Our 2nd day in Barcelona started off pretty rough. Since we were scheduled to board the boat that afternoon, we wanted to fit as much sight-seeing as possible in the morning and decided to get a really early start doing it! Keeping with the Gaudí theme we went to see two buildings he designed.
Our first stop was Casa Milà, a building that Gaudí designed as the home for a wealthy married couple. The husband was known for being obsessed with wealth and often used his wife’s money to life a very extravagant lifestyle. As in all of Gaudí’s designs/works there are no straight lines. The outside of the building is built with curves and wave-like ripples (see my pictures for examples). Just like La Sagrada Familia, the building has fantastic stone masonry work. The curves on the outside of the building were supposedly carved separately and then added to the building. The standout feature for me were the unique balconies that surrounded the building. The building is an apartment building now, with only a few floors open to the public. Because of this reason we chose not to go into Casa Milà. We walked down the street to Casa Batlló instead, another house that Gaudí designed.
Casa Batlló was an outstanding feat. As I mentioned yesterday Gaudí designed everything with nature as the theme. In Casa Batlló Gaudí used the sea as his inspiration. When you walk into the house, you’re led to this hallway with a spiral staircase that looks like you’re being led into an enormous nautilus shell. There are light fixtures in the shapes of shells, fish carved into the wood in the doors, and more. The main staircase through the center of the house is meant to make you feel as though you are in water. The tiles at the base begin in shades of white and light blue and gradually get darker the higher you climb/closer you get to the sky light. There is clouded/marbled glass that also follows you as you climb, and when looking through it at the tiles you really do feel like you’re under water. Gaudí was known to be involved with his projects so deeply that he would even sometimes design the furniture for the house. They had on exhibit some of the benches and chairs that he designed, and boy let me tell you when that house was filled with his furniture, I’m sure it was stunning! Gaudí even designed an extensive courtyard, complete with glass mosaics and tiled planters. Enough of my ramblings though, just check out my pics!
After a quick muster drill (a lifeboat drill for those who have never been on a cruise) we headed back to our room, met our room steward Ben (who was the BOMB), unpacked all our bags, and then headed out for drinks at the outside bar at the back of the boat. We watched the sunset over Barcelona as we sailed away, making it the perfect way to start our cruise.