Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Araya's Experience - Day 4 - Undiscovered Barcelona

Katherine in Casa Asia
 On the third day of our tour, we spent the day discovering more of Barcelona. In a city with 2000 years of history, uncovering everything all at once can be a a daunting task. If you have the chance to do it over several days, you can really delve into the various aspects. Today we began with the Passeig de Gracia, a road that originally served to connect Barcelona with the town of Gracia. Home to Barcelona's famous Block of Discord,  everything on the street demonstrates the style of the city, from the Gaudi tiles that line the sidewalks to the intricately designed ironwork lampost to the buildings themselves. We stopped to appreciate the facades of the Casa Batllo, Casa Amatller and Casa Lleo Morera among others. A quick stroll through Vincon (a must for shoppers) and we headed to some of the lesser-known treasures. Casa Asia, with it's amazing ironwork and statues outside, spectacular stairwell and the beautiful views from the rooftop terrace, including the Casa de Puntxes and Sagrada Familia, was definitely a great stop. A walk through the market  area and up to Park Guell ensued. The many modernista buildings that line the streets as you walk can make your neck ache sometimes! 

The Gaudi Cross in Park Guell

And in Park Guell itself, Gaudi expresses his love of nature and his creativity, despite not building the houses. The steps, the benches, the columns and the carefully designed rock walkways bring modernisme to life for the visitor. After a taxi ride down to the Born district, and a quick bite to eat, we continued our exploration. Through the laberinth of narrow streets, we headed over to the Ciutadella Park to see the Arc de Triomf and Gaudi's fountain. From there back to the old city, to see where the Roman coliseum used to be, and what remains of the wall and second aquaduct. A tapas dinner wrapped up the day as a few raindrops began to fall!

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