Europe 2016 Day 5.2: Random Gaudi Trail

When I went to the Sagrada Familia, I took the Metro. But in fact, this famous Basilica is only less than 3 kilometers from my hotel. So I thought it was a good idea to walk back. Furthermore, there are a couple of other Gaudi designed buildings along the way.

Casa Milà (La Pedrera)

First stop, Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera. This one’s easy. Exiting the Sagrada Familia from the Passion Facade, I basically turned right, and then turned left, and entered Carrer de Provença. Then just walk straight for about 1 kilometer, and I have arrived!

La Pedrera is another famous Gaudi designed building. In fact, this was officially the last civil work that Gaudi designed before focusing full time on the Sagrada Familia.

This is an immensely popular tourist attraction. There are a few ways to know for sure that you have reached the correct place.

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1. There would be tour buses parked next to this building
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2. There would be A LOT of tourists taking pictures with this building
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3. And of course, the building itself!

I don’t know what exactly is this building famous for, other than it being a Gaudi building. I think it has got to do with the continuously curving structure of the building. Also, look closely…

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There’s no… walls

I mean, there’s no walls attached to the structure. The wall IS part of the entire structure. I wonder how they managed to make this happen.

Of course, these are all just my blind guess. This time, I did not have any audio guide to tell me the truth. You can go to Wikipedia to confirm or debunk what I just said.

I’m not sure how the building looks on the inside, because I did not go inside. Why, you may ask? Well, the cheapest ticket to enter La Pedrera costs 20.50€. Yes, more expensive than the Sagrada Familia.

I was willing to part with my hard earned cash for that special basilica. But with the other buildings, like this one, my Malaysian calculator mind wrested back control. 20.50€ = more than RM 90. No… no no no… good enough to just take photos on the outside…

Casa Batlló

Next stop, Casa Batlló. This one’s even easier. La Pedrera is nicely lodged at the intersection between Carrer de Provença and one of Barcelona’s main streets, Passeig de Gràcia. All I had to do was turn left into this main street,

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Passeig de Gràcia

Another 500 meters or so,

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Came across another bunch of tourists

And that’s it, Casa Batlló!

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Casa Batlló
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Casa Batlló

Now this one, I really have no idea why it is famous. Sure, it is another of Gaudi’s masterpiece. But it’s got the same curving structure as La Pedrera. Maybe it’s the windows… 🙄

This building, it looks a lot smaller than La Pedrera. But the ticket to enter this Casa Batlló costs 22.50€. I don’t know. I think this is crazy. If we talk only in terms of the basic ticket, the gigantic Sagrada Familia was 15€, then the smaller La Pedrera was 20.50€, and then the even smaller Casa Batlló was 22.50€. Apparently, the smaller the building, the more expensive it is to enter!

Of course, I did not pay to enter this one either. Not going to pay more than RM 100 to enter a smaller building than the previous one… 🙄

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Here’s another shot. I like how I accidentally included this old couple in the shot

After this, I kind of stumbled my way back to the hotel because my camera was running low on juice already.

Oh, of course, I did stop by at the same f**king Chinese restaurant to give them a second chance, only to be disappointed by their farcical 脆皮烧肉 roasted pork. Cerdo asado zzz…

Plaça de Catalunya

I made my way back out in the evening. First, I had some wonderful pinchos (pintxos) for dinner. And then I headed back to Plaça de Catalunya. This was where I got off from the Aerobus. I promised myself I would come back for a proper round of photo shooting.

So here’s me showing you some photos without much talking…

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Plaça de Catalunya
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Some trees and benches @ Plaça de Catalunya
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Plaça de Catalunya
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Plaça de Catalunya
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Plaça de Catalunya
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Plaça de Catalunya

They really do love their water and ponds here, don’t they?

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El Corte Ingles @ Plaça de Catalunya

This El Corte Ingles is a mega departmental store. They have a few stores across Barcelona, selling all sorts of expensive brands. I’m not sure how many stores they have across Spain. Probably more than I can count.

Passeig de Gràcia

From Plaça de Catalunya, I made my way back to Passeig de Gràcia. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t be bothered to do it. I mean, I love European roads, that’s true. But it was evening and it was getting pretty cold out there.

But I decided to come anyway, because during the day, as I was walking back from Casa Batlló, I saw this…

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A fountain!

For this fountain, I came back. I thought maybe the fountain would be lighted up and look pretty for photos in the evening…

I was right… Here…

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I expected to see a fountain with lights. What I did NOT expect, was a fountain with changing lights.

There’s actually a magical fountain in Barcelona. I know about that. I also know this is NOT that magical fountain. So this came as a surprise to me! A pleasant surprise!

So yeah… I guess I’m glad I went back to the fountain… 😀

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Crude locations map

Bonus Stage: Barcelona Metro

I did not travel extensively using the Barcelona metro system. But I think I took enough rides to impart some valuable information for you.

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How the ticket looks like

So there’s a few different options when you want to purchase tickets for the metro. I’ll list down the three that I think most travelers would use.

  • Single tickets2.15€ per ticket. You get one ticket, and you ride all the way until your destination, regardless of how many transits you make.
  • T-109.95€ per ticket. This ticket gives you 10 rides, meaning about 1€ per ride. You get this one if you know you are going to take at least 5 rides with the metro. Otherwise, it would not be worth it.
  • Hola BCN! Card – You can select 2 days (14€), 3 days (20.50€), 4 days (26.50€) or 5 days (32€). Only get this if you will be traveling heavily on the metro.
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The train

Barcelona’s metro network is quite extensive. You should always study the map and make wise choices. For example, there are 3 metro stations along La Rambla alone: Catalunya, Liceu and Drassanes. If you are going to stay there, it would be good to know which station would be the closest to your hotel/hostel.

Another good example is going to the Camp Nou. You can either get off at Collblanc on the L5 (Blue) Line, or Maria Cristina on the L3 (Green) Line, the distance to the stadium is about the same. By choosing the right stations to get on and get off, you might be able to save yourself some substantial transits and travel time.

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The butt-rest

One thing I particularly like on these Barcelona trains are what I call, the butt-rests. At first, I didn’t know what these are for. I first noticed their proper usage when I was watching a couple fondling whereby the lady was laying her butt onto one of these. And then I noticed several other standing passengers laying their butts on these as well.

I think this is a good idea. Having something to lean your butt on gives you more stability, especially when the train is moving fast and being unstable. Malaysia’s LRT and MRT should have these too.

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The exit gates

The first time I took the metro, I did not know how to exit the station. I mean, there were entry gates where I had to slot my ticket, so I assumed the same for exit. Turns out, you don’t have to slot any tickets during exit. The exit gates are basically what you see above: latched doors which you just push aside to get through.

How very… interesting… 🙄


Hmm… after the Sagrada Familia post, writing this seems to be a breeze. That was probably the longest and toughest post that I have written so far. I actually took 3 days to complete that one…

Overall, I didn’t enjoy the actual travel bits that I wrote today. To be honest, I was unimpressed with both the Casas. I guess it was a bit of both: not paying to go in means I could not get a full grasp on how special these two buildings are, and also probably because I’ve seen the best in the morning so subsequently it went all downhill…

I did enjoy the fountain though…

24 Comments

  1. OMG!! OMG!! OMG!!! I must visit all these, to Gaudi, he asserted that the straight line belonged to man, but the curved one to God, and continued to refine his hyperboloids and paraboloids, based on muscles, wings, caves and stars. <3

    • For you, I think you need to pay up and go inside to see in more detail. Not cheap I tell you, Barcelona 大大小小大概有20座出名的Gaudi建筑物 每间都要收20块欧元入门费 妳自己算要带多少钱去哈 😉

  2. ooh, so the entrance fees into Sagrada Familia is the cheapest, nice to know that.. i paid to go into Casa Batllo actually, and it was very nice inside, i spent half a day in there and didn’t want to get out, hahahaha!! it is said that Gaudi never used straight lines in his design, all are arcs and curves.. interesting huh??

    • Darn, really that nice?? Maybe that’s why it was expensive. Too bad I am not an architecture guy, if not maybe I would really have gone in.. 🙄

  3. I seem to remember the houses look very nice on the inside, but yes, the ticket is way too expensive. They only started selling tickets a few years ago. My uncle always says that my aunt’s gynecologist lived in the Casa Batlló and of course everybody could enter for free but back then there was no hype for Gaudi so not a lot of people interested!

    • What?? It used to be a house where people actually live in up till a few years ago?? Sigh… I remember Gaudi being already immensely famous since the 1990s, strange that they only capitalize on the tourist money so recently… or maybe it was just me who thought he was famous… 🙄

      • Yeah it probably started in the 90s and thanks to Japanese tourists. In the 80s there were definitely families living in these buildings.

        • Even today there are still a lot of Japanese tourists. But they’re an easier bunch. And they’re mostly hot! I had a good time watching many Japanese tourists walk pass me throughout my time in Barcelona. 😳

  4. The smaller the building, maybe got more valuable things to see inside. Looks and size can be deceiving. But there’s not question about it when you convert to ringgit, it sounds hideously expensive. Think of all the food you can buy with that money in Malaysia 🙄

    Lucky you, got to check out Gaudi’s works up close. Jealous.

    Some of Melbourne’s trams have butt-rests. But not as shapely as the one you showed. I like butt-rests, but sometimes I am too short to enjoy them.

    • LOL! I wasn’t even thinking about Malaysia. Even thinking about the food I can buy in Barcelona made me feel the tickets were expensive! 🙄

      Hahaha, you’re probably small (okay, petite) enough that you don’t need the butt-rests. They’re for tall people who has a high center of gravity and might be more susceptible to unstable trains. No… that didn’t come out sounding PC… 🙄

  5. I dun understand when u mentioned that the La Pedrera building without wall…I see curvy walls around…am I missing something? the butt rest is a good idea, perhaps our never MRT or LRT coach should hav this. I seldom take public transport these days, I’m not sure how our LRT seats looks like now. I like fountains, especially those dancing with colors one, so soothing and relieving!

    • Normally you build a structure, then you build walls onto the structure to form a building. I think this one, it looks like the wall IS the structure. That’s why you can hardly see any edges on the building.

    • I think horror and flicks cannot be used together lah. Chick flicks yes lah, hahaha…

      But jokes aside, the interiors (by peeking from outside) did seem a bit dark. Actually I noticed most buildings in Barcelona don’t use white fluorescent lights like us. They mostly use those light bulbs that produce good old yellow lights. Quite dim and make you feel easily sleepy most of the time 😐 …

  6. OMG! I love the buildings and the works of Gaudi. Simple awesome and unique. I cannot wait to visit Barcelona.

    I love that colourful fountains too which could soothe all our stress away! I remember sitting for hours in Chengdu’s winter looking at their biggest fountains dancing in myriad of colours.

    • Cannot wait then make it happen soon! 😉

      You like fountains? Patience, got another one in a few days time…

  7. The Casa Mila building looks creepy, like sarang semut.. Macam kena rain or water, the whole building will melt and collapse.. The fountain with LED changing lights very nice, so were there any Chinese tourist hogging the fountain or blocking your view when you wana take pictures? Kekekekeke..

    • Hahaha, I agree it is kind of creepy, but it’s also awesome…

      You like fountain with LED lights? Let me see… Thursday, or next Monday, I show you a more impressive one. 😉

      Er.. this fountain not so famous, not many people come to take pictures I think. But then, with things like taking pictures, it is still possible to steer clear of other people, Chinese or otherwise, so it is not that bad… 🙄

  8. Casa Batlló is the famous “House of Bones”. I think to fully appreciate it you will need to be interested in architecture like Sheta and arm yourself with a audio guide. I read the wiki for this and this part I find interesting (copied from wiki):

    “The roof is arched and was likened to the back of a dragon or dinosaur. A common theory about the building is that the rounded feature to the left of centre, terminating at the top in a turret and cross, represents the lance of Saint George (patron saint of Catalonia, Gaudí’s home), which has been plunged into the back of the dragon.”

    I would definitely pay to see the interior if I ever fly all the way to Barcelona but I will read up on his works first to truly appreciate them.

    • I suppose you are right. The thing is, there are probably at least 15 or 20 Gaudi buildings around Barcelona, and maybe 40 if we consider also other buildings of historical value. Imagine they all charge 20€ per entry. We’re looking at spending 300€, maybe 500€ to see them all. Since I’m not an architecture freak, might as well forget about it. 🙄

      You should definitely get back to traveling, I believe you will enjoy it a lot! 😀

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