|Barcelona from harbor|
Author Lois Winston (she who writes those books about me) and I are giving Serena a break and taking over the travel column for the next few weeks. Lois cruised the Mediterranean back in May, and I tagged along, at least in my imagination and hers. Of course, Lois being Lois, she didn't exactly let me enjoy the trip. I wound up getting kidnapped. You can read more about that tomorrow and in Mosaic Mayhem, the latest Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mini-Mystery.
Today we’re going to tell you a little bit about Barcelona, the first stop on our trip and the setting for Mosaic Mayhem.
|fortress overlooking the Barcelona harbor|
Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain, is a gem of a city that sits on the Mediterranean. It’s founding is steeped in legend heralding back to the time of the Romans. Today it contains one of Europe’s best-preserved Gothic-era medieval city centers as well as the whimsical creations of Antoni Gaudi’s Modernista style architecture and modern skyscrapers.
|La Sagrada Família|
La Sagrada Família, a basilica that looks like it was constructed from wet sand dripping from the heavens, is the most visited tourist attraction in all of Spain. Begun in 1882, the design and construction were taken over by Gaudi a year later, and it’s still under construction today. (If you look at the upper right of the top photo, you'll see a crane from the construction site.)
|Mosaic terrace at Parc Güell|
While working on La Sagrada Família, Gaudi lived in a house situated in Parc Güell, a masterpiece of municipal gardens, mosaic-clad terrace walls, and fanciful architectural elements reminiscent of the witch’s house from Hansel and Gretel.
La Rambla is a tree-lined pedestrian boulevard filled with shops and restaurants that runs for three-quarters of a mile through the heart of Barcelona from Plaça de Catalunya to the harbor.
|one of the courtyards that branch out from narrow alleys off La Rambla|
Barcelona is also home to many wonderful museums, including Museu Picasso which houses an incredible collection of Picasso’s early work and plays a pivotal role in Mosaic Mayhem.