Wednesday, April 9th, Barcelona
Back in 2011 I traveled to Guatemala to study Spanish for three weeks. It was to be total immersion, staying with a local lady in a boarding house in Antigua. My travel buddies, Karen and Jan who were WAY ahead of me in learning Spanish, were also with me.
Also staying in the same home was a lady from Finland (Sirpa), a college student from Texas (Dawn) and three young students from Madrid (Anna, Beatriz and Casilda). Thanks to the magic of the Internet, I have been able to stay in touch, even if only occasionally, with all of them via Facebook.
I was so pleased to learn that Anna is now living in Barcelona and had some time to meet up with us this afternoon before her classes. About to complete her education and start an internship in law, she is one sweet and smart lady. Since getting some good local tapas was on my wish list, she suggested a place and we met up in front of the Cathedral.
Anna helped Tim and me pick out a few tapas and we topped the meal off with churros and chocolate.
After completing our meal, Anna walked with us as far as Placa Catalunya where we parted ways – she was off to class, and Tim and I ventured on to see another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Casa Mila “La Pedrera”
Considered the zenith of Gaudi’s work, this family home/apartment building is currently undergoing massive renovations. Unfortunately that equated to the exterior being covered over with canvas wrap and some of the interior closed to view.
What we did get to see was the rooftop, attic and one apartment.
Taking his inspiration from nature, Gaudi incorporates curves, stones, rocks and broken glass or tiles as well as twisted metals into his work. Built from 1906-1912, this was considered to be his prime years. Innovative, outlandish, modern, before his time, unique, original, and unusual can all be used to describe his work.
The Rooftop Terrace
On top of the building are some of the most unusual forms. With a functional use, they are more than just ornamentation.
“The astonishing set of architectural-sculptures placed here falls into three kinds of structures: stairwells, ventilation towers and chimneys. Some are covered with trencadís (ceramic fragments),…
By virtue of its spectacular façade and its unique Roof-Terrace, La Pedrera is considered one of the most extraordinary buildings of the twentieth century.” ~ La Pedrera.com
Formed by 270 brick arches, this space once housed the laundry. Today it is used as an exhibition hall for Gaudi’s life work. Included are movie clips, scale models, drawings and reproductions of some of the furniture he designed.
Decorated in the style from the early 20th century of the wealthy middle class, complete with furnishings and decorative elements that Gaudi designed, this gives insight into what life was like at the time.
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for reconnecting with a friend from the past and being introduced to proper tapas and churros with chocolate!