like 3 times on the bus, although we never made it back :(


Another great thing about Barcelona is all the art.  They are massively supportive of the arts.  There are giant sculptures everywhere.

Olympic Torch in front of Olympic Stadium

Weird spider art near the cruise ship port
Lichtenstein, chillin by the beach in Barcelona!!
After a long day on the bus, it was time to hit the beach.  The beach on the west side, closest to Las Ramblas was quite dirty and crowded.  There were bandaids floating in the water and everything, gross. However, the second day, we learned from our tour bus ride that there were other beaches further east that were less crowded and super nice.



The people of Barcelona have even turned their tramways into art.  They used recycled wood from old railway lines to create eaves to shade passengers waiting for trams.  Genius and really really eclectic cool looking.

Recycled and functional art


So, we did the bus tour and we did the beach, now it was time for the park. I obviously love parks and wouldn't visit a city without going to one... Park Guell was also designed by Gaudi in 1900.


There was a Gaudi House Museum with a free exhibit that we didn't attend. I was not about to wait in a queue for this one...sorry Antoni.

Gaudi House Museum
View from the park...
For as much as I tease Antoni Gaudi, he was actually a visionary way ahead of his time and very conscious of space allocation.  He designed this rippled seating that actually doubled the capacity for usage.  The rounded benches could be used by twice as many people. It was very smart and actually very pretty.

Super ornate benched seating.  
Mosaic tiling everywhere....


The foliage looked very Amazonian...
You know what this park needs?  A gingerbread house
  
No, 2 Gingerbread houses, right by the entrance, that's it...perfect!

 This street musician was incredible. I took a video of his fast finger work and tipped him 2 Euros.  I hope the pickpocketer is enjoying the video...stupid hippy nitwit.


This guy was playing a really cool xylophone, finger picky sting instrument
Amazing view of Barcelona
and then she kissed me.... or tried to.
 Underneath the ripple benches was an incredible ceiling.  It was mosaic tailed in colorful circle patterns.




There is a giant mosaic salamander that greets you when you enter, for us, he greeted us when we left.


peace out, bitches
 Homeboy loved mosaic and tiling...here's more from the entrance area.




Park Entrance
Overall, I am a fan. I grew to like Gaudi.  He had incredible vision.  His contributions to Barcelona are magnificent and celebrated duly.  

Obviously this is a humor travel blog so we went out to celebrate the town....








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