Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Three Days in Barcelona - #5: Mar Mediterraneo and La Pedrera

The last afternoon in Barcelona, Saturday, the 11 of November, the day of planned protests about Catalonian Independence.  Earlier in the day, I went to the Museo Historica de Barcelona.  My plans for the afternoon involved a quick tour of the Chocolate Museum, a short walk to the beach, and a final Gaudi House, Casa Mila, also known as La Pedrera.

The Chocolate Museum was nothing special.  I shouldn't have bothered.  Then I walked towards the beach, and found the railroad tracks in my way.  It took a while, but I finally found a way to cross them (on a bridge).

 A few more blocks, and there is is, the Mar Mediterraneo!  The Mediterranean Sea!  I'd never seen this Sea before, so now I saw the sea.
 Here's a selfie of me walking on the beach.  You know what that means!
 Yes, I went wading!
 And my finger got in the way...
 Then I washed off (they have lovely little shower areas), and walked back out, planning to take a bus.  And there's the protestors, gathering in the distance.  I went the other way.  (I don't know enough about the issue to really have an opinion, though I do have a vague sense that self-determination is very good, but also at the same time that breaking into a small region might increase costs for defense and such for the whole area.  So I have no business telling Spain or anyone else how to organize themselves.  And I went the other way.)
 I asked a police officer (there were a lot around) and he kindly pointed me to a metro station, much closer than the bus stop even!  So off I went, back to Passeig de Gracia, and to Casa Mile, La Pedrera!  You enter on the ground floor, and there's once again a big light well.  But this one's even bigger than the ones at Casa Battlo.  (The whole apartment building seems way bigger.)
 But it plays with shapes and colors!
 You go up to the roof first.  Amazing!  The chimney toppers are amazing (and were copied for at the Sagrada Familia Passion façade for Roman helmets).
 The way they glow in the sunshine!
 Somehow familiar and alien at the same time!
 You can see the Sagrada Familia in the distance.
 And a familiar four armed cross.
 These chimney toppers are glass mosaics from champagne bottles, but I could never catch the light right with my camera.  In person, they're stunning.
 Inside, catenary arches!
 And a chain display showing catenary arches.
 With a mirror so you can see them as arches looking structural.
 And a structural model.  (This is from another church catacombs.)
 Inside one of the apartments that belonged to the Mile family.

 Doesn't that tub look inviting!

And that ends my visit to Barcelona.  More than a month after it actually happened.

I need to get back in grading jail and finish grading.  I leave the Abbey tomorrow and head to London to read at the British Library for about 10 days.

And then home to the great (and icy) north woods.

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