Sagrada Familia. Let's talk about the neck cramp I had after awe-inspiredly walking around forever inside. I couldn't get over all of the minute details everywhere. And it's not even finished yet! I think they started building in 1882...and it's still being completed! As a designer always having to think about division of space it's cool to see how that applies to architecture too. A guidebook said Gaudí designed it so that the columns filter the light coming in as a tree wood, giving you the sense that you're in a forest...and indeed, I somewhat did. I also had to stop and take a moment to realize that EVERY SINGLE little design in there (every little stained glass window, every little motif, every emblem) had to be crafted. Even if it was just little abstract glass windows, the artist/craftsman had to take time to draw up each design and consider color, division of space, repetition, etc. This made those seemingly pointless 2-d design projects take on a whole new importance to me!
A detail from Parc Guell designed by Gaudí as well...what a prolific artist/architect. I was mesmerized by all of the endless colors and patterns. A visual paradise. Tucked away up on a mountain and with a view looking out over Barcelona all the way to the sea. I absolutely loved how colorful and diverse Barcelona was. And I'm sucker for any city on the sea. Water makes all the difference. I went alone on my first solo trip ever when I went and thoroughly enjoyed it! Travel offers a unique time to be stripped of your comfort zone, open your mind, give you time to think, write, contemplate, etc. And of course see new things, meet interesting people, and be blown away by the immensity of the world. You can go at your own pace, and take all the time you need to soak it all in. It always removes the somewhat stressful need for group decisions...you can callejear (wander the streets) as you please. Saw all the sites and had some fun cultural surprises like the locals doing their traditional dance on the cathedral steps. Almost had my purse stolen (thanks to all those travel tip books I had put the strap of my purse between my legs at the restaurant so when the guys tried to grab it, they couldn't). Ended the trip with a trip south to Sitges for the afternoon to soak up some rays on a jetty at the beach.
Like many big cities, it often comes with eye-catching graffiti: