We're in Barcelona, on the roof of a building by Antoni Gaudi. This is the Casa Batllo..
The facade of Casa Batllo. Gaudi liked to create buildings which remind you of nature, hence the bone-looking structure of the facade and the wave-like undulations of the roof. He also enjoyed tile mosaics, as you can see.
This is an apartment complex built by Gaudi called La Pedrera. The wavy exterior rooms surround huge open courtyards and light wells, so every part of the apartments get natural light.
Gaudi also designed a neighborhood, now called Parc Guell. This is the entrance, with the famous salamander...
...and the curved benches of the terrace.
Gaudi may be best known for starting work on La Sagrada Familia, a huge cathedral in Barcelona which is still under construction more than 100 years after it was begun. This is the side Gaudi personally worked on, showing scenes from the birth of Christ.
One last Barcelona picture, of the Palau de la Musica Catalana. The exterior is beautiful, but the interior is even more impressive. Alas, they don't allow pictures of the interior (bummer). This building was designed by a contemporary of Gaudi, a fellow Modernista named Lluis Domenech i Montaner. It is a concert hall owned by a choral society.
Onto Bilbao. This is the Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Gehry. The modern art found within has a difficult time competing with the building itself for attention.
Here's the museum again, from a conveniently located hill
The roadway / bridge goes directly over the end of the museum.
Now in Madrid, this is the Plaza Mayor. It's a beautiful
spot in the center of the city;
alas, it was a little cool for sitting at outdoor cafes in February.
This is a mausoleum of Alfonso XII in the Parque del Buen Retiro.
Madrid has some of the best art museums anywhere. This statue to Goya is located outside the largest, the Prado.
Our last stop in Spain was in Segovia, where this massive
Roman Aqueduct is still standing.
All I can say is, I'm glad the Roman Engineers didn't know how to make pumps and had
to build graceful yet monumental aqueducts instead.
Here's the same scene at night.
Segovia is also known for it's impressive castle, called the Alcazar. The locals think it inspired Walt Disney; perhaps these locals just haven't visited (or seen pictures of) Neuschwanstein...