My first trip to Barcelona was in November 2014 for the Smart Cities Expo World Congress, the annual worldwide event held in Barcelona. I was there for 7 days, a day to overcome jet lag, followed by 4 days for internal meeting and congress, extended 2 days for sight-seeing. I will cover on what I did in the 3 days of sight-seeing and how I made the most of my time there. Hope you will find this helpful if you are going there for business and have a couple of free days for sight-seeing.
I caught red-eye flight to Barcelona on 15 November late night, with an hour stop-over at Milan. By the time we arrived at Barcelona and checked-in at the AC Hotel Barcelona Forum , it was late morning of 16 November. The hotel is just next door to my office but rather far from the airport, Fira Gran Via (event venue) and downtown. Not the best location, fortunately, there is a big shopping mall across the road and the tram station is not far away which made it convenient for meals and moving around.
After freshening up, I took taxi to downtown, La Rambla, for lunch and sightseeing. Weather was beautiful.
By late afternoon, I visited one of Antoni Gaudi’s great work – Casa Mila, “La Pedera” (1906- 1912) . Gaudi planned the building at the height of his career, at the age of 54. It was his last civil engineering work and marked a departure from architecture design of the day. UNESCO declared the building World Heritage in 1984 on account of its extraordinary universal value.
The roof terrace of Casa Mila, “La Pedera” is a unique work, brimming with artistic force, bears no resemblance to the architecture of its time. Its wavelike shape is keeping with the form and rhythm of the main façade, and different elements are laid out over the area: stairwells, ventilation shafts and chimneys.
Some background on Antoni Gaudi (1852 – 1926), famous Spanish architect. Gaudi was born in Reus in 1852 and received his Architectural degree in 1878. His designs were radically different from those of his contemporaries and his chief customers were the Barcelona bourgeoisie and the Church. He understood architecture as a total art. Fascinated by nature and geometry, he took advantage of all the innovations of the time, particularly in his use of certain materials, such as iron. Among his outstanding works are La Pedrera, La Sagrada Familia and Park Guell (visited later part of the trip) and Casa Batlo (visited at my second trip to Barcelona in 2015)
Had early dinner at around 7pm. The locals typically have their dinner at 9pm. At the dining place, there was a couple performing.
My last stop of the day, visited the Flea Market, a huge multi-storey complex selling all kinds of things from household items, furniture, antiques to clothing, bags, shoes… You name it, they have it.
It has been a super long day for me especially not getting much sleep on my red-eye flight. Guess the best way to overcome jet lag is to be out and about. Staying outdoor rather than indoor helped kept me awake and fresh.
Thank you for stopping by