Yesterday we walked from our hostel, around the corner past this building which is part of the University of Barcelona, I think,
...to the Plaça Catalunya, which from this view somehow reminds me of the Ohio State House in Columbus,
...and from whence we hopped onto the Barcelona Bus Turística, nick-named by English-speakers the Hop On Hop Off Bus.
The Hop On Hop Off Bus is such a brilliant idea you have to wonder why tour buses in every city in the world haven't yet hopped on board with it.
The idea is, you buy a ticket for a bus tour of all the places of interest in the city, but the bus stops at each place and at any stop you can get off and visit then return to the stop later, get back on the bus and get off again at the next spot that interests you. Or if you want, you can just stay on board and tour the city from the bus. The buses run every ten minutes or so, so when you're ready to hop back on the bus you don't have to wait at your stop very long.
The first stop we hopped off at was La Perdrera, the strange, amazing wavy-walled stone apartment building built on 1912 by Barcelona architect Antoni Gaudi
Though people still rent the luxurious units in La Perdrera, there are sections of the building that the public can visit:
...a model apartment as it would have looked in Gaudi's time,
...and, one of the creepier landscapes I've ever seen, the rooftop.
All these weird stone-creature sculptures actually serve a purpose: Gaudi designed and built them to cover the unsightly elements found on roof-tops: beneath them are chimneys, electrical boxes, stairway exits, etc.
I'm convinced that film director Tim Burton must have studied Gaudi's work.
Anyway, what I'd really like to know about La Perdrera is how much it costs to rent an apartment there.
After our tour of La Perdrera we hopped back on the bus and hopped off at the stop for Gràcia, an old district of the Barcelona,, to seek out some lunch.
On the counter of just about every bar in Spain sits a big hunk of cured ham, as shown here by a friendly barkeeper,
... that's shaved off in thin slices,
...and served with bread.
Tom and I found ourselves craving some Spanish ham yesterday, so we stopped into the bar of the above bar keeper and ordered us up a plate of ham with tomato-olive oil bread.
We scarfed down ever delicious bite and licked our fingers.
After lunch we hopped back on our bus then off again at Sangrada Familia, Barcelona's gigantic, fantastic, work-in-progress-for-the-last -hundred-years cathedral also designed by Gaudi and still being completed by architects, each of whom adds to the cathedral a bit of their vision. The Sangrada Familia has been called by some the Eight Wonder of the World.
It was quite breath-taking. And I must say, though I've seen saints, gargoyles and flying buttresses perched atop cathedrals, I've never before seen bunches of fruit.
We wanted to visit the cathedral but when we arrived at 1:30 pm tickets were being sold for the next available entrance time, which was 7:30 pm.
We decided to try again tomorrow, maybe a little earlier.
We hopped back on our bus and got off at the last place on our to-see list, Parc Güell, another Gaudi confection,
...where we'd hoped to visit the Monuments, an area of the park full of fantastic Gaudi sculptures, but we were once again denied. Tickets were sold out for the day and the soonest we could get in would be noon today. So we bought tickets for noon today,
We could walk around the rest of the park for free, though, and look at the Gaudi stone sculptures throughout,
which I though would make good sets for a King Kong movie.
...with Wretched stones lining the ceilings of the archways.
Gaudi's home, designed by himself, was in the park and as we were able to get tickets, we went inside,
The house showed some pieces designed and used by Gaudi.
A door knob,
a drawer handle,
the front door peep-hole.
Can there really be any question from whence "Beetlejuice" was born?
A romantic comedy of errors.
Lots and lots of errors.
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The Book Loft of German Village, and