Dr. Bassegoda his article, posted in last month's newsletter, got me interested in the collaborations Gaudi formed with other Catalan architects, Designers and Craftsmen. I have admired Gaudi's works since high school in the late 60's and cannot start to describe how excited I was when I first visited Barcelona in November 2002. I returned in October 2004 and I am in love with Barcelona. I think I have told everyone I know I want to move there. Wishful thinking....

I have walked all Barrio Gotico by the Roman walls still standing, gone under Plaza del Rey to see the ruins and can only imagine what lies under the existing. From Montjuic and its museums to Park Guell, Bellesgard, Casa Vicens, Pedralbes, the Labyrinth Park in Horta to even the old cemetery by the Villa Olimpica. I have seen the history and I can see through time how different Barcelona has expressed its original individuality. But nothing prepared me to the Modernistas. Just walking up Paseo de Gracia on my way to Casa Calvet (I highly recommend eating there: best 2 1/2 hours lunch I ever had), Casa Batlo and Casa Mila takes forever. I have take some 700 pictures with more to still be taken. Mind you I spent 4 hours at Casa Mila alone. Between looking and shooting takes a lot out of me. So much so that when leaving I always feel disoriented and a little dizzy. There is a lot to absorb and comprehend.

I remember innocently asking the girl employee about the unfinished looking floral paintings/murals in the ceilings and walls at Casa Mila. I asked if they where "in progress" restorations and if that was Gaudi's or an a contemporary recent decoration to which I was ready to add: how could they allow such a sacrilege! Well, she proceeded to tell me how Gaudi liked to "play" with natural and artificial lighting. Then it became obvious how the painting on the walls appear and fade throughout as when in nature parts are in direct sunlight giving us its rich details versus parts of the whole fade and disappear in shadow. To say the least I got lots of photos since. I then started to realize the amount of work Gaudi was involved in. No wonder he moved to Sagrada Familia. How exciting! The amount of people that he got together in order to get his visions realized. I could also see how his environment could inspire such genius. I want to see the rocky formations of Montserrat and as many medieval Romanic churches on the Pirineos as I can in future trips. The natural details of the area inspiring the architectural ornamentation in his designs.

This brings me to my second trip when we entered Casa Batlo. After reading Dr. Bassegoda's article I wrote this to the Club to bring some of the enthusiasm I get when I enter any of Gaudi's buildings and to point out that I know there where many talented individuals, following Gaudi's vision, that I know very little off but not for long.
Thanks a lot, Robel!

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