Atlantis Alumni

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

New Adventures In Barcelona

We had last visited the cosmopolitan Catalan city a few years ago, on another cruise. That time we were able to spend a few days in Barcelona, but this trip we had only one day to see some of the great city’s myriad attractions. First we returned to the Casa Mila, the apartment building designed by Gaudi at the height of his career. Though we’d seen its amazing ‘warrior’ cement figures on a visit to the roof many years ago, this time we noticed that the building now shows two other fascinating sides of Gaudi’s architectural genius. The attic below the roof features his catenary arches made of brick, and on a floor below that the city has recreated an entire apartment, done in d├ęcor from the period when the building was first opened. After enjoying La Pedreda (as it is also known) we took a taxi to the Montjuic Park to visit the Miro Foundation. There are many paintings, sculptures, drawings and tapestries by the celebrated 20th century Catalan artist, who created his own unique style of abstract Surrealism. At noon we headed to our ship the Legend’s sister ship, the Soujourn. We were told that we would be welcome to tour the ship, and we also had lunch on this beautiful new vessel. Then, regaining our sense of adventure, we went to see the Palau Guell or Guell Palace. This amazing art nouveau structure has been kept in tact since it was built in the early 20th century by Antoni Gaudi. Its woodwork and metalwork has been lovingly restored to prime condition, and the City of Barcelona even replaced the original organ. It’s impossible to convey the sophistication of this magnificent Modernismo (i.e., Art Nouveau) treasure in words, but Jim’s photos capture some of its grandeur. Happily, the organ also played a choral selection by Wagner, which reverberated throughout the building. As with so many Gaudi masterworks, this Unesco World Heritage site also boasts colorful ceramic tile chimneys on its roof. We returned to the ship after that last attraction and now look forward to a relaxing dinner.

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