I had reached my limit before I woke this morning. But without a blink, I showered, breakfasted and was on the road again.
(Note; please check that you are getting all the post – when you have read all you can see the bottom of your email in case there is an extension – this post has a lot of photos and I suspect it may be longer than normal)
Using the metro, I came out into hard sunlight and was faced with people standing looking with awe and not even using their phones/cameras. I knew they had to be looking at my destination, the famous Sagrada Familia cathedral. I turned and there it was. I know that medieval, renaissance and baroque churches and cathedrals took hundreds of years to build and it was wonderful to see a contemporary example of a religious building in progress – one that started before I was born, and while it may be finished before I die, it may continue to be extended after that.
During the two and a half hours I stayed, I made notes; an internal forest of different rock with subtly shaded differences to bear various finished heights. The complex of nature. The mess of nature. The complications of interactions of nature. The juxtaposition of unexpected two-dimensional patterns and three-dimensional forms that we know happen unpredictably in nature. Millefiori. Mille fleurs. Pretend sky peeking. Light and light and light. Perhaps there were 3000 people in and around at any one time, but I was able to (mostly) find space and block them out. Or maybe the church did that. A free international church service tomorrow at 9am would require me to turn up at 8.15 to be one of 700 people let in. I would love to hear the organ and the sounds.
Loved details such as the doors.
My booked entrance time for the Casa Mila/La Pedrera was fast approaching. Subwayed to the closest stop, gulped down a mandarin lifted from breakfast, and went in. Decided to tackle the stairs to the roof top first, and then to work my way down the building. Had views across the tops of buildings of the sea, Sagrada Familia, Montjuic and much more.
Knowing how difficult it has been for me to come out of a Metro and get going in the right direction, I plodded for less than half an hour almost to the final house of the day, Casa Vicens. But it was late afternoon and I hadn’t had time for lunch. The walk didn’t show me any cafes that I wanted to enter – that had food I wanted; mostly pastries and pizza. All top quality (this was a quality neighbourhood) but I wanted real food. So, I settled on a café for a café con leche. Then I looked at the menu and ordered a Bicharin which was a sweet cream topped coffee with thick chocolate which needed to be stirred with a spoon and then spooned to my lips. Well – I couldn’t work it out from the menu. So that was lunch; heart attack material.
Down the street and I was at the house which was designed by Gaudi at a youthful 30 years of age – his first major commission and not like his later curvy work. I loved it. Has some marvellous ideas for Mary – will show and share on my return. I loved it. I loved it. I loved it.
This has been one of the best days. Superb creativity lifts my spirit. Made me forget my dreadful gungy lungs and cough (no broken/fractured ribs thankfully – the inhaler stops that happening. But people move away when I bark.)Took seemingly thousands of photos – of course I haven’t counted them, but I know I almost emptied my phone of power. None of the photos give you the ‘feeling’ of the buildings or the day or the experience or my interactions with people. Wonder what I will think when I look at them in a few months’ time.
Finished the day eating more pinxos and drinking red wine in the early evening before it got dark (5.30pm!) and headed home in the dark at 6pm-ish (the wrong way – can’t pick it in the dark). Now bopping to Queen and the Eurythmics in my hotel’s breakfast room (no table and chair in my room – note to June, check when you book your Barcelona accommodation). Life is good.