This is the second day of our trip to Barcelona in January 2022, day 1 is here. Our first stop on day two was a planned tour to the Antoni Gaudí designed private residence turned museum, Casa Batlló. We arrived to many fellow tourists on the street taking pictures of the building’s facade, yet there was no line at the entrance, so we breezed inside and were greeted by a trippy, pitch black entry room which was soon illuminated by a kaleidoscope of rainbow colors, surrounding a man asleep at a desk, these being his dreams, presumably. We were given audio guides and headphones, and sent into the home, which was designed with an underwater, ocean theme, with many blues and greens and even turtle-inspired windows.
We were able to explore the museum in relative peace, as the high cost of entry (we received 2-for-1 entry due to being (temporary) Spanish residents, bonus!) and the January down-season made for few fellow tourists. It allowed us to take our time exploring each floor before climbing the stairs to the next, until we finally reached the roof. The smoke stacks were hidden behind bright mosaic towers and peaks, which looked cool in the foreground with the city behind them.
The trip back down, with the staircase all black and decorated with hanging small chains, that gave off an oceanic vibe.
We reached the basement and the final stop was a dark room, that opened with a sliding door reminiscent of Star Trek, and inside was a glass floor and four large pillars. The black walls and ceiling were screens, and we were treated to a audio/visual treat for the senses, very trippy and Gaudí -esque. This room exited to the gift shop, where one could even purchase some Gaudí designed chairs (which we would now, after visiting many Gaudí sites, recognize anywhere).
Back on the streets of Barcelona, we looked at the map app for a place to go next. We had a friend tell us to visit the Gracia neighborhood in North Barcelona, near Gaudí’s Parc Guell. Our first destination was the Mirador de les Bateries, which was a cannon instillation set up high above the city during the Spanish Civil War to attack Fascist bombers. Before we arrived there, we stopped at the cafe on the way up and and ate some piemento del padrón, which are roasted and salted mild peppers and fried Bacalao balls, before trudging up the hill to the Mirador. More excellent city views awaited, and as we approached, we saw a flat boulder big enough for the two of us to sit, away from the people at the Mirador, so we took the opportunity to enjoy the spectacular city view in peace and quiet. It was hard to leave.
On the left is La Sagrada Familia, our destination the next day. On the right, seemingly much farther, is the Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (which has an amusement park and Ferris wheel right next to it!).
We walked through the mainly quiet Gracia neighborhood, stopping for a boccadillo with freshly fried bacon (excellent) and later mozzarella sticks with a jelly side (surprisingly tasty). We thought about walking through Parc Güell, but it cost 10 euro per person to walk through the park, which we found a bit much (the last time we were here, it was free, and it is a park, you know?). So, we slowly wandered through the city, as the night became increasingly colder, eventually returning to Las Ramblas and our place for the night. Stay tuned for the finale of our trip to Barcelona!