The fantastical architecture:
Day two of our trip was Gaudi day, and it was incredible. With the colors, textures, and views, Gaudi’s spaces were like being in a Dr. Suess story. We started at Casa Mila, each with audio tour headphones and the freedom to walk around as we pleased. The tour began in the atrium of Casa Mila, an apartment building. From there, I went to the famous roof. Although we had learned about Gaudi, I hadn’t pictured the roof to be so sculptural. It was nice finding pockets of space around the roof and in between its sculptures to take in the view; I felt quite fantastic, like Alice in Wonderland.
The museum below had amazing models of Gaudi’s works as well as his furniture designs. I understood that much of his work derived from nature, but was impressed to learn that this included everything from corn on the cobb to the spine of a python. These organic forms seemed relevant only aesthetically, or so I thought before visiting Casa Mila; his techiniques were practical in his designs. I was most struck by his use of tiles in the atrium of Casa Batillo, where the darkest tiles are at the top of the atrium to absorb sunlight and the lightest tiles at the bottom to reflect it. Gaudi’s work proves that fantastical is practical.
We continued our experiences of Gaudi at Park Guell. The mosaic tiles were stunning there too. I was sad to leave especially after enjoying sangria and sunbathing above Gaudi’s famous curved benches.