Looking down on Barcelona

ImageThis mirror image of an upside down chandelier in the attic of Gaudi’s Casa Mila thoroughly captivated me.  I edged close to admire the delicate threads, looked down, and an immediate smile came to my lips.  Genius to place the mirror beneath, reflecting the vaulted brick arches so subtly.

To be truthful, I spent so much of my time in Barcelona looking up, I developed a bit of a crick in my neck.  But it will be a pleasure this rainy morning to amble through my photos and relive a few moments.

Up on the roof, I could see for miles

Up on the roof, I could see for miles!

Was there ever a stranger landscape?

Was there ever a stranger landscape?

But what joy it brought!

But what joy it brought!

Where to next?  How to portray a city that so many others have known, yet which produced pure childlike delight in me?  For years the name Barcelona had conjured images for me, yet none truly lived up to the reality of this city.  Yes, it has its dirty, gritty side.  Which city doesn’t?  And I got footsore and weary.  I never know when enough is enough- just ask my poor husband!  But the magic was all there.

And speaking of magic and genius, it's epitomised by Parc Guell

And speaking of magic and genius, it’s epitomised by Parc Guell

The sunlight was so bright and I'm a little disappointed at the quality of my images

The sunlight was so bright, I’m disappointed at the quality of my images

But nothing can take away from the beauty of this place!

But nothing can take away from the beauty of this place!

I was lucky, the park wasn't too busy.

And I was lucky!  The park wasn’t too busy.

Many of the benches were empty and I could admire the detail.

Many of the benches were empty and I could admire the intricate details.

You know that in the Sagrada Familia I spent a lot of time gazing upwards in wonder, but I also ascended the Passion Tower.  Lots of opportunity to look down.  So I did!

How amazing to see the city from this angle

How amazing to see the city from this angle

And look down on the newest constructions.

And look down on the newest constructions.

This figure looks down on the city- with compassion?

This figure looks down on the city- with compassion?

While the workers whizz up and down on cables.

While the workers whizz up and down on cables!

It is an awesome and moving spectacle.

It is an awesome and moving spectacle.

I always have a penchant for climbing stairs to acquire a better view, but a lift or a cable car is just as good, and in Barcelona you are spoilt for choice.  The Cathedral roof was a good place to start (as distinct from the Basilica of Sagrada Familia) but the weather that day was a gentle grey.  Never mind- lots of sunny days to come.

The highest point I reached was Tibidabo, with the assistance of a funicular I’m pleased to say, and it was still hard work.  Then there was beautiful Monjuic- and that’s a tale for another day!

The promise of things to come from the Cathedral roof

The promise of things to come from the Cathedral roof.

The heights of Tibidabo

The heights of Tibidabo

It was quite a way down!

It was quite a way down!

I love a novelty shot! Looking up, reflected down, in the harbour.

I love a novelty shot! Looking up, reflected down, in the harbour.

And looking over his shoulder at the beach.

And looking over his shoulder at the beach. “Come back later”, he said.

I had to share this view with a seagull.

I had to share this view with a seagull.

But he didn't seem to mind!

Who didn’t really seem to mind- seen it all before!

I really should stop now- you'll be getting dizzy!

I really should stop now- you’ll be getting dizzy!

In the gardens of Laribal, on Monjuic.

In the gardens of Laribal, on Monjuic.

What can I say?  I’m in love with the place.  You might have guessed by now that this is my entry for Marianne at East of Malaga’s CBBH challenge: Looking down.

Who to introduce is often a problem at this stage of things, but I know that, if you haven’t already met her, you will be enthralled with the work of Seonaid at Breathe of Green Air.  And there are so many fine photographers out there that it really can be quite intimidating.  I came across James at JDT Photography quite recently and was extremely impressed.

Just remains to say thank you to Marianne.  Don’t forget to visit!

105 comments

  1. These are very beautiful pics of Barcelona. The detail of the tiling on the buildings was amazing and that man who did the Simpsons sand sculpture deserves an award.
    Many thanks for sharing!

    Vijay
    – HalfEatenMind

  2. I am captivated by your photography and your writing is never boring. I enjoy mosaic that is free and unrestrained as Gaudi.
    I saw similar on Sentosa Island and the porcelain covered Wat Arun in Bangkok you would love that.
    I can picture you clinbing up to scary heihgts with your camara.
    Thanks for the links Jo.

    1. You’re very welcome, Jack, and thank you for the kind words.
      I would love to do some travelling in the Far East but time and money make it highly improbable these days. Happy with what I have. It’s a beautiful world and here comes another lovely sunrise 🙂

  3. Fantastic stuff Jo! And you went up to the top of La Pedrera and the Sagrada Familia too I see 🙂 I’m yet to do those yet!

    Glad to see you had an amazing time – I had no doubt you would of course 😀

  4. Ah , you have left us in no doubt about what a great time you had Jo! I didn’t get to quite as many high spots during our visit. Love the Maremagnum shot. And hubby’s long-suffering pose 😀 Happy to have you back!

    1. I wasn’t sure what he would think of Barcelona, Madhu, as he really doesn’t like cities, but he was won over by the Gaudi stuff. The draughtsman in him was amazed, as I’m sure you must have been too. The attention to detail and the imagination is beyond awesome. Thank you 🙂

  5. Those are truly amazing photos Jo, the way you captured the light and the lines is awesome. Barcelona seems like a very interesting city to enjoy with a camera!

  6. Great photos of a great city! I studied abroad in Barcelona five years ago and you have brought back some of my favorite parts. I love that you said it brought about a “pure childlike delight” in you because that is how I felt the whole four months I was there. Glad you enjoyed it, what a special place to spend your birthday! You have made me want to go back immediately!

    1. Thank you for leaving such a lovely comment 🙂 What a place to study! I envy you that. We did a walking tour with a “local” at the start of our visit and it was a revelation.

  7. You really crammed in a lot to your visit didn’t you? Thanks for sharing all the photos. I loved Park Guell- there is nowhere like this, truly unique.

    1. So much more than I’ve got in this post, Col, but I’ll probably never go back.
      Thanks for your kind review on SS. I want to do a Girona guide on there, when I can manufacture some more time. Will check you out too 🙂 Anything new?

  8. wow! great photos! I didn’t know there was something to go up in at Sagrada Familia. have to put that on my list for next time. I’m so glad you had such a good time in Barcelona. It is indeed quite a fabulous place and I can’t wait to go back. Looking forward to more photos too 🙂

    1. It’s expensive (about 19euros) for entry + a tower, Tobyo, but when you think of what you can pay for a concert ticket… and it’s an incomparable experience 🙂 Many thanks!

  9. Love Barcelona! Would you believe I selected a view of the city from the Tibidabo for this challenge as well? I haven’t finished it so I’ll look for other photos.
    My grandfather told me once that his grandfather was a stonemason and worked in the construction of Casa Mila. I wish I knew his name so I can look him up in the records, if there are any.

    1. It is totally amazing watching the masons zoom up and down the building as you wander round, Ana. Talk about job satisfaction!
      My Tibidabo shots aren’t great, but I enjoyed the experience of being up there. If I don’t spot it when you publish, send me a link 🙂

  10. Great post and pictures!I didn’t get a chance to visit the interior and top of the Sagrada Familia so thanks for showing me what I missed, lol

  11. Fabulous pics of this amazing place, Jo. How I would love to go to the top of the cathedral now it’s finished. What a marvellous view from up there. Wasn’t Gaudi an absolute genius? 🙂

  12. Thanks for the wonderful reminder of Barcelona Jo – and I hope you had a great day on your birthday during your trip 🙂

    They have only just introduced a fee for the entrance to Parc Guell, so that might have been why it was quiet.

    Great photos, Jo – I know what you mean about the bright sunlight – it seems to affect so many of my photos, too.

    I LOVE, love, love Gaudi and Barcelona.

  13. Gaudi is one of my all-time heroes. What vision and imagination. I understand thyat when he was killed, by a passing tram I believe, they mistook him for a tramp because of his scruffy appearance, I love that about him. I have been to Barcelona, and it is a treasured memory

    1. I didn’t, Gem. We’d already walked miles and were on the home straight (and it still took us another couple of hours!) I thought he’d done a cracking job already 🙂

  14. Another city I haven’t visited so thank you for the tour, I’m so glad not to have to experience all those heights in person 🙂
    Great photos Jo, and it sounds as though you had a great birthday.
    Jude xx

  15. You made me want to go back 🙂 I guess the light in some pictures was too bright, but imagine 7 days of rain – you had a sweet deal, Jo, and I like all of the posted pictures. The one that is missing is of the b-day girl on the park bench 🙂

    1. You weren’t paying close attention, Paula- I’m in there. (such a tease! The “quirky” photo of the Maremagnum shopping precinct in the harbour shows me pointing my camera at the building, while Mick leans on a lamp-post, waiting. I look better in miniature 🙂 )
      Feeling any better yet?

      1. I think I will have to ask for prescription glasses 😦 the only distinct figure I saw taking pics is a girl with a pony tail. No, my fever is worse and temp up so I had to ask for sick leave after all…

      2. Oh dear! Sounds like under the duvet is a good place to be. No partner to pamper you, just yet, either!
        At least you’ve got blogging as a distraction. I’m off to a Blood donor session now. Catch you later. 🙂

  16. Oh, Jo, your enthusiasm is infectious, and it makes me long to be back! It sounds like you had a wonderful time. Your iconic shots bring back many happy memories for me. How I wish I was back there…. Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, all of it is marvelous…. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s