Barcelona is home to a lot of stunning architecture, much of which is of a style not really found outside of the region.
Casa Bonet and Casa Amatller
Casa Bonet by Coquillat
One great example of its unique character is the Block of Discord on Passeig de Gràcia in the Eixample district. This block has facades by four of the great Moderisme architects…yet each is perfectly unique.
It’s really hard to pick a favorite, though Casa Batlló is probably the most ostentatious and also the most famous.
Gaudí’s designs for the Sagrada Família church in Barcelona, Spain incorporate themes of nature in many ways. The columns look like trees, so that it feels like you are standing in a forest while in the church’s nave. (They also remind me of celery stalks a bit.) It gives you the same feeling of peace as if you were really surrounded by trees, with the light filtering down to the forest floor.
The places I love most are the ones that feel like home. Salamanca, Spain was home to me for a semester during my undergraduate studies. This is the view of the beautiful Plaza Mayor from one of the cafés there. We spent many hours there, drinking a caña or chocolate, studying, talking, and having our Spanish corrected (laughed at) by young waiters. I hope to someday see this beautiful city again; just looking at this picture takes me back there.
I can’t think of a place that better encapsulates the idea of “wild” than Skellig Michael, off the coast of Ireland. It was once inhabited by ascetic monks and is now home to colonies of seabirds, like these puffins that have little fear of people.
This view of the cathedral of Palma de Mallorca from the Parc de la Mar provides a beautiful blend of the five traditional Chinese elements, metal, wood, water, fire, and earth.
Metal: the statue in the foreground
Wood: the palm trees growing in the Mediterranean climate
Water: the park’s large pond, which I think is fed from the Bay of Palma
Earth: the stone and bricks of the walls
Fire: This one is a stretch! My family has a joke that every modern art sculpture (no matter the name or subject) actually depicts a flame. So, here we have a statue of a flame to represent the element of fire. Ha!