Ok. I admit it. I’m beginning to like this blogging thing, if for nothing else than for the exercise. And, since I caught the blogging bug, after talking about it with Biencutza, I decided to write another post on Barcelona. It’s true, it has been a while since my Spanish vacation, but I’ll try not to let that stand in the way of a (hopefully) good and useful article.
So, June 2012, 9 girls and 3 boys out and about… barceloning. First, let me just tell you right now that if you think that such a big group can stay together, you’re dead wrong. We were too many and some of us wanted to party, while others wanted to visit. You guessed: I was one of the one who wanted to go visit the city. And so I did, together with Petru and another one of my dearest friends, Tudor. We manage to see the ever-so-mesmerizing Sagrada Familia were you can clearly see how nature played an important part in Gaudi’s work (almost as important as religion). Also, here I found out an interesting fact about this architectural genius: when he was a little boy he suffered from rheumatism and, because of that, he could not play with the other children, but instead had to go out on long walks with his mother, thus having the chance to study nature. The entrance fee in La Sagrada Familia was 16 euros and it included a trip with the elevator up on the roof of the building. Like a famous commercial says: there are some things money can’t buy. That’s not true in this case. Pay the additional 3 euros fee and you get to see Barcelona from the top of La Sagrada Familia. Trust me, it’s worth it. The cathedral is not finished, it will be finished somewhere around 2030. Now, I work in a corporation so I am familiar with long term plans, but I think this particular long-term plan might just be every CEO’s wet dream.
Another of Gaudi’s great work is Casa Milà, better known as La Pedrera. Here, we managed to find an offer and buy a card that was 30 euros and it allowed us entrance in 7 museums, plus, we didn’t have to stand in lines at any of these museums included in the card.
La Pedrera, built for the married couple, Roser Segimon and Pere Milà, was the last “private” project for Gaudi. Immediately after finishing it, he started working for La Sagrada Familia. The roof of this building, more precisely the Ventilation towers, are said to be the inspiration for the Darth Vader mask. I did feel some heavy breathing in the back of my neck, to tell the truth, or maybe it was just the breeze. I guess we’ll never know. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to see Casa Batlo, as it was closed, and, besides, it was not included in the card we just bought. But we did see Park Guell. We walked around and admired the tropical scenery, the amazing trees, the colorful flowers and we thought to ourselves that it’s worth to pay the 4 euros to go into Gaudi’s house. It was. Gaudi’s home was not what I expected. You think to yourself: “somebody who managed to create buildings such as La Sagrada Familia or Casa Batlo or La Pedrera must have an amazing home”. Amazing is not the right word to describe this house, more like simple. And I kind of liked that. I liked that it was that simple, considering the backyard. Who needs a sophisticated home when your backyard is Park Guell? Me neither.
Walking – that’s the way to visit Barcelona, for the first 3 or 4 days you’re there, but then, after you start to lose any feelings in your feet, if you’re lucky, my advice is to go and rent a bike. That’s what we did, and it was worth it. We found this bike rental shop just down the street were we stayed. We rented 3 bikes for 2 days for 25 euros each and we didn’t even have to leave a deposit like you usually have to. We just had to leave an ID. So, with our bikes all ready and our enthusiasm all renewed we went out visiting again. We saw the Juan Miro foundation, we saw the Museum of Catalan Art, the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, we passed by the Museum of Music, we saw the Pablo Picasso Museum, we took a ride up on the cabin (the ride was 10 euros) from Montjuic hill crossing Barcelona harbor and landing in San Sebastian, where we managed to get our feet wet in the sea. Basically we took advantage of our card and of our bikes.
While we were in Barcelona we also managed to go to the last day of Sonar (we only wanted to go because of one reason: New Order). My advice about this festival: don’t go. It’s too crowded, there are too many Brits all wasted and going out of their way to be what they know best: wankers; and the sound was terrible. There we were, excited to be seeing New Order and we couldn’t hear Bernard Sumner. It was lucky that at least most of the people there knew the songs by heart so we could all sing along, but that’s not why we came there. All in all, crappy sound and shitty organization, but I am glad I did get to see New Order. I don’t think I’ll get another opportunity like that anytime soon. Some of our friends managed to have a better time by attending these so-called anti-sonar parties that were held on the beach, or the roof-tops of hotels. We decided that next time we’ll be in Barcelona (because we have to come back) we’ll do just that: go to anti-sonar parties.
Good music, excellent architecture, sandy beaches, sunny weather, excellent Sunday flea-markets, good food, tasty wine and culture at every corner – how can you not love Barceloning?
Have a look at a slideshow I did with some of the photos taken there!