Is Gaudi gaudy?
Earlier this month we were in Barcelona for a few days before moving on up to Carcassonne. Since this was our first visit to this Spanish city of 1.6 million people, where the amount of things to do and see is overwhelming, we had to choose an area of concentration. It’s only 2 1/2 hours by train from where we’ll be living, so we’ll be back to see what we missed. This time around it was all about Antoni Gaudi, the Catalan architect known for his unique and some might say outlandish style reflected in buildings including the Sagrada Familia cathedral.
On the north side of Barcelona is the area called L’Eixample (the Extension) where the city expanded from the older part near the port. With Phoenician and Roman roots, the word “modern” is all relative for any city but in this neighborhood it refers to architecture from 1900 and later. Buildings by contemporaries of Gaudi dot the streets but his work is unmistakable. It’s here that we saw Sagrada Familia, Casa Battló and
Continuing the art theme of this trip, on our final day in this Catalan capital we spent the morning touring the Picasso museum. Being more familiar with his later abstract work, we were especially pleased to see these works starting from age 14 that showed the true range of his talents. Since no photos are allowed inside the museum you’ll just have to come see them for yourself. In the meantime, here’s a photo from the waterfront that we took about an hour after we left Picasso. Behind me you can see architect Frank Gehry’s Peix (fish) he designed for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. We ate fresh fish for lunch and dinner every day we were there so it was only appropriate that we should have this picture.