After we were finished at La Sagrada Familia, we took a taxi back to the hotel to check in. I chose EcoZentric, a small, boutique hotel located about 5-10 minutes from Placa de Catalunya, for our stay in Barcelona. EcoZentric was a great choice. In addition to the normal hotel amenities, they had refreshments (cookies, coffee, tea, etc.) out during the day/evening and they had a clothes dryer, which came in handy. Also, I like that they donate a portion of each person’s fee for the reforestation of various regions. The front desk employee was very friendly and helpful. And, the room had a nice little terrace area.
After a brief rest, we headed over to Casa Batllo, another building designed by Gaudi, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. Casa Batllo is a fascinating combination of fantasy and function.
Gaudi included a fanciful mushroom shaped fireplace nook for courting couples, complete with two benches. One bench on the right for the couple and a second bench to the left for the chaperone.
The huge windows in the main suite allow for a lot of light and the stained glass portion filters the light. (Can you find Jerry in the second picture?)
The building well, with its skylight, allows additional light to enter into the building. If you look closely, you’ll notice that the windows are smaller higher up where more natural light enters the well and then get larger towards the bottom. Additionally, Gaudi covered the walls in tiles of varying shades of blue, darker towards the top and lighter towards the bottom, in order to achieve an even distribution of light.
Even the decorative chimneys on the rooftop are functional. The chimney caps allow the smoke to escape without being obstructed by the wind.
When we finished our tour of Casa Batllo we walked to Placa de Catalunya, a 12-acre plaza connecting the old part of Barcelona with the new. There are numerous statues and fountains scattered across the square.
After walking around the plaza and visiting the local department store , El Corte Ingles, to pick up some gluten free snacks, we were both tired. So, we headed back to the hotel to put our feet up and rest for the next day.