Today was my last full day in Barcelona with the following agenda:
1. Go to Park Guell
2. Go to the Ramblas and visit the Boqueria
3. Get a fish pedicure
4. Visit Casa Batllo
5. Stop by La Pedrera
However, I didn’t realize that on Sundays in Barcelona all shops are closed which meant that I couldn’t visit the Boqueria nor get a fish pedicure. I was very disappointed and thought about my luggage situation and how I wanted to blame my lack of time on the airlines. Also, I am one of those who would not travel to a faraway city twice because there are just too many places I want to visit on my bucket list, which makes it unlikely that I will return to Barcelona. As sad as I was about missing my opportunities of going to the Ramblas and not getting a fish pedicure, I was glad that at least the museums were open.
I took a cab to Park Guell which was situated on the hilly part of Barcelona. I was delighted at the entrance as I was greeted by two (what looked like) gingerbread homes. Perched upon a centerpiece of the staircase entrance was the famous dragon, and it could not be denied that Gaudi’s genius was everywhere throughout the park. My favorite thing about the park was the never-ending undulating bench which was gleaming under the Mediterranean sun with Gaudi’s trencadis designs. Trencadis, which I should have explained earlier, was Gaudi’s use of waste ceramic pieces shown throughout many of his works. These “waste” pieces turned out quite colorful and beautiful as you will see from my pictures. Walking around the park there were many musicians, and one in particular, a guitarist and bassist, moved me, again, to buy their CD. Upon walking out of the park my eyes met a just-married couple who were being photographed. I jumped in to take a picture myself as the groom, holding a bouquet of balloons, was kissing his bride.
After being in the hot sun I needed a break with lunch so I took a cab and ended up eating at the cafe inside the La Pedrera, strange as the cabbie dropped me off there and I accepted it, although my intent was Casa Batllo. Beautiful windows, once again designed by Gaudi, allowed me to savor the view of the Passeig de Gracia on my last day in Barcelona. My peace was immediately interrupted as I got a text message, though, that made me cry immediately, making the waitress come over with a napkin so I could wipe my tears. A guy from work texted me that Stuart, my friend and colleague that I just visited at the hospice a few days prior, had died the night before. I couldn’t stop crying so I had to leave the restaurant as other patrons were starting to look over at me. Since my hotel was just around the corner, it was easy to get my composure in my room and freshen up before heading out again to finish seeing the rest of Barcelona. Again, I was reminded of Stuart’s last words when I was leaving his room at the hospice exactly one week ago from this day. He said, “HAVE FUN IN BARCELONA.”
Casa Batllo was Gaudi’s home entirely designed, of course, by Antoni Gaudi. He designed every inch of the house including all the furniture, and by now, I was falling in love with the architect. If you could see his designs in person, you might, too, as his rebellious side, as well as his genius, is revealed in everything that he touched. He was a risk taker with a creative mind, and the world needs more like him so that we may all experience more beauty and awe. I loved Gaudi’s chimneys as well as the colorful dragon on the roof of the home, pictures provided below. Of course, he even had skulls incorporated in the home featured as balconies. Oh, and peace signs, too!
My last stop in Barcelona was the La Pedrera which was Gaudi’s design of apartments. The building is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and on the roof is where I had the best 360 degree view of the entire city of Barcelona. Although La Pedrera was not my favorite, it was worth it for the amazing views. This is also where I realized that although I just bought a new camera in May, I wanted to buy another camera that has better zooming capabilities than my current model. I was jealous that the guy in front of me could zoom in on the La Sagrada Familia with great detail whereas my camera was incapable of zooming that far. What I must do for travel!
My very last meal in Barcelona was at a tapas bar sitting next to a man from Luxembourg. He was one of those Europeans that think that all Americans are unaware, not adventurous, and the least traveled. He was sitting next to the wrong American as he was surprised that I knew where Luxembourg was, that I had been to Turkey, and that I had no problem ordering food at a taps bar without hesitation. After my last glass of wine in Barcelona I was ready to call it a night. I loved walking back in the Mediterranean air, walking on the signature Gaudi-designed tile that lines the Passeig de Gracia, and honoring Stuart by having FUN in Barcelona…
Detail of Gaudi’s use of
trencadis on park bench
The wonders of travel! Taking this
photo of the newlyweds at a moment’s notice at
Park Guell, in Barcelona(!), was nothing less than amazing.
protrusions on the right are chimneys?
Casa Batllo at night
On the roof of the La Pedrera with the
La Sagrada Familia far in the background.