Monday, July 10, 2017

Mad Genius

I saved my last full day in Barcelona
for a deeper dive into all things Gaudi.
My first stop was Casa Batllo,
a fantastical apartment building like something
out of Dr. Seuss' imagination.
Built in 1904 it's an architectural feat of rounded walls and passageways.
 An impressive central stairwell spiraling into the heavens demonstrated
modern functional progress.
My favorite features were the kaleidoscope facade of broken tiles and whimsical outdoor spaces.
Even though my architectural preference is for simpler, cleaner design, 
I appreciated the skill and audacity it took to erect such a radically unique edifice.
Queueing for the La Sagrada Familia, I already preferred the scale and intimacy of the residential structure over the spectacular spectacle of the church.
I pondered what it was like to inhabit one of neighboring apartments, and to witness the slow progress of the masterpiece and the daily swarm of tourists to the site. 
Upon entering the cathedral
the cascading light from stain glass windows was unexpected and powerful, 
but the sheer size and constant hum of the drill made me want to escape into natural sunlight.
Crowds, construction and chaos, an unappealing trifecta, sucked all reverence
from the hallowed space.
I soon left and found much more tranquility on the streets of Barcelona,
before meeting Swan and Jenny for one last cava.

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