Ahh the narrow streets of Europe. Many were definitely not built for cars, or for tourists for that matter. But they have so much character!
Isn’t it amazing to find a surprise, like the cathedral of Barcelona above, waiting for you at the end of one of these old streets?
Once, in Toledo, Spain, my friends and I didn’t even bother picking up a map just so we could wander around all the twisted little old streets. (Don’t worry, we didn’t get lost; Toledo is not a very big city.)
You never know what you will find down one of these tiny alleys between buildings, like this one in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Even Venice, a city without many streets, has narrow, convoluted pathways–they are just canals instead!
Visiting Barcelona’s Parc Güell in the summer meant it was very hot and packed with tourists, but it was worth it to see the fabulous designs of Gaudí. High above the city, it contains some interesting gardens and pieces of architecture.
Everything is in his trademark Moderisme style; even the benches are abstract versions of benches.
The coolest things to me were all the amazing textures used, as well as the way he blended natural and artificial together.
Travel involves a lot of waiting, but sometimes it can be fun. I often fill the waiting time by taking pictures. One of my favorite “waiting” times on a cruise is waiting for the ship to set sail. I love to be up on the deck, seeing all the sights.
In Barcelona, the port is pretty industrial, but there are still some good views of the city skyline in the distance as well as the beaches, and Montjuïc Cemetery on the hill.
Sagrada Família Basilica in Barcelona, Spain is a wonder of Modernisme architecture. Although I think of Gaudí’s style as being very rounded and natural, he also uses angles incredibly well. In the Passion façade, he uses stark angles to show the harsh bleakness of Christ’s passion and death.
In the interior, he uses organic angles on the tree-like pillars to give a sense of opening above. And outside, he includes many peaks that point heavenward.
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.