Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mediterranean Cruise (Part 8)

We are finally getting to the LAST post of my Mediterranean cruise! It was certainly daunting to compile over 3500 photos into 8 posts...but with your encouragement and feedback, we've made it! Now onto the last part of the trip...

Photo-Heavy Post!   
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After spending two more days (Jan 4-6, 2013) in Barcelona, this magnificent city has truly won my heart...
Since my family are avid classical music lovers, we had to visit the Palau de la Musica Catalana-the grand concert hall in Barcelona. We booked a guided tour for the music hall.

 I must point out that this music hall is in the midst of cramped streets! There is no space around the hall at all. Our hotel was only 5 minutes away, but it took us 20 mins to get there...we walked around the block without knowing that it's hidden amongst the boring buildings and small shops. When we finally found the music hall, we felt so blind-sided and... elated!
 This concert hall was designed in the Catalan style by the architect Lluis Domenech i Montaner. It was built between 1905 and 1908. The project was financed by the society and primarily by Barcelona's wealthy industrialists and bourgeoisie.

(view from the upper floor, photo credit: Dr. John)
 The rich decoration of the façade of the Palau, which incorporates elements from many sources, including traditional Spanish and Arabic architecture, is successfully married with the building's structure.
  (the ornate statues at the front stage)
 One of the most celebrated features is the kaleidoscopic skylight. It is the only auditorium in Europe that is illuminated during daylight hours entirely by natural light.
 Can you imagine the concert hall experience? Wish we had more time to enjoy a performance there...but to have a guided tour to this splendid hall is already amazing!
 I was blown away by its beauty and amazing architectural details.
 The concert hall seats 2,138 people. And oh... did I mention the tapas outside the concert hall?
 OK.... Just when you think you just had a feast for your eyes, we're not done yet!
The next day we took a tour to the famous Casa Mila meaning the 'The Quarry'.
 A glance from outside...
 Casa Mila is a building designed by the  Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and built during the years 1905–1910. It was officially completed in 1912 (photo credit: Stephanie Lu).
On top of the building...these are the famous chimneys. Our Star War fans in the family dubbed them  "Storm Troopers"...
 Casa Mila was a controversial design at the time for the bold forms of the undulating stone facade and wrought iron decoration of the balconies and windows. This Quintessential building was Gaudi's last major work before dedicating his final years to the Sagrada Familia.
 Architecturally it is considered an innovative work for its steel structure and curtain walls – the façade is self-supporting.
 Other innovative elements were the construction of underground car parking and separate lifts and stairs for the owners and their servants.

 We then spent the afternoon at the Picasso Museum. This museum shows how the city of Barcelona shaped Picasso's youth and adolescence, and continued until his death. This is the only proof from that visit as photos were not allowed inside the museum.
And the trip is not over unless we pay a visit to the Museu de la Xocolata (Chocolate Museum)!!
 ...the admission ticket was a chocolate bar (see photo-bottom row, 2nd from the right)
AND lastly, how blessed were we to have the Three Kings Parade float right down the street of our hotel! We enjoyed the parade on Jan 6  (on the 6th floor)....and it was another feast for the eyes! The parade lasted about two hours!
(photo credit: Stephanie Lu)
video
 Here is a parade video that was taken from our hotel room on the 6th floor!

Can you see why I love Barcelona now?

 If you are still reading this post, thank you very much! I can now look at our photos and remember all the amazing sights....So glad that you "come along" with me and my family!

28 comments:

Laura B. said...

So much beauty and Tapas! Thanks for sharing more pics. I love them!

Linda R said...

I am so glad you took us along.. I am in love with your photos. That looks like a trip of a lifetime.. Thanks so much for sharing them with us..

Hugs~

Dawn Turley said...

Thanks for sharing Virginia. It has been fabulous seeing what a great trip it was for you and the family.

Barb said...

I loved every stop on your trip, Virginia! Thank you so much for all the work you put into these posts! Wonderful! :)

Loly Borda-Towery said...

Thank you for taking us with you. I so love reading your post, what an awesome trip this was! TFS

alexandra s.m. said...

Wow! Wow! wow! What an incredible post Virginia!
Thank You so much for all the time you have spent making these wonderful posts on your travels! We have been blessed to have you as our Captain!


Hugs~

Isha Gupta said...

WOW!!!You have captured all the beauty in such a special way Virginia. Thanks for an amazing post.

Taheerah (*LittleMissT*) said...

Holy feast for the eyes. Batman! Barcelona looks amazing!! You definitely crammed a ton into your two short days there Virginia!

Thanks so much for the photo tour of your magnificent cruise! I learned a lot, saw a lot and experienced a lot vicariously through your posts!

rcwidow (Linda) said...

It does look like a wonderful city. Thanks for taking us along!

Laura Norris said...

What a wonderful trip you had...so glad you shared it with us! I feel like I have been there too. Your photos are excellent! Thanks so much for taking us along!!

Harriet said...

Virginia...thank you to you for taking me on this lovely visual trip!!!!!

Rachel W K said...

this has seemed like a trip of a lifetime! the music hall looks absolutely stunning... im glad you found it so you could share with us!

Annette Witherspoon ♥ said...

I want to go!! That place looks amazing!! Looks like you all had a great time, too!!

Gerry said...

I hope you're planning another trip so I can visit places through you. Thank you for sharing the beautiful pictures and interesting stories.

maria f. said...

Goodness girl - you are always on the go. And to the coolest destinations. Thanks for sharing the pics. I know Barcelong is known for its architecture but I'd never actually seen photos of the music hall. WOW!

Besthobbyeva said...

WOW!! This photos are just stunning!! What a fantastic trip. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

Laurie
serenityscrappers

Sheila H said...

Simply fantastic photos, Virginia!

Miriam Prantner said...

Wow! What a great day! I love the photos and the Star Wars reference cracked me up.

Vic Lau said...

Thanks for the amazing Europe tour with all the beautiful pictures! I know where to look when I need some inspiration-all the amazing pictures you've taken. :)

Vic Lau said...

Btw, what a coincidence with your breathe card and my recent post :). I love the background you've created!

Rose said...

WOW that is one beautiful city!!! thank you soooooooo much for posting for us to enjoy :)

Robin K. said...

I'm sorry to see the journey come to an end Virginia! I look forward to your next trip!!! Thanks for taking the time to share with all of us!

Dianne said...

Virginia, your a doll for sharing your trip with us. Barcelona, well I feel in Love with Senor Gaudi when I went. I too love Barcelona. Thanks so much its brought wonderful memories. Your a Doll and its been a pleasure being with you and your lovely family..

Tasnim said...

These photos are seriously amazing! I think they are magazine worthy! Loved the rich architectural details of the concert hall, it looks so grand! And the building with the "storm trooper" was pretty cool too!
Thanks so much for taking the time and sharing these magnificent photos with us!

Angi said...

Gorgeous photos! Makes me want to go take a cruise. And thanks so much for your sweet comment on the MFW blog today! Hugs!!!

Kelly Griglione said...

WOW, wow, wow, so in love with the music hall ... it's so light in there! The musicians coming out of the walls are so beautiful. And hello, that ceiling!! Love the apartment building (boy that sounds so pedestrian) with the storm trooper chimneys! I bet that was a real shock to people when it was finished in the early 1900's! Thanks again so much for sharing your once-in-a-lifetime cruise with us, Virginia!

Sue McRae said...

What a gorgeous music hall. That stained glass skylight is so beautiful.

Alice Wertz said...

what a treat, Virginia!!! that music hall is magnificent and really like Gaudi's style. really fun! Thanks so much for taking us with you on the trip! =)