Barcelona – The love affair with Gaudi

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The picture above is an almost perfect summation of my perception of Antoni Gaudi and his work.  Immortal, timeless, like living in a bubble untainted by modern influence or contemporary culture.  Geez, looking at his work I can’t even decide whether he is revolutionary, traditional, or simple out of this world!  I just know that I was in awe with almost everything.  And I am glad for it, for without visiting Barcelona, I would never had discovered this.  And I probably still wont, if I wasn’t there with The Boss.  And it was a heavy dose of humility, standing in front of works by Dali and Gaudi.

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*this window is so Star Wars to me.*

Casa Batllo.

I’m not going to get into too much detail on Gaudi’s backdrop information.  If you want to find out more, you can check out this link http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/gaudi/barcelona-gaudi.html.  Gaudi’s style and uniqueness speaks loudly on itself.  What I want to mention though was his brilliant use of natural curves and light.  For ignorant visitors like me, it is vital to get an audio guide, for we won’t understand and appreciate things the same way without them.  In this Gaudi site I was mesmerised by his use of colours, lights and curves.  Window panes, for example, was done in a way that its curves enables us to see the panes in the same colour and light shade no matter where we were looking from, within the building.  This technique was also found in the skylight opening at the middle of the building.  The blue paint that were on the walls was gradually darker as it reaches the bottom.  This meant that the blueness on the wall was consistent in colour and shade from top to bottom, under the sun.  Breathtaking.

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Casa Mila

Casa Mila is not as heavily advertised as his other more famous sites or monuments.  I remembered that, I myself, felt that this place fell short of the regular Gaudi Wow factor.  It is different to his other work.  Maybe because its an apartment building, maybe because it didn’t scream Gaudi from the outside, as Casa Batllo did.  Or maybe, simply for the fact that we visited this last.

As it turns out, the city of Barcelona is in total agreement with my assessment.   It took them no less than 74 years, from the date of completion, to name it as a World Heritage site.

Luxury homes in the modern world almost usually relates to space.  Gold, and blings certainly would’ve been understood as expensive, such as the case with Versailles palaces.  Gaudi, though was more interested in natural light, and details.  Oh, and the whole structure doesn’t contain any right angles.  Its fully curved.

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What left an imprint on me, however was the apartments itself.  By the time we got to this site, we were already aware of Gaudi’s brilliance with furniture.  But man, was I spooked.  In a ghost, boogie man kinda way.  But it was the kind of spook that was intriguing.  The kind that has you leaving half an eye open, because you don’t want to miss anything.  For the apartments really transports you to another realm.  Photographing the insides of these apartments was nervy, as I was mindful of mirrors, dolls, and the maid uniform.  Ever seen ‘American Horror Story’ series?  YEAP.

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Upon research, after the trip, this place has a long history.  One that makes any antique or heritage building that bit more special.  And looking back, I am glad we decided to pay the entrance fee to check this out.  For no amount of Quantum Leap, will guarantee me seeing things like these again.

Park Guell

This was a admittedly, a little disappointing.  But, because his influence is so spread across such a big park it made it a very enjoyable day out.  In this place, you can sense the synergy between Gaudi and his beloved Barcelona.  It gives you the impression that one can’t be without the other.

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Sagrada Familia

The Gaudi Basilica that has yet to be completed.  The masterpiece from the architect of God.  This is easily the most famous Gaudi work in the world.  And rightfully so!  Every detail, every idea of Gaudi’s, seemed to have been manifested in the creation of this Basilica.  If you thought that the ‘Star Wars’ like windows at Casa Batllo was unreal, you will be blown away looking at Sagrada Familia’s sculptured figures on the building itself.

When we got there, the first thing we did was take an elevator to see the tower tops up close.  Since work on the building is in progress, I felt this was a waste of time.  The most challenging aspect of photographing this, was to not include any cranes into my composition.  Spending time in the main hall of the basilica, however, I could probably stay there for a whole day.

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Flamenco

This post is already longer than I would’ve normally liked.  But, I can’t stress how important it is to catch a Flamenco show whilst in Barcelona.  I didn’t understand a word, but like opera, I swayed as they swayed, almost teared as they teared, and exhilarated with every fierce foot stomp that they made.  This beautiful art is probably as diffused and standardised as MacDonald is in that part of Europe.  I am glad I didn’t feel that way.  And I enjoyed every minute of it.

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I am signing off this post with 2 more images.  Portraits.  Of the man himself, as well as a very cool blues singer that we met at the top of Park Guell.  Thanks for visiting.

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