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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Barcelona 5

The plan for the next day was to go to a photo exhibition but it wasn't what I expected and of little interest so I enjoyed cycling and wandering the streets, encountering unexpected quiet little plazas and cafes where I paused for a coffee or beer and just savoured the city away from the crowds. And I spent some time looking for other Gaudi buildings but was daunted by the lines of tour buses in front of them so satisfied myself with seeing and photographing them from the outside.
Gaudi's Casa Mila
Gaudi's Casa Batillo

On the way home I stopped at what was formerly the bull fighting ring at Plaza Espana. Since bull fighting was made illegal in Spain, it has been converted to a glitzy shopping mall. Not sure which is worse, being gored by bulls or by corporations. In any case, there is access to a walkway outside at the top and good views.

One more day here and wanting to get out of town a bit, I decided to go to Colonia Gaudi, a small town about 20k from Barcelona built 120 yrs or so ago as a manufacturing centre with a church that Antonio Gaudi was commissioned to build.

The factory

The church is unfinished as the money ran out but it and the town are a UNESCO world heritage site. The town was was completely dedicated to textile manufacturing with housing and vocational training and it is still operating but the town is more of a theme park today. It was a cold day with rain threatening and the town was nearly deserted, just a handful of us diehard tourists and the odd local out and about. Quite a contrast to Barcelona. It was a charming little place and the church is another of those wonderful, wild Gaudi creations.

Train back to the city and the afternoon spent wandering the neighbourhood where I was staying enjoying some unexpected discoveries.

That wraps up Barcelona. Reading back over this I realize that I may have dwelt overly on the the negative aspects of the city, mainly the tourist crowds, but I truly did love my time there and I felt that I was just getting to know it and was sorry to be leaving. The people were friendly, the climate was lovely, food was good and beauty abounded. I'd return in a heartbeat.



















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