An Homage to Catalonia
The Catalan region has been in the news recently due to their independence referendum and the surrounding controversy. Whilst the blog of a freelance writer is clearly not the right place to tackle that particularly complicated geopolitical issue, it has motivated me to write a post about the utterly fantastic time I had in Barcelona earlier this year
All the photos in the post were taken by me, and more are available if anyone sees something in particular that they'd like to see more of. Vamanos!
Now, obviously a post about Barcelona would not be complete without at least a passing mention of Gaudi’s absolutely mind-blowingly magnificent cathedral – La Sagrada Familia. However, everybody knows what that looks like. So I’m going to share some photos from inside, of the ‘smaller’ details which really made an impression and stuck with me:
This friendly looking fellow can be found outside one of the current main entrances into La Sagrada on the 'Nativity' facade. This tortoise is symbolic of the land; the creatures who live on it; and the unchanging nature of time. In typical Gaudi fashion, he is accompanied on another portico column by a turtle, who represents the sea and the creatures who live in it.
I have a particular interest in stained glass - both religious and secular in nature - and the windows in La Sagrada are truly phenomenal examples of the craft. The range of colour; the depth of detail; and the overall affect they had on the atmosphere and mood of the building were all so carefully considered and calibrated, the impression they create is unforgettable.
Finally - and somewhat surprisingly - one of my favourite things about walking around La Sagrada were the unexpected views that you glimpsed of the surrounding city. This particular view is from a window halfway down the staircase of the Nativity facade, and had me rearing to go and explore the rest of the city. Naturally, Barcelona did not disappoint:
I've always had an interest in street art and graffiti, so I was delighted when I found this stunning staircase piece at a Metro station!
Apart from Gaudi's fantastic contributions to the city, Barcelona has a host of architecturally stunning buildings and areas. A particular favourite of mine was the Gothic quarter, where the buildings seemed to offer more and more details to surprise and delight you with the longer you allowed yourself to linger...
Finally, in my humble yet set-in-stone opinion, a trip to Barcelona is just not complete without an evening of tapas; paella; sangria; and a trip to the Montjuic Fountain. An awe-inspiring display of architecture; music; and the 'dancing' fountain is available every evening (at least during the summer) and is the perfect highlight to a trip to this unique, Catalan city. As the 'Magic fountain' really needs to be experience in person, I'll leave you with a tantalising glimpse, and wish you the best for your own adventures in Barcelona!