Posts Tagged ‘Gaudi’

Monday in Barcelona

April 21st, 2008 at 7:25 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

Monday was a bit of a lazy day. We all slept in. I made it all the way to 8:30am, and then decided to wake the rest of the family at 11am. We didn’t make it out of the hotel until almost 1pm.

Among the good news we learned today was that both kids have officially finished their school year with flying colors, and are now ready to enter the next grade – 6th grade for Bas, 8th grade for Krystyana. And just about everything with educational value we’re doing on this current trip will count towards their educational requirements for the next school year, which will start in July for them (although we’ll be doing regular school work with them as soon as we return, and just submit what’s already been done at the start of their new grade).

Back to Barcelona. We had Tapas for lunch, perhaps the best ones yet (review forthcoming), and then went to Antoni Gaudi’s La Pedrera, also known as Casa Milà, an incredible example of modernism and organic form. La Pedrera also features an extensive Gaudi museum, so we all learned a lot more about this amazingly gifted man.

By the time we were done at La Pedrera it was almost 5pm, so after sampling some ice cream, coffee, and local hot chocolate (which is very thick and has the flavor and consistency of hot chocolate pudding – yummy!), we opted to try and spend what was left of the day at the Barcelona Zoo.

We got there at 5:30pm to find out that we only had 90 minutes left to explore it all (in contrast to our guide book’s misinformation which had suggested that we would have until 9pm), so we did a brisk walk and saw most everything as the zoo was virtually empty and we didn’t have crowds to contend with. In contrast to U.S. zoos, here we got to get a lot closer to the animals, which also provided much better photo opportunities (I’ll try to post some photos soon).

We finished up at 7pm, and then wandered about in search of diversion until restaurants opened at 8:30pm. We found some diversion at a cafe with another hot chocolate and some pastries (all very bad for my low carb diet, of course).

Finding an interesting restaurant for dinner proved to be a challenge because we had by then wandered out of the primary restaurant areas, and because Bas was over tired and grumpy. But we did find a great local place which I will write about more tomorrow as well.

In the plans for tomorrow is the Joan Miro museum and maybe the Picasso museum, all before we have to fly out to go to Granada and visit the Alhambra.


Barcelona – High Above and Underwater

April 20th, 2008 at 12:49 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

We started off mid-morning on the so-called ‘tourist bus’ – the double decker that tourists like us use to get around to all the interesting visitor spots at a particular destination. We took the red/north line (there are also the blue and green lines), which ultimately brought us to Parc Güell, another site featuring the works of Antoni Gaudi.

After a couple of hours of wandering about we hopped back on the bus in hopes of transferring to the blue line to get to Fundació Joan Miró – a museum with over 10,000 pieces of the art of this modernist/post-impressionistic/surreal artist. However, by the time we got there we would have had less than an hour to see the museum and the line to get in was ridiculous, plus it was raining. We will try again Tuesday.

So, instead we had lunch in Las Ramblas – more tapas at a tourist-oriented place, after which we said goodbye to Martin and Arend. They have a 14 hour drive back to Holland.

After a bit of shopping we went to the oceanfront and Aquarium (photos above), followed by an attempt at an early dinner (dinner starts late here – typically 8:30pm or 9pm at the earliest).

We’re still quite jetlagged too.


We Visit Sagrada Familia

April 19th, 2008 at 12:34 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

After hooking up with Martin and his father Arend, we had a hearty lunch of tapas, followed by a required two hour nap. From there we took the subway to see Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, a building that continues to be built even 80 years after Gaudi’s death. Breathtaking!


Made It To Barcelona!

April 19th, 2008 at 5:36 am (AST) by Jake Richter

Our flights were all on time, and thanks to frequent flyer miles we could use on KLM we enjoyed the comforts of business class travel – very nice indeed across the Atlantic. Business class within Europe is a bit weird from an American perspective, as the seats are all the same size as in coach, maybe with a bit more seat pitch, but with better service than in economy.

By the time we got to Barcelona, the sun was already up a bit in the sky (we got in around 9am). We collected our bags, and then went to get a taxi to our hotel only to discover that the taxis here are just a wee bit too small to handle a family of four, even with only one checked bag per person. So we ended up taking the Aerobus municipal transport to the Plaza Catalyuna and walked the four blocks to our hotel from there.

Now we await the arrival of our Dutch friend Martin and his father so we can bop around Barcelona with them. On the list of things to do are visiting some of Gaudi’s architectural works including the Temple de La Sagrada Familia, the Picasso museum, the Joan Miró museum, and, of course, tapas bars to sample Spanish and Catalan cuisine.

As a side note, I just remembered that one of my favorite musical groups of the 80s, The Alan Parsons Project, has a whole album dedicated to Gaudi, and even a song about the Sagrada Familia. Great album which is about to take on a completely new meaning for me.