Barcelona, Spain : January 13- 14
TJD 01 - 16 - 2010

I arrived in Barcelona after a 12 hour train ride from Granada, Spain. I had a difficult time trying to get sleep in a room the size of a king mattress with 3 other guys. Also, the journey was not enjoyable. For instance, the train car would constantly make erratic movements from side to side. This is a characteristic of a non-high speed train. As I have experienced, high speed rail systems provide a comforting and smooth ride. The train departed in Barcelona around 9:30 a.m. This provided opportunities to discover the beauty of Barcelona. One of the first things I observed in Barcelona was a variety of vehicular and pedestrian circulation systems. I studied a variety of systems to determine their effectiveness. This analysis enabled me to understand how to reduce interactions between people and transportation methods. The first development I visited was the site of the 1992 Olympic Games. The complex is now under restoration. An intriguing feature of the park was the Torre de Calatrava. This tower is used for sending and receiving TV signals. The structure had an aesthetic and functional quality. Torre de Calatrava has an appearance of “pinpointing” the grounds of this prominent district from afar. Also, the grandeur of this TV tower made this a prominent feature in the skyline. Secondly, I went on a tour of Parc del Auditorios and discovered how the undulating mounds are designed to create a connection with the Mediterranean Sea. Also, concrete retaining wall blocks are in the shape of an abstracted sea shell. This enhances the connection between a built and natural environment. Also, adjacent to the park is Edifici Forum. This building is in the form of a triangle and has the illusion of being suspended from the ground. A cantilever system is designed to create this connection. Once I arrived at the hotel, I made a walk to visit Park Guell. I was astounded with the views of the city. Originally, this park was created as an open market and housing development. Although due to “change orders” the development was transformed into a public park. The intricate detailing of columns, walls, and seating elements was of particular interest. Mosaic tiles were arranged to create colorful murals. Also, an elevated observation point with a prominent cross indicated the highest point on the park. Further, this was designed to create a connection with God. This peak had a 360 degree view of Barcelona without any obstructions. Also, this point had a picturesque view of mountains, rolling hills, development, and the Mediterranean Sea. Afterwards, I ventured to Parc de la Ciutadella to see Arc de Triomf. The entry marker‘s width was comparatively slim compared to the height. The park stretched several city blocks. As a similar relationship to the entry marker, the width of the park was relatively narrow. Palm trees were designed as a buffer from the street. Also, this design emphasizes the grandeur of the central axis. During the evening, my group made a visit to the Torre Agbar. This bullet shaped structure has a multi -colored illuminating façade. Unfortunately, the light display was inactive. Additionally, I observed the night life along the sea shore. Establishments including clubs and restaurants were not busy. I came to realize I was visiting Barcelona during the “low season” Lastly, by the end of the evening, I was sore and exhausted since I walked 16 miles. IMAGES: Top Right- Park Guell Bottom- Torre Agbar

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