Trip

Inside Barcelona Cathedral

One of the many things I love about gothic cathedrals is that while they’re incredibly extravagant on the outside, on the inside, they tend to be more on the simpler side. Understated, yet still grand and overwhelming in terms of size and structure,  very much unlike the neoclassical/baroque styles of the basilicas and cathedrals in Rome. You know, those crazy ornate ones that uses different colored-marbles and stones along with paintings, mosaics and gold leaf. Just like Notre Dame, this one is all just gray and stone. Simple, quiet, almost peaceful.

Oh, and then they have geese outside in what I can only describe as the “patio” area. I have no idea what they would call patio area in a cathedral, but whatever it is, they got geese. How cool is that?

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Barcelona Cathedral

As much as I love natural structures and sights, I am equally amazed by man-made wonders. Like, how in the world can the humble minds of humanity create something so ridiculously elaborate and detailed? I’ve always had a fascination with architectures, specifically gothic cathedrals ever since I came across a book about the modern, gothic-inspired Sagrada Familia when I used to work in the university library. That was the main event of the whole trip, until this spot came along.

I stumbled upon the Barcelona Cathedral, not completely by accident. It was one of those places that I saw in a map while planning my trip. It happened to be in the Gothic Quarters, close to the Picasso museum and next to the mini Dali museum so I figured maybe when I have the time, I’ll stop by it. Well, little did I know how close everything was to La Rambla. The Gothic Quarters was RIGHT there on one side of La Rambla. Seriously, my hotel was part of the Gothic Quarters. Pretty exciting when I discovered that.

The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia or the Barcelona Cathedral for short, was constructed sometime around the 13th to 15th century. It actually wasn’t that grand then as you can see below.

The Gothic façade wasn’t added until late 19th century around 1880’s by Josep Oriol Mestres and August Font i Carreras. These two men are my heroes.

When I did finally came across the cathedral on my way to the Picasso museum, I was in awe. These are the type of structures I’ve always looked up and dreamed of seeing when I was just a very curious college kid. It’s even more awesome when I came across it unexpectedly. So purty. I even managed to get on top and get a shot of Sagrada Familia. But that’s for another post.

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La Rambla

Starting off the year with some Throwback Thursdays.

It’s been exactly a year since I took a trip to Barcelona, Spain. Seems like worlds away. The Spain I know now is going through so much with the recent Catalonia crisis, Barcelona being at the center of it. And then the terrorist attack that happened right where these photographs were taken. That broke my heart.

Because out of all the places I’ve visited in Barcelona, this was my favorite. This was where I stayed at, just off to the side in the heart of La Rambla. This was what I greeted me in the morning and what tucked me in at night. It almost seems like a pattern to a lot of places I love.

Ok, enough of that. Now for some quick facts: history of La Rambla dates back to the middle ages when it was formerly just a seasonal stream bed filled with sewage. Nowadays, it’s the central street of Barcelona, filled with ridiculously tall tourists, pickpockets and locals alike.

These shots were taken under the influence of a two-liter sized mojito the very first night I landed in Spain. Seriously, like I just landed I’d say about three and a half hours prior to these pictures being taken. After taking a cab, dropping off my stuff in the hotel room, a very large glass of mojito and plate of paella later, I was off. Right in the middle of the night. There were colorful bars, tapas, souvenir shops and cafes everywhere. Occasionally, I’d run into one of those women-of-the-night, inconspicuously standing by one of those tall tables, alone with a suspicious-looking, empty soda can. I still don’t get that. Was the soda can supposed to signal something?

Anyway, enjoy semi-drunk shots.

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