Leonardi Travel Diary

Barcelona Day 2: Gaudi

Europe, Spain, Barcelona | 05 August 2013

Day two was filled with Gaudi! Expect more pictures with this post...for sure.

We started off with an early trek over to La Sagrada Familia. The walk was pretty straight forward from the hotel. We actually lucked out in this respect; our hotel ended up being no more than a 30ish minute walk to anything we ended up seeing. Success!

The church itself is unfathomably awesome. I feel like Notre Dame in Paris was amazing, but this is on another level entirely. The size, the design, the level of detail of every inch of this place is just incredible. Whether you're religious or not, when you walk in you can't help but have an overwhelming feeling of spirituality. It really brings you close to god -- it's that amazing. We ended up spending more than 3 hours walking around with our jaws dropped. As if the building itself wasn't enough, there was a thorough museum explaining the design, the building process, and even includes the models and paintings created by Gaudi to use in the original planning and construction. The construction, by the way, started in the late 1800s and is, today, only 60% complete! Both Lucia and I look forward to visiting again in 10 or so years to see how things will have changed over time.

The whole experience was beyond expectation, and La Sagrada Familia is hands down my favorite site of the trip. I can't wait to go back and spend a whole day.

After we finally dragged ourselves out (we kept getting distracted by something new to look at...it took a while to actually leave), it was time to look for lunch. We walked into a nearby deli type place to enjoy probably the worst burger Lucia or I have ever had... haha it was terrible, but we had pictures of La Sagrada Familia to obsess over -- which helped. Everyone else's meals were fine.

After lunch it was time to meet Ari (who had to work in the morning). The next stop for all of us was La Pedrera (another Gaudi masterpiece). La Sagrada Familia is a tough act to follow, but this place didn't disappoint. We did the audio tour, and I'm super happy we did. La Pedrera was originally designed for a wealthy family who wanted to live there and rent out apartments to tenants. My favorite aspect of the design is actually that the interior has NO load bearing walls. He did this so that the apartments and, really, the entire space could be organized in any way the occupants wanted. The building's history seems to have taken advantage of this fact too. Pretty cool stuff. He also designed it to maximize natural light -- which was pretty evident when we got to tour one of the apartments (made up to be "period" accurate).

After we finished the tour, we headed back to our respective areas to shower and get ready for dinner (the heat necessitated two showers a day). We ate at an italian place that was fantastic, and we all had a great time! Even Maurizio, the Italian, liked it.

Check out our other entries from: Europe, Spain, Barcelona