Monday, January 14, 2013

Mediterranean Cruise (Part 1)

caution: photo-heavy post!
 Hello, friends! Are you ready to embark on a virtual tour with me on a Mediterranean cruise? I am dividing the trip posts chronologically and hopefully you will get a glimpse of this amazing trip.

We started our trip in Barcelona, Spain. To be honest, I knew very little about this city, but after this trip, I can honestly say that I find this city immensely interesting in terms of its fabulous cuisine,  amazing architecture and rich history.

Shortly after we arrived at our hotel, we were pleasantly surprised that Dr. John and I were put in the Beatles Suite (the kids are right next door)! Staying in that room was such a treat! Memorabilia from the Beatles' stay in 1965 were spread across the room. The Beatles magic was still alive in that room even though it was so long ago!
The first night, we took a walk near our hotel which was close to the biggest pedestrian district La Rambla. It was just two days before Christmas, the streets were beautifully decorated. 
On the next day we took a taxi and headed straight to Antoni Gaudi's legendary masterpiece Sagrada Familia.
 There is no other cathedral like this....the structure is definitely out of this world! Construction of Sagrada Família had commenced in 1882, Gaudí became involved in 1883, taking over the project and transforming it with his architectural and engineering style—combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms (thanks, Wiki)!
As you may know, this amazing structure is still not yet finished. We saw cranes around the church and they seemed to be still working on the latest. The basilica is scheduled to be completed in 2026! From this photo that Dr. John took, you can see the contrast of the new and old structure.
 In case you are wondering what are on top of the pointy tips....they are fruit! You see, Gaudi was tremendously inspired by nature. He studied organic and geometric forms of nature thoroughly, searching for a way to give expression to these forms in architecture.
 It was evident that Gaudi utilized honeycombs (a.k.a hexagons)!
The sign reads: " For the design of this Grill, Gaudi took his inspiration from honeycombs. In their constructions bees, great architects of nature, use regular hexagons to make the best use of the space, the time and the material."
My point is...hexagons have always been in trend! 
At the west entrance (the Passion Facade)
This side of the building tells the story of Christ's torture and execution. The harsh shadows really emphasize the terror and grief.
After I stepped inside the cathedral, I was absolutely in awe....
(photo credit : Stephanie Lu)
 (organ behind the altar) 
The photo below shows the light streaming through from the opening at the top. Genius!
  (photo credit: Stephanie Lu)
 Gaudí intended that a visitor standing at the main entrance be able to see the vaults of the nave, crossing, and apse, thus the graduated increase in vault loftiness.
(the amazing ceiling)
Detail of the roof in the nave. Gaudi designed the columns to mirror trees and branches
 And if that is not impressive enough, see these mosaic stain glass windows!?
 These are part of  the designs on the central columns. Each giant stone was dedicated to an Evangelist.
Gaudi's designs are absolutely brilliant and timeless. As you can see, the sunlight comes through from atop and shines directly on the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus.
 
A video I took ( inside the cathedral). You can definitely get a feel of this amazing architectural wonder.. (you might also spot my family members in this video)!
An evening view of the cathedral (photo credit: Dr. John)

Are you still with me? This is a very long post. I know you are likely to enjoy the virtual tour as much as I did! We definitely see colors, textures and dimensions in Gaudi's masterpiece!
 This concludes our tour of my 1st day of visit in Barcelona. Time to board the cruise ship next....Off to Italy we go!

Thanks for the positive response to my previous post (see here). I shall do a tutorial of the flower embellishments some time. Please stay tuned! Thanks for stopping by!

37 comments:

Tracey McNeely said...

Virginia your photos are just outstanding! What a fantastic trip you must have had, on my bucket list now. :)

Laura B. said...

Amazing photos! Those stained glass windows are spectacular!

aaga said...

Thanks for sharing all these! I love these tours of yours so much!

Brenda said...

Great photography...care to share what kind of camera you use?

Barb said...

Wow, what an amazing place! The photos are so beautiful, V! Can't wait to see Italy! :)

Miriam Prantner said...

Gorgeous photos, looks like so much fun, that Beatles suite is a hoot!

Rachel W K said...

such stunning photos! your trip looks so amazing. i especially love those christmas lights!
-Rachel w k
rwkrafts.blogspot.com

mimijudy1975 said...


Thanks so much ,Virginia,for taking time to write such a wonderful post. Your photos are magnificent ,such beautiful colors and architecture.I can imagine seeing it in person left you with a feeling of awe. How does one human create something so spectacular ?

Vic Lau said...

Wooowww. I'm in awe by the beautiful architecture. Thanks for the tour :) Looking forward to Italy.

Linda R said...

Oh my goodness. What a beautiful Cathedral. It must have been amazing to see it live and in person. And how cool would that be to get to stay in the Beatles Suite. Thanks so much for sharing your photo. I just love seeing your trips..

Hugs~

Karin Åkesdotter said...

GREAT photos! LOVE Barcelona - such an amazing city!
Hugs!

Vicky said...

Thank you so much for sharing all this beauty!!! The photos totally rock and I am so happy you all had such a great time!

Harriet said...

Oh, Virginia, thank you for these lovely photographs. The beauty is beyond words. I am fascinated by the incorporation of nature. Truly amazing.

alexandra s.m. said...

What a great post!
Thank You so much, I have never been to Barcelona!
I have enjoyed this tremendously!!

Julia Aston said...

What a great trip! The architecture on this is beyond desctiption - the pics are awe inspiring I can just imagine how breathless it made you being there!!

Melissa Shea said...

So beautiful! Amazing pics too. Thanks for the tour!

donna mikasa said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous photos--they actually gave me goosebumps! I love that I can look at them and feel like I've been there with all of you! Thank you for sharing!

Robin K. said...

Oh thanks for sharing Virginia!!! Makes me want to go back!!! Our hotel was also near La Rambla and my husband and I enjoyed an afternoon of people watching at one of the outdoor cafes! I would love to see it decorated with the Christmas lights! Looking forward to your next vacation photo post!!

Sue McRae said...

Those stained glass windows are amazing, such beautiful colours! Thanks for sharing your photos Virginia!

Lisa's Creative Niche said...

Oh WOW!!!! Your photos are amazing!!!! What kind of camera do you have? Beautiful!

Dawn Turley said...

What fabulous photos Virginia. Looks like one incredible holiday. Can't wait to see more.

Maureen Morton said...

I feel like I was there with you, Virginia! Lovely photos capturing special memories. Thanks for sharing.

CathyR said...

We have been to Barcelona a couple of times and visited La Segrada, but have never been inside. Thanks to your beautiful pictures, we will make sure to tour the inside as well. I'm looking forward to seeing photos from the rest of your trip.

Alice Wertz said...

ahhhh.... it's gorgeous! i was there some 12 or 13 years ago and the interior wasn't as finished and it looks like they have done quite a bit of work on the outside, too. sigh.... let's shoot for going there in 2026 to see the finished work! =) love seeing all the amazing photos. the lights and textures are amazing. thanks for sharing!

Rose said...

i LOVE your "tours" :)
my goodness that cathedral is amazing!!!!

stamplover2011 said...

Wow, Virginia! This is totally amazing! Thanks for sharing!

Greta said...

What a trip you had! Love seeing your pictures!

Kelly Griglione said...

Oh I am so inspired through your photos!! LOVE the photo you took of the tickets with the cathedral in the background (must remember that)! And how cool that the cathedral is in Art Nouveau style (my favorite aesthetic). I can't think of another large-scale cathedral in this style, probably because there weren't many constructed in the 20th century, especially in Europe. Which is strange given that he started work in the 1880's and Art Nouveau didn't come to being until 1910. Oh wait, he probably worked on this so long that it started in the Gothic 1880's style and by the time he got to the tree-like columns in the inside it was the 1910's? I dunno, I think I'm confusing myself : ) Anyway, thanks so much for sharing these photos, can't wait to see Part Two!

Debstamps said...

Amazing post Virginia! Thanks for sharing this!

Daria said...

Thank you so much for sharing these photos and the video clip. I've always wanted to see this cathedral, but I think this is as close as I'm going to get. Thank you.

ThePurplePlace said...

What a wonderful post...so interesting and educational and pretty, all at the same time. The photos are stunning and I love all the details you shared!

Thank you!!

ivy said...

Wonderful travel pictures! One day, I shall travel the world with my kiddos like you!

Karen from MI said...

OH MY GOODNESS, Virginia!! BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS and HOW MUCH I'VE LEARNED! :) :) Thanks for sharing this part of your travels with me!! It just looks like a trip of a LIFETIME!!! I'm so glad that you were able to take a break from the crafting and see what some of the other parts of the world have to offer! It's just SPLENDID! That cathedral is BREATHTAKING!! xoxoox :)

Helen F. said...

Such amazing photos, Virginia! Hard to believe the craftsmanship of the beautiful architecture unless you actually see it.

Lin said...

WOWWW! I never knew a thing about Barcelona - what wonderful pictures you've shared with us! What amazing places you've seen!

Theresa said...

Oh my goodness, Virginia!!! What an amazing place! INCREDIBLE photos! I'm just in awe!

Chris and Paige Evans said...

Wow you were JUST THERE!!! This is so helpful - THANK YOU!!!