Europe 2010: Modernista Barcelona – September 27

On our one full day in Barcelona, we decided to focus on the Gaudi sights which are spread throughout the city and include the Park Guell high on a hill overlooking Barcelona. We hopped on one of the Hop On Hop Off bus tours (not a bargain but convenient!) and went first to Casa Mila — Gaudi’s famous apartment block. We had to cue for almost an hour, but it was worth it to get up to the roof to check out the famous chimneys.

Facade of Casa Mila


The attic area


Up on the roof


Lots of Chimneys


Gregg and a chimney


The ceiling in the foyer

After a light lunch at a sidewalk cafe in front of Casa Mila, we hopped back on the bus and went up to Sagrada Familia. We decided not to cue for another hour to see inside the unfinished cathedral and so just walked around and took a few pictures. It’s impressive but I’d like to see it in a few decades when it’s finished!


Two Barcelona businessmen snapped from the bus on our way to the Sagrada Familia


Front of the Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia-a shot with the fewest cranes


Modernista hospital not far from Sagrada Familia

We hopped back on the bus and went up to Park Guell–the iconic Gaudi site with fabulous mosaics and great views. The day was stunning–hot but not too hot and I think most of Europe was in the park. We heard a lot of French, Italian, and Spanish (not much English). Here’s a series of Park Guell views.






I bought a Gaudi styled salt and pepper shaker (well, why not!) and we hopped back on the bus for a very long, drawn out ride through the upper reaches of Barcelona. We should have taken a city bus back to our hotel but of course I wanted to get our money’s worth (always a mistake) and felt we should complete the tour. It took forever!

Eventually we did make it back to the hotel (around 7 pm) and decided to eat there rather than venture out again to the Ramblas. The dinner was superb — a lovely walnut ravioli for me and a pesto Tagliatelle for Gregg. Yes – Italian but very well prepared and so far I can’t say I’m a huge fan of Spanish cuisine (although it’s perhaps it’s a bit early to judge!).

The next morning we took the metro up to the Fondation Joan Miro for a very enjoyable wander through a beautiful building and an excellent overview of Miro’s works. I enjoyed really taking the time to look at some of the paintings in an attempt to understand them!

Outside the Miro Foundation
Coffee at the Miro Foundation


Gregg cracks his back on a park bench

We walked farther up the hill to the Olympic stadium area — a bit too much triumphalism (is that a word?) for my taste but certainly impressive.

Stadium for the 1992 Olympics


From the Olympic area

We caught a taxi to the hotel where we picked up our bags and headed for the train station and the next leg of our journey.