Saturday, July 14, 2012


We arrived at the Barcelona airport at about 3 p.m. on Sunday.  Our luggage was scheduled to arrive on  a Delta flight, the next day, Monday, the day our ship was to sail.  Ironically, it was coming on the same flight as my cousin Bob and wife Chris!  The baggage rep suggested that it be delivered to the ship...and we agreed.  Oh well, three days in the same least they were washed once.
We arrived at our hotel, The Gallery, and by the time we were settled, it was about 5:30, so we got a recommendation for tapas, and off we went.  
We walked by beautiful apartment buildings, with wrought irons balconies.  

Apparently, Catalans like to eat their breakfast outside, so a balcony is a must.  The underneath side of the balconies are beautiful.  Before the advent of elevators, it was more desirable/prestigious to live on the lower floors, so the balconies closest to the ground were more ornate. 

Some of these buildings had elegant boutiques, such as Hermes, on their ground floors.  Look at these gates!

We arrived at our restaurant, Cerveceria Catalana, and we were not disappointed. 
Cerveceria catalana
 Shrimp that popped in the mouth, delicious mussels, deep fried peppers, was delicious.  Not to mention the sangria.
We continued walking, and were delighted by the juxtaposition of old and new -

Even the sidewalks were fun!
We had resigned ourselves that we only would see Gaudi buildings the next day on a bus tour prior to ship arrival...but then, what's that in the distance?

Casa Mila, also known as La Pedrera (the quarry).  
It was commissioned as an apartment building, in an area know as The Extension, a planned community just outside of the old Gothic section of town.  It was 7:15, they closed at 8, so we quickly bought tickets, and headed for the roof.                         
At first is seemed like a jumbled mess, but then when you looked individually, it was beautiful.

Catalons believe that George Lucas gained his inspiration for Star Wars from these sculptures...they're actually air vents and chimneys!  I should have cropped some of time!
Then we went to the beautiful was this?

Here, there is an exhibit of the building, furniture models (Frank Lloyd Wright ish?), and objects from nature that inspired his designs.

The building has a central atrium, with the apartments surrounding.  We next went to a sample apartment, with early 20th century decor.

Then we went to the atrium.

Good by Casa Mila!  What a lucky happening for us.

More tomorrow!

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