Thursday, December 17, 2015

Barcelona: Gaudi, Balconies and Another Pub.

This post is almost a month late, but here it is. Our last stop on our Mediterranean trip was right where we started in Barcelona.

Once again the weather was supreme, sunny and 70 degrees. This last day of trip was already scheduled to see the notable sights and enjoy a midday tapas meal.

Barcelona is a very beautiful city trimmed with luscious gardens and accessible beaches, which seem to be almost a year round spot to visit because of the temperate climate in the southern Mediterranean.

One of the most spectacular sights is the Sagrada Familia, a cathedral designed by Antoni Gaudi, one Spain’s most famous architects and designers. Although Gaudi died in 1926, with just one-third of his inspiration for the cathedral completed, the work continues today to complete Gaudi’s original vision for the Cathedral to have three facades to depict the Nativity, Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Nativity façade, the original Gaudi interpretation,
faces east and is the most ornate.

The Passion façade faces west is rigid and simple with its modern lines.
The Glory Façade, still under construction.

Sagrada Familia 1925
The Glory façade, depicting resurrection, faces south. It is to represent the road to God, but it’s still under construction and scheduled for completion within the next five years. When the basilica is finally complete, several apartment buildings will be demolished to make room for the tourist traffic.

The basilica is too much to cover in one day, but worth the trip around the block that it takes up, just to see the transition of styles over the last century.

After Sagrada Familia, we toured the Gothic district, Picasso’s teenage stomping grounds and continued driving around looking at the various styles of balconies. The older buildings most of which are at least 3 to 4 stories high, have balconies that are staggered in size with the largest on the lower level and decreasing on the each floor above. In the days before air conditioning, the lower levels were occupied by the more ‘well-to-do’ upper class, while the further up your apartment went, the cheaper the rent along with the least amount of cool air flow. Those that had bigger windows and balconies had the good fortune of more open living space and fresh air.

We ended or afternoon with a fine tapas mid-day meal and a nap. That night the Eagles were playing the Miami Dolphins and a few of us NEEDED to find some place that would be televising the game. As Fate would have it they found The Philharmonic, an English Pub that televised American football in Barcelona, Spain. Sadly, the Birds lost, but it was yet another Pub to add to the list of the other non-Mediterranean pubs we visited while on our Mediterranean vacation.


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