07.05.2009 - 08.05.2009
Barcelona is famous for the architecture of the famous Anton Gaudi. I'm not sure if the adjective 'gaudy' is derived from this, but it deserves to be!
Gaudi's style was revolutionary and involved lots of coloured mosaic, fluid curves, circles and columns, lots of cast iron, and star wars style figurines! We crafted our route and today checked out some of his more famous buildings, as well as Park Guell - an estate he designed originally as residential area for the affluent, but was quickly turned into a public park.
Barcelona is in the middle of Catalunya and home to the Catalans - a group of people, who like e.g. maoris, palestinians, native americans, do not govern their native lands. They speak their own language, cuisine, and are are quite proud of their identity. Barcelona is very much multi-lingual, and we didn't see too many signs of hostility, apart from the odd bit of graffiti..
Like sushi, pinxtos are bite size snacks that are eaten as a snack with drinks, but a bit like sushi, can turn quickly into a meal. Tonight we found a neat little pinxtos bar which displayed about 40 different types (but really we only saw about 15). As you walk in, they give you a plate, and as you leave, they bill you based on the number of toothpicks you have (as each pinxtos is held together with a toothpick). The temptation is to throw your toothpicks on the ground - but being responsible tourists, we didn't.
Running up La Rambla
Got in a good 3.5km run up La Ramblas and around the waterfront. On the way back however, we got stuck at the retracting bridge which opens every evening to let boats into the dock - giving us a 10 minute breather for some stretching..
La Sagrada Famila
Gaudi's most celebrated building is La Sagrada Familia (the Sacred Family), a large cathedral that remarkably, after 100 years, is still being constructed. It's a megastructure, rising into the sky with its crazy looking spires, its facade covered in a nativity scene containing eerily futuristic sci-fi knights.
For an extra few Euro, you may go up the lift to the top of the completed spires. For added fun, we took the winding, narrow stairs all way down!