But first, a few shots of us:
A good shot overlooking the city.
Okay, one historical thing: Sagrada Familia (Sacred Family)---by Gaudi. It's been under construction for 130 years. It's due for completion in just ten more! Amazing. 60 Minutes had a piece on it recently. It was very interesting right before our trip. I had never heard of it.
The day we arrived, it was Sunday. There was a marathon going on. Nicky decided to get in on the act! You can see some of the runners in the background!
I love the lampposts in Europe. The are all so old and decorative.
I love all the lacy wrought ironwork around the city.
Each house in this row of houses is done in a different style. The one on the end was done by Gaudi (a famous architect). I have to admit, that I do not know a whole lot about art. I've never really been all that interested in it. I don't love art museums. I just like what I like. I don't believe I'd ever even heard of Gaudi before coming here.
This is the end house that Gaudi designed. It is based on St. George---the parton saint of Barcelona. He's the saint that slayed the dragon. The top represents the dragon---notice the scales? The balconies are skeletons. The "poles" are femur bones. I already can't remember everything---every bit of it is "rich with symbolism" (wow, how do you like that for a phrase)! You also need to think "ceramic" as it's all shiny. You can't get that in this picture.I've only taken this picture of one of the sidewalks. They are all unique and unusual. Very pretty and artistic.
This is a garden and community that Gaudi was to develop. It was meant to contain 50 houses that he designed. Only 3 were built. It is now a public garden.
One of the 3 houses is Gaudi's. He lived here while he was building Sagrada Familia. Eventually, he moved to the sight of the church and remained there for over 20 years. He felt that the artist needed to be closer to his project.
View from the garden overlooking the city. Again, shiny ceramic buildings---looks like a gingerbread village.
We saw this gorgeous old building on the way home. Look closely. Can you see the pair of legs sticking out with the red high heels? Apparently, this building houses a burlesque show these days.
Like I mentioned---I am not a museum lover. This is more my style. I'm a people watcher. So, while everyone else was visiting the Picaso museum---where Picaso never actually set foot---I was watching these darling little children. All I could think of was "why would teachers take little kids to an art museum?" I guess introducing them at a young age could foster an appreciation for art. To me it would be nothing but BORING at that age. But, Steph told me they had little activity sheets and were on the hunt to find certain things in the Picaso paintings. Now that shines a whole different light on things. If someone had given me something like that when we walked in, I'd have been all over it. Perhaps I would have absorbed a little artistic culture after all. I've been saying it for a long time: teachers today make learning so fun!! Everything's a game. I could totally learn like that!
The crosswalk signs are different than any I've seen anywhere. You don't have to know how to read to understand them. This one shows a guy walking and a bike going.
Although you can't tell from this picture, this guy is totally red and standing still. The most amazing part is that people actually stand and wait---even when there's no traffic whatsoever. Steph was nearly plowed down by walking in the bike lane. We're not used to that in Nashville!
The Barcelonians take the "hand"le---literally!
This "hand"le was on the door to this Italian restaurant. Even though we didn't eat here, Stephanie and Nicky wanted this photo with his name.
And another "hand"le.
One of my most favorite things to do is to visit these little plazas and observe the people that live here. We love to sit at one of the sidewalk cafes with a bottle of wine--in this case, it was a pitcher of sangria---and just watch people. There were school kids at recess playing some sort of made up game. The all seemed to know the rules. It involved two teams and two people in the middle holding a headband. Goes to show, kids don't need a bunch of toys to be entertained! These were most likely 7th & 8th graders. We saw high schoolers too. Stephanie made the observation that not a single one of them was on a phone. So that means, either they are not allowed to take phones to school, or they don't have phones. American kids---probably from 6th grade on are glued to their phones. As soon as they get out of school, the phones come out.
There is graffiti everywhere here. One of our tour guides told us that a lot of businesses hire professional graffiti artists to prevent the amateurs from defacing their walls and doors. The unwritten rule is that the amateurs will not deface the work of the professionals.
I saw this tiny garage and couldn't get over how neat it was. Plus it had a nice clean tile floor. The doors must barely be able to close.
At first, I was certain this store sold suitcases. Turns out it's a home decor store.
And this is what I've observed so far while I've been observing.
Oh and I'm getting over 10,000 steps a day. Not bad considering I probably haven't had over 1000 a day since my surgery last fall! My "new" feet are holding up just great!