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.
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…
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…
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,
Another 500 meters or so,
And that’s it, 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… 🙄
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…
They really do love their water and ponds here, don’t they?
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…
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…
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… 😀
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.
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 tickets – 2.15€ per ticket. You get one ticket, and you ride all the way until your destination, regardless of how many transits you make.
- T-10 – 9.95€ 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.
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.
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.
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…