A year in the life...

On the roof at Casa Milā
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 - On the roof at Casa Milā - Techno-Impressionist Museum - Techno-Impressionism - art - beautiful - photo photography picture - by Tony Karp

I've always believed that the best way to travel is to spend a lot of time in one city, rather than hopping around the country, trying to see everything in a single trip. On this venture, the Hobbitt and I spent about 12 days in Barcelona. This length of time lets you take a leisurely pace and explore all the aspects, sort of pretending that you live there. It also leaves time for unplanned adventures, as we shall see in future journal entries.

Barcelona is a fascinating city, not really Spanish, but part of Cataluņa, poised somewhere between Spain and France. It has its own language (Catalan), and its own culture that is a blend of the two countries. The modern part of Barcelona was completely rebuilt at the start of the 20th Century, into a grid of streets like Manhattan, not north-south, but tilted at 45 degrees to match the coastline.

One of the architects of change was Antonio Gaudi, whose spectacular buildings inspired other architects of the time, and whose buildings in and around Barcelona are still major attractions over a century after their completion. You will need lots of time in Barcelona to fully appreciate these and other sights.

This picture was taken on the roof of Casa Milā, an apartment building built around 1910, and nicknamed "La pedrara" (the quarry) because of its unusual facade. Unlike most structures, there are very few straight lines in this building. The curved surfaces blend into one another.

Gaudi worked with Josep Maria Jujol, who provided the detailing, such as you see in this picture of air vents that look like faces wearing masks. Fortunately, this building is open to the public and there is much to explore.

This picture was used on a poster for a concert by the Hertfordshire Chorus at Royal Festival Hall in London in 2005.

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