You can’t go to Barcelona without visiting at least one of Gaudí’s phenomenal pieces of architecture.

 

I know nothing about architecture, but you don’t need to know anything about buildings to know that these are mesmerising masterpieces created by a man who was clearly well ahead of his time.

 

We casually stumbled on Casa Batlló while walking to a friend’s house. Located on busy Passeig de Gracia, nestled in among high-end retail outlets, residential buildings and offices, we all looked up in amazement when we first saw it. In return, cheeky meerkat-like balconies grinned back down at us.

 

Inside, we came across interesting angles and curves, references to nature in every window, wall and ceiling.

 

I wondered what people would have thought when this building was built, and how the Batlló family settled in to such an unusual home.

 

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Moving on to Park Guell, we joined the throng of tourists, everyone crowding around Gaudí’s pieces in an attempt to get a photo.

 

The crowds turned me off the park (I don’t know why I’m always so surprised to see such big crowds at major tourist attractions :-)) but it was fascinating to watch the vendors with their goods laid out in front of them suddenly rush off as soon as a policeman appeared. They deftly swept up their wares – earrings, statues – in a blanket or umbrella and disappeared, only to set up immediately somewhere else.

 

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Then it was off to the pièce de résistance – La Sagrada Família. Luckily I had read a post from Shannon of A Little Adrift and we came armed with our pre-purchased tickets, avoiding the queue that snaked around the corner.

 

This was the most amazing building for me. How did a man in the 1800s have such vision and such creativity? Even though the church is unfinished, the impact on me was enormous.

 

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Pure magic.