It was meant to be a surprise. On May 1, it was Phil’s 33rd birthday and at the beginning of the year, I decided to surprise Phil with a trip to Barcelona. I even secretly got his bosses email address and filled him in on my plan. And then Phil went and changed jobs, so I had to tell him. Nonetheless, he had a great birthday and we our trip could not have gotten better with Keira.
The flight is only 2 hours, so it was a good test run to see how she does. She was such a trooper and was happily chatting away on the flights. The return flight was a bit more stressful – for us, not her. The queues at the airport were long and getting through security was way more effort than at Stansted airport and we just got to the gate in time to walk onto the flight. Keira kept her cool though and could probably teach us a good lesson in flying.
Barcelona is a really great city. I’ll demonstrate in pictures. Lots of pictures.
Keira’s first flight
Seat-belt is on. It was really warm, so don’t judge the lack of pants.
She was flopping around all night, so she did sleep in the king-size bed every night. I think she liked it.
Her “push-chariot” as Phil dubbed it. Note the sheepskin Great Grandpa. We had to make sure Precious Junior was comfortable. This was the start of a walking tour of Gaudi’s buildings. We didn’t quite make it through the entire tour.
Gaudi’s first commission – the lamp post.
Palau Guell. The family home of the Guell family. Designed by Antoni Gaudi and built in 1886-1888. Gaudi was part of the Modernista movement in Catalonia. Fun fact: the main language is Catalonian and not Spanish and the people of Catalonia would prefer to be a separate state from Spain.
Casa Batlló by Gaudi. Surprisingly, the 1st floor was considered the most precious real estate in buildings of this era. How they built these buildings is beyond me.
Casa Mila by Gaudi. Better known as La Pedrera (The Quarry). Apparently, in contrast to Gaudi’s over-the-top buildings, he was quite humble and wanted nothing to do with wealth. He was highly religious and often clashed with his clients.
Enough touring for a day, it’s wine-o-clock
We took the metro everywhere
Probably the highlight of my trip was visiting the Mies van der Rohe exhibition. He designed this building in 1929 for the German government. It was quite a statement at the time and the first international fair the German goverment had participated in since World War I. The original building was torn down (since it was a temporary exhibit), but it was rebuilt in the 80’s. For anyone interested in architecture, you will recognize this iconic building.
The building is a study of modern architecture.
It was one of the first times that columns were used to support a building rather than structural walls, which allowed large expanses of open space.
The use of materials was the focus – expensive marble from Italy.
The iconic Barcelona Chair designed also by Mies van der Rohe. The marble on the left is a semi-precious stone and was 1/6th of the total budget for the project.
The shallow pool of water is painted black to make it even more reflective of the surroundings.
Is that Baby K?
People thought it was super hilarious how she slept on her stomach in the pushchair
Exhausted! At least I was!
Satan’s Coffee – seriously good coffee. We also had an amazing donut that didn’t make the picture. We actually ate several very good donuts while we were there.
Tapas time. Sorry Keira!
“I’ll save you Baby K”
Beach time. You can see the Frank Gehry sculpture off in the distance
We met a really nice Swedish couple that we chatted with for quite a while about the meaning of life. They were nice enough to grab a pic of us.
Keira’s feet hitting sand for the first time
Barcelonita: which was actually only created in the 80’s for the Olympics. You can see the W Hotel in the distance.
The Sagrada Familia. I don’t often get truly blown away by cathedral’s anymore (spoiled – I know!), but this was unlike any building I’ve ever experienced. Gaudi didn’t get to see it completed. In fact, it’s still under construction. Barcelona has a goal of completing the building in 2026 – the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death. Interesting fact: Gaudi was hit by a street car at the age of 74 and died. When you see the building, you understand why it has taken so long. I don’t imagine the drawings for this building are very straight forward.
I wish my pictures did the building justice, but they don’t.