Western Europe

gaudi and me in barcelona

door, la sagrada familia


i believe in serendipity – good things just happen naturally or by accident.

one of the greatest things i have ever done in my life is study architecture in college. it wasn’t the simple act of taking this class; i actually fell asleep often sitting in the red plush seats of the auditorium with the lights dimmed and pictures of beautiful buildings on the big screen. no it was this class that set things in motion for me to fall in love with traveling the world.

door, la sagrada familia

i had always planned to study abroad in spain when i went to college. i had 7 years of spanish under my belt, with my most advanced studies influenced by a teacher from spain. i made this connection to architecture when i decided to do my semester paper on antoni gaudi, whose famous works are found all over barcelona. this led me to registering to study abroad during the summer of 2005, where the 2D images i scoured from old books came alive in front of my eyes on the streets of barcelona.

gaudi was an artist of the art nouveau movement, a deeply devout man inspired by what he found in nature.

casa batllo or "house of bones"

i fell in love with casa batllo, known for its facade of skeletal balconies and mosaic glass in oranges, greens, and blues. everything about this house is rounded curves, from the walls and entryways to the ceilings.

second level, casa batllo

the more i studied this building, the more it resembled the ocean and waves – a subliminal influence to my passion for surfing later in life? perhaps :)

a few other notable works from gaudi:

facade, la sagrada familia

i climbed every step of la sagrada familia 2 or 3 times while living in barcelona since i had to take everyone who visited! gaudi was most recognized for this eccentric and “gaudy” cathedral*. built in 1882, this project is now privately funded and still incomplete. it’s projected to finish in 2026 and may open for worship later this year.

*random: gaudi spent his life savings on la sagrada familia and became a hermit in his final years. he was run over by a car, and people thought he was a beggar. no one realized it was gaudi who had been hurt until right before he passed a few days later.

casa mila

another curvy structure, casa mila or la pedrera was built for a married couple, and the ground floor and roof are open to the public today for viewing.

lizard statue, parc guell

parc guell is one of my favorite places to be the in city. you’ll find locals and tourists alike among the grounds playing futbol, having a picnic, or just lounging around. this park retains similar elements of gaudi’s other works – mosaic, curves, and very ostentatious designs.

and finally, i leave you with one of the most innovative structures i’ve ever found in a tiny town outside of barcelona. yes the roof is made from 10 year old boy :)

human tower, La Granada del Penedès,

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