Gaudi´s Barcelona: Dream a little dream

Psst…I’ll tell you a secret.” He tilts his head and looks at me with an intriguing gaze. “All you see here, in all its inexplicable splendor, was once only a dream, a vision… La vida es sueño, no? (Life is a dream, right?) 

Is Barcelona’s most eminent artist-architect really quoting sixteenth-century poet and writer Pedro Calderon de la Barca here, or are the sounds I hear distorted by the loud noises coming from the proud and fierce Catalan protesters nearby? “Sí sí, you heard it just right”, the middle-aged man with the dreamy yet determined look in the eyes assures me. He must be some kind of mind reader on top of being a surrealist genius! “Come on now, I‘ll take you along on a tour of my Barcelonasi vols? (If you like in Catalan) 

Barcelona at night

Alas, how can I refuse? It’s my fifth time in the vibrant capital of the Spanish province of Catalonia, and I am definitely molt (very in Catalan) keen on hearing all the good stuff straight from the freaking talented horse’s mouth. 

Parc Guell´s abundance of whimsical mind-adventures

The first sight we visit is one of my favorite sights in Barcelona, the infamous Parc Guell, a surrealistic art lover’s dream par excellence, where stunning viaducts, whimsical grottoes, and impossibly romantic winding staircases enchant visitors and bring them back in touch with the endless excitement and exuberance that lives within us in the form of our inner children.

Think Charlie’s chocolate factory meets Alice in Wonderland meets Mary Poppins doing a tapdance on Salvador Dali’s head and you might grasp the level of plain-fun-creativity that you will encounter at Parc Guell. “Ah el meu parc….” (Ah, my parc in Catalan), Gaudi enunciates with a mix of nostalgia, longing, and pride in his voice.

“I don’t want to brag, but some people out there would say that this is undoubtedly one of my masterpieces! Good old Eusebi Guell was indeed a loyal friend, patron, and successful entrepreneur, and I received many a commission from him. To be honest, some of them never even made it off paper… but let’s go back to my parc, shall we?”

Sure”, I mumble curiously in reply, while taking in the myriad of multicolored ceramic fragments that decorate the snake-shaped- form bench on the parc’ s magnificent terrace.

Everyone loves an escape from time to time, and Park Guell makes Spirits and humans feel so fine

I hear the tantalizing yet calming sounds of drums emerging from the pine-tree lined park to my back, and I let my gaze wander attentively over the horizon, where the bustling Barcelona cityscape meets the Mediterranean ocean, waters glistening in the warm Spanish (or shall I say Catalonian?) sun.

L’ estimo tant aqui” (I love it so much here,in Catalan), Gaudi sighs while taking a puff from his pipe. Where did that pipe just come from?! Probably just manifested out of thin air. Anything is possible, right?

Gaudi continues: “I even had my own home here – the Casa Museu Gaudi in the Carrer d Olot occupies the house where I once lived. ” I sense the architect´s sadness about having to leave his house behind when moving into Spirit form and offer to get going. “Shall we explore more of your masterpieces?”, I ask him encouragingly. “Sounds good. Let’s head to La Sagrada Familia next – I don’t want to brag, but some peeps do say it’s one of my masterpieces!”

What inspired you to create all these mind-blowingly beautiful architectural jewels?”, I ask him curiously while we admire the Nativity facade of the Sagrada Familia church. My journalistic, inquisitive mind cannot be halted, not even by Gaudi in spirit form giving me a tour deluxe of the stunning seaside city’s famous sights.

Well, you know”, he is quick to answer while eyeing his yet-to-be-finished modernist church with some recognizable pride – andwho could blame THAT man and surrealist genius for it!

Inspired by nature: The birth of a genius

They say you just understand live in hindsight, and as a Spirit, I can confirm that theory. As a child, I was a bit of a delicate flower, so I had to spend lots and lots of time resting at my family’s summer house in Riudoms, it must have been around 1859, 1860 or so. Mind you, that was before Social…how do you call it again?… Media and all that took over people´s minds.

So there I was, Antoni Gaudi i Comet, inventor-to-be of a new and incomparable architectural language that defied classification..just resting away amid nature. The irony is: Having that much time to contemplate the secrets of nature filled me with an indomitable will to recover, to live, to create, to feel the rush of a life well lived in my veins, to explode in a symphony of creativity, pure life-force, and endlessly attractive manifestation of my essence...Wouldn’t you agree that Nature is the supreme mistress and crowning achievement of the Creator?

“Sure,” I reply hesitantly.

So, what you see here, and in my many other works like Casa Mila or Casa Battlo, is me following the very patterns of nature, honoring its laws, and tracing its course – what you see is me plus divine inspiration plus mother nature’s bountiful beauty manifested. But that´s enough chatter, let’s head inside now …”

Where the holy and the whole meet: La Sagrada Familia

While Gaudi and I step into the UNESCO listed church, and one of Europe’s most unconventional houses of worship, located in the northern part of Barcelona, I am immediately filled with an energy of inexplicable and crystal clear peace. The kind of peace that washes away any thoughts, questions, or concerns, and lets you float effortlessly in the ease of your own being, content, safe, and nourished within every cell of your body and every inch of your soul.

Magnificent, right?”, Gaudi whispers awe-inspired by the creation he set in motion. The Sagrada Familia holds an energy all of its own, and yet, one that’s unmistakably universal. The peace in it touches us at least as deep as the 18 spindly towers of it that are soaring above all others of Barcelona´s monuments are high.

Spirituality, or maybe rather mysticism, and a rebellious spirit are oftentimes intricately connected“, Gaudi muses while we slowly meander through the magnificent interior of the church.

Take my example – I was commissioned in 1883 to design my Basilica as a neo-Gothic church, that’s what the powers to be expected me to do. Instead, I followed the longing of my own spirit| being and went for it – I created a pretty cool signature example of my acclaimed surrealistic Art Nouveau architecture. How would you young people, well, alive people, call it nowadays? Ah yes- going with the flow! I went with the flow, and had no rigid ideas or plans in mind – instead, I altered to and added to the plans as work progressed. John Lennon knows best – Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans, and so it was! My egoic mind thought that the Sagrada Familia (Holy Family in Spanish) would be finished after 10 to 15 years, and here we are, 2020, pandemicky times, and still a work in progress!”

A glimpse of La Sagrada Familia´s magnificence

Gaudi´s goodbye

I take in the opulent and decorative details of the ceiling and admire how the colorful stained-glass windows facilitate the flow of ethereal light into the interior. Then, Gaudi lightly taps me on the shoulder and says goodbye with a twinkle in his eye. “I have to leave to discuss new project ideas with Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe, the famous German architect, now, and he is REALLY into punctuality. Those Germans! But, my dear, keep this in mind – the Sagrada Familia is a work that’s in the hands of God and the will of the people – and so is the state of this amazing, confusing, and colorful world that you are blessed to live in, don’t you think? Adeu!”

Back to you, dear reader: If you could meet one artist, dead or alive, who would it be, and why? As always, would love to hear from you! Stay well, wild, and curious:)

Categories: Posts in English, Reiselust- Hungry for travel, Reisen | Tags: , , , , , | 36 Comments

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36 thoughts on “Gaudi´s Barcelona: Dream a little dream

  1. DaVinci would be the artist I think I’d like to meet most. There are many questions about his artistic works like The Last Supper and his inventions as well.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Fabulous and fantastic pictures of such a beautiful place, Maria. Too good and thank you so much for taking me on a virtual tour. Lovely post.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. What a fun and creative way to take us on a tour of Barcelona! Thank you Maria and Gaudi! I liked the Parc Guell best along with your punk description. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Dear Gypsy,
    This is a fabulous article!
    You gave Gaudi a voice, and I learned a lot.
    Honestly, your writing keeps getting better and better. You are amazing!!
    So, if i could meet an artist, it would be Alex Colville. His painting “Horse and Train” is absolutely hypnotic. I saw it in real life years ago. I was riveted to the painting for a long time. They asked me to leave when the gallery was closing.
    PS: you look marvellous!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dear Resa, aw thank you for your absolutely beautiful and uplifting feedback! What a treat to read your lines honestly 😊 I am so happy that you enjoyed this! You know what, I had not heard of Alex Colville before, and I am so glad you mentioned him here. Thank you for sharing your fab experience with his art! That´s such a great feeling, to get lost in fantastic artpieces, isn´t it? Will check his work out shorty, cheers PS: Aw you are sweet! Those pics are from a while ago, AND I appreciate your beautiful compliments 🙂 Much love and big hugs xoxoxoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ahhh! Charlies Chocolate Factory + Alice in Wonderland + Mary Poppins tapdancing in Dali’s head 😂😂😂 Love your perfect description and couldn’t agree more! You took my breath away Maria, with these photos. Brought back all those gorgeous memories of one my favourite cities of the world and I took such similar pictures too, especially the one of you on the famous bench on Parc Guell. I was blown away by Gaudi’s handprints all over the city- tell me why did Spanish artists come up with the most art defining pieces in the early 1900s? Eccentric and dazzling and moving. I’d love to meet all of them but I would guess they would be on a totally different level to have normal conversations with. I would love to have conversations with famous photographers though, like Steve McCurry. Keep inspiring with more of these art-city tours my dear! Big hugs for now.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hello lovely, thanks so much for your fantastic feedback here, I love it! What more can a writer want than to evoke such heartfelt reactions like yours? 🙂 Awesome! So happy to hear that this made you reconnect with your positive memories. You are right, Barcelona is incredible and Gaudis art, just superb. Have you watched the movie “Midnight in Paris”? Just crossed my mind in regards to meeting fab artists:) Thanks so much for sharing about whom you d like to meet as well:) Big hugs and have a beautiful rest to your week lovely xoxoxoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow.beautiful dreamland-Barcilona.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I think- dear dost!! these all building are made by order of God.because i read your post and feel spirituality in all things at Barcelona. But what is guadi? Plz tell me.all pictures are most beautiful like know-i love very much ancient architectures and ruins.much love and big hugs💕💕💕💕Querida amiga💖💖💖💖

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you amiga, I am glad to hear you felt that way! Gaudi is the Catalan/Spanish architect who created the architectural style you can see in the photos. Yes, I remember you love for ruins well:) Much love and big hugs! ❤️❤️❤️


      • Yeah.just now,i search the meaning of gaudi.oh wonderful.Antonio was Spanish architect who made mostly those amazing buildings.may be all others had contributed to decorate the dreamland Barcelona. So much beautiful post.i love this post,meri pyaari jaan.bahut sara pyaar(a lot of love)💖💖💖💖💕💕💕💕💝💝

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Hello Maria, my beautiful lioness friend. Such a magical, creative captivating read. In answer to your question who would I love to meet. Well, to be honest, I’d like to transport back in time (maybe in a time travel deloriam machine!) and meet Gaudi and you together and be part of your enlightening conversation. How wonderful and special that would be! This post was a true testament to your gorgeous writing, your creative flair and your soul essence. I adore how you brought it all to life through your conversations, photos (such magnificence in his manifesting) and quotes. Bravo amica, I loved this!!! Sending you oodles of love and warm hugs from Melbourne. Bacioni. xxxxx

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hello my gorgeous and bright soul-friend, aw your stunning comment totally brightened my day, grazie tanto cara! I am so happy to hear you enjoyed this and aw how cute is your answer please! You are the cutest – I would love to catch up with you and Gaudi for a nice cuppa and chat, lol:) That would be the coolest!! Thanks again for your marvellously uplifting comment and feedback, dear anam cara! Lots of love and big warm hugs right back to you care, baci baci ❤️✨✨✨

      Liked by 1 person

  9. La vida es sueño, no? I think you and Gaudi have it down perfect! You create magic both past and present with this post, really something else and of all things I have not done yet, is visit Barcelona 🙂 So hopefully either you or Guadi would be available for a coffee and small tour 🙂 Your description of Parc Guell is awesome “Think Charlie’s chocolate factory meets Alice in Wonderland meets Mary Poppins doing a tapdance on Salvador Dali’s head…” it sounds like a place where one really needs to experience in person. Wishing you well, my Spanish lady 🙂 Muchos abrazos (I’ve learned it’s a not o with your help!). Cheers to a great day!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Muchas gracias Dalo, muy amable de tu parte. There you go, your next mini-Spanish lesson a la carte, lol 🙃 Thanks so much for your super uplifting comment here, really glad to hear you enjoyed our Barcelona adventure! I will ask Gaudi whether he wants to join us for a tour in Barcelona 🙂 Yes, Gaudi´s masterpieces really need to be experienced first hand! Hugs over to you in Czech, muchos abrazos! Thanks again for your fab lines:) Wishing you a happy end to your week:)


      • Muchas gracias, Maria Elena, my Spanish still has a long way to go, but every bit helps 🙂 Agree, Guadi’s masterpieces are something that need to be experience in person ~ wishing you a great Friday ahead!

        Liked by 2 people

      • That´s the spirit! And como sabes, as you know, I am happy to teach you more Spanish anytime in case you want to start classes or so 🙂 By the way, while we cannot travel to Barcelona in person right now – check out this beautiful guided tour of Gaudi´s Casa Battlo in the meantime The next best thing! Have a great Friday tambien:)


      • Perfect, muchas gracias amiga 🙂 For now, I’m stuck with trying to learn Czech and also keep up my Mandarin skills…but I do need to learn more than my high school Spanish 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Giusy

    a city that reflects me a lot and that I will love forever. what a nice blog! and what a beautiful charisma you have.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Grazie tanto, Giusy! What a lovely comment, thank you so much for taking the time to read, follow, and comment. Barcelona is indeed an unforgettable city! Thanks again for your wonderful words of kindness here, wishing you una bellisima giornata 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I think the artist I would like to meet would be Salvador Dali.

    I studied History and Appreciation of Art and Architecture at my last two years at school and he was one of the artists that stood out to me.

    I like Surrealism and he was a really interesting and eccentric guy. I guess it would be good to meet the Mind behind the melted clocks of Persistence of Memory. If there’s one painting that stands out in studying History of Art it’s that one.

    In Architecture the architect thar stood out for me was Atoni Gaudi and his elaborate creations. The images of the Casa Mila and La Sagrada Familia stood out and again he had this larger than life character.

    I have been to Barcelona a few times and really liked it. What I liked about it most was that it had an arty vibe with street artists and it was also an amazing city to explore in a multitude of ways. Thanks for sharing your memories.

    Every time I visit I wonder….. Will La Sagrada Familia ever be finished??? Maybe not in our lifetimes…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello dear Hippie, thank so much for your wonderful and detailed comment! How awesome that you got to study History and Appreciation of Art and Architecture, love that. Salvador Dali is indeed an incredibly intriguing artist, I agree with you! And wonderful to hear about your experiences in Barcelona – it is truly such an inspirational and life-affirming place! Yep, I have been wondering about the Sagrada Familia being finished, too – definitely a work in looong progress! Have a great day!:)

      Liked by 1 person

  12. David Redpath

    Looks like someone at Parc Guell
    is in desperate need of a good hand
    cream and a manicure? 😎

    I suspect that the Machine has been
    conspiring to keep us apart, Gypsy😥
    WordPress unfollowed you on my
    unsolicited behalf, and I’ve just found
    a comment from you in the spam bin⁉️


    • Hola Sr. Redpath:) Lol yes, a hand cream and manicure sounds like just what the Art-doctor ordered 😎

      Argh I agree, we have been conspired against!
      I am glad you found your way through the maze of the webs of deception and back to the Redpath-Gypsy train of amistad. I have already missed those Dylan-songs!! Abrazotes


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