Thursday, June 26, 2014

Barcelona color

I am drawn to color. 

The first stop on our European adventure was Barcelona, and it was full of color. Andrew had always dreamed of going to Spain, and I'm always up for something new. Barcelona was perfect for us. We had no plans and no clue what to do there, but winging it and rolling with it was a great way to start our trip. 

We spent four days in Barca, and each brought something new. After leaving around 8 AM Utah time and arriving at 10 AM Spain time the next day, we were exhausted, but we didn't let that stop us from exploring. Once we found our hotel, which was surprisingly nice, we freshened up then headed out to see what the city had in store.  

Our first stop was at the Sagrada Familia, crazy and beautiful. We discovered the colors a few days later when we went inside!
After wandering around the city trying to find something worth eating, (I'm not much of a seafood eater, so the options were limited) we got ready to head to the beach.

On our way down to the coast, we passed a beach-side market and, if you know Andrew, you know he couldn't resist these colorful gummies. They just so happened to be delicious too.
And if you know me, you know I couldn't resist these fresh olives right next door. Yum.
The beach was sunshiney and bright, and there were only a few topless people. Success.
Gotta love that blue ocean. I always love the beach and the sound of the waves lapping on on the shore. It's simply calming (despite the men wandering around shouting "Cold water beer cerveza very cheap!" every few minutes.) 
We wrote out our hashtag with all the awesome rocks and pebbles that lined the sand. It looked great in real life, but getting a picture wasn't quite as easy.

The next day we got another dose of color at Park Güell.

Apparently, Gaudi, the architect behind a lot of the buildings and landscaping in Barcelona, was a man after my own heart: he clearly had a thing for color too. His style involves lots of undulating lines and curved surfaces, which he covered with mosaics, or trencadis. Mosaics were convenient because they could easily cover the rounded surfaces, and they add a distinctive and unique touch that was unlike anything else I had ever seen. 

We explored Park Güell all afternoon, starting with the rambling paths and gardens and then venturing into the monumental part of the park later in the day. 

I think we were both surprised at how green Barcelona was, especially as we explored the park.
We ventured into Gaudi's house and saw some of the little rooms where he spent several years of his life. I loved the corally color of his abode. 
His view of the city was pretty sweet too.
As we wandered the paths, we came across several different musicians. These guys were a real hit. 
Another great view from our ramblings

In the monumental section of the park, things got a little crazy. It's kind of a wonder Gaudi's designs still stand.
 It's amazing how his leaning rock pillars and his functional, traditional pillars transition so seamlessly. You wouldn't think you'd find them in the same park. 
Here's where the mosaics come in:
These were originally meant as guard houses, but now house a history museum and a gift shop. The roofs are entirely covered in mosaics.
Seriously, though. These mosaics. Can't. Get. Enough.
More green.
More me.
More Anj.
A great view of the entrance to the park:
Barcelona feet.
Gaudi actually used discarded pieces of ceramic to create the mosaics. There are so many intricate pieces and designs and even though it is a bit chaotic and random, everything still fits together so perfectly. 

The word for butterfly in french is papillon, and it happens to be one of my favorites. I think that is why this tile stood out to me. I took several pictures of it, and then when I walked into the gift shop, it was everywhere: on coasters, keychains, postcards, stickers... It was fun to see that the tiny tiles that stood out to me, among the hundreds of thousands I could have noticed, were a standout to others as well.
Park Güell was clearly a squinty success.

Going inside the Sagrada Familia, also designed by Gaudi, was both colorful and spiritual. We entered "El Templo" early in the morning when the sun hitting the windows just so. The colors coming through the glass were breathtaking, and they filled the entire building. Though the building is unfinished and the religion not my own, I knew it was a holy place. How can something that magnificent and beautiful, and yet so quiet and peaceful, not be?

I think it's safe to say that these pictures speak for themselves. I hope you can get a taste of the magnificence, grandeur, and holiness of the Sagrada Familia.

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