May was a busy month, but I did manage to catch the final day of the Julia Margaret Cameron exhibition in Barcelona, where one of my photographs was on display. The timing was tight, but between arriving on Saturday morning and checking into my accommodation, I managed to see the full exhibition, have lunch and wrap up my picture and take it with me. The business part taken care off, I could now enjoy revisiting the city I had first seen in 1998. I walked around older parts of Barcelona in the late afternoon, did some shopping and picked up some food, before retiring to my hotel.
The next morning I got up early and walked in the direction of Casa Battlo, a key example of Antonio Gaudi’s architecture. Already from the outside it is an interesting facade, but as the line for entry wasn’t very long yet, I got myself a ticket and followed the headset tour of the house. Inside the house was even more extraordinary than outside and in its shapes and forms it at times reminded me of the remarkable Hundertwasser house in Vienna. There were no sharp corners here, all soft flowing forms inspired by nature and beautiful colours.
I walked for miles that day, eventually walking back through the Rambla, then to the Port where I had a leisurely lunch by the water, followed by a walk along the Barceloneta beach back to the hotel. I managed to get there just in time to avoid a big rain storm coming through. I had a nice siesta while it bucketed with rain and once it had dried up, I headed out again to walk to the famous Sagrada Familia church for my allocated entry time. I highly recommend buying your ticket beforehand, as it will be impossible to get a ticket on the spot. I had also booked the headset to guide me walking around the church.
In 1998 I had only seen the church from the outside. Going in was a mind-blowing experience; the structure, shapes, lights and colours are completely unique and give an atmosphere of great lightness and joy, something I have never experienced or seen in a church (and may well account for why I’m not a big fan of churches!).
It was a treat to walk around and see the light falling through the coloured windows, shading the ceilings blue and green, or red and orange. Every detail is beautifully crafted and it will be amazing to see it in 2026 when it is finally finished. Sadly, due to the rainstorm in the afternoon, it was not possible to visit the tower for safety reasons, which I had booked. That was the only negative, but it was such an incredible experience that in the end it didn’t matter much.