My third day in Barcelona, and 23rd of my trip, started with nothing planned. I had a few ideas but my visit to the Sagrada was the last big ticket item on my itinerary and now I was winding down, and tired. After a sleep in I decided to see one more Gaudi. Not far from my hostel was the Palau Guell. It was simple to buy a ticket and go straight in.
Palau Guell is a mansion just off La Rambla. It does not have the flair and flamboyance of Gaudi’s later designs, but what it lacks in those it makes up for in opulence and attention to detail. Everywhere you look nothing has been forgotten. The materials he chose were only the best and he used them to their full potential. The intelligence of his design was flawless.
The audio tour starts in the lower level where the large doors were once gates through which horses and carriages entered to get to the stables below.
The rest of the lower level is the main entrance and foyer with stairs leading to the higher floors. I found myself taking lots of photos of the detail. Everything was perfectly finished and you could imagine the effort that went into selecting every material that was used. The front gate was designed in such a way to allow people inside to easily see out, but those outside to not so easily see in.
The upper floors were equally impressive, with many sitting rooms, a spectacular central atrium, innovative bedrooms, the most beautiful toilet I have ever seen and the whole lot was topped off with another spectacular roof. This is a much less visited and much less popular Gaudi but one that I found quite remarkable and am so glad that I visited.
After leaving Palau Guell I made my way to the waterfront area of Barcelona. It was a beautiful day and a lovely spot to grab some lunch. And my first sangria. I might have ticked off my sites list, still a few things to go on the food and drink list.
After lunch I headed to Barceloneta, the beach neighborhood of Barcelona. This was a fun neighborhood, full of high rises with washing blowing on balconies making a colorful spectacle and the promenade at the beach was fabulous for people watching.
On my way back to my hostel I found yet another church, the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar. Again beautiful, this one with a lovely viewing level. The transition from the modern bustling area to the Gothic quarter was quite dramatic.
For my final evening meal in Barcelona I sought out some paella. Probably tourist paella, I did choose the one with pork and seafood, but paella nonetheless. Another thing ticked off my list. Wandering around the Gothic quarter after dinner I found the most delicious gelato since Italy, then called it a night. Energy levels reflecting the length and pace of my trip.