Barcelona, Spain: Casa Battló

After lunch, my sister and I reserved a time slot to visit Casa Battló—another incredible building designed by Antoni Gaudí, which is located near the center of Barcelona.

Between 1904 and 1906, Gaudí designed and built Casa Battló for a wealthy man by the name of Josep Batlló. Battló lived in the bottom two floors with his family, and rented out the remaining floors, which were used as apartments. As you can tell by looking at the pictures, Gaudí used colors that can be found in nature, but more specifically, marine life.

The outside of the building is designed to look like it is made from skulls (which are the balconies) and bones (which are the supporting pillars for the building). The roof is designed to look like a dragon, and as you walk around the exterior and see the different angles of the house, you’ll notice different colored tiles on the roof. These are meant to represent the scales of the dragon’s spine.

As you walk inside the house, the shapes and colors of the rooms and features are constantly changing. There is something to be seen everywhere you turn. The railing for the staircase is meant to fit the palm of your hand, as are all the door knobs inside the house. The banister itself represents another spine of a large animal. With incredibly large ceilings, Gaudí shaped each skylight like the shell of a tortoise, and made sure that there is an even distribution of light throughout the entire house.

This can be noted in one of the pictures below where the tiles from the bottom floor going up start off as a light blue. As you continue walking upstairs, the tiles become increasingly darker. There is also a glass casing on each floor by the staircase that provides a special effect. So, when you look at the blue tiles through the glass, it seems as though you are underwater, and the different shades of blue really accentuate this. And as if the inside of the house wasn’t beautiful enough, the various views of the city that can be seen from the rooftop are also stunning.

Below, you’ll find a video provided by Casa Batlló that shows the house come to life, as Gaudí originally imagined. It is truly a spectacular piece of art, and besides being a historic and fascinating staple for Barcelona, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

http://vimeo.com/81086090

Day 2 In Bogotá, Colombia Continued: Club De Tejo

After leaving the Museo del Oro, we made a stop at the local Club de Tejo, a local sporting staple in the city. To play the game, each individual gets a few metal discs, or tejos and has to throw them in the center of a one meter by one meter board covered with clay. The clay area is surrounded by gun powder, and if your tejo hits any of the gun powders, causing a minor explosion, you receive three points. If your tejo lands in the middle of clay and the middle of the gun powder, you receive six points. And if your tejo hits a gun powder and still lands in the middle, you get nine points.

What was interesting to me is the fact that at this particular Club de Tejo, there are urinals in between each station. Apparently when the game is so intense, bathroom breaks must be quick. After learning how to play, we each tried to become Tejo masters, but unfortunately, I had no luck.

After picking up this new sport, we made our way to Crepes and Waffles, a delicious chain restaurant found in various South American countries. Although we were in Colombia, I ordered Crepes de pollo a la Huancaína, which is chicken crepes in a Peruvian cream sauce. Our meal was delicious, and it was just what we needed before getting ready to continue with our tour to Monserrate.