Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise … Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain

Green Light

I knew, as I crossed the threshold of the magnificent Roman Catholic Sagrada Familia in Barcelona one cold day in February, that I was going to witness something marvellous. I did not, however, expect the experience to
take my breath away.

Talk about a delightful surprise!

... A portion of the ceiling ...

… A portion of the ceiling …

You don’t have to be of the Catholic faith to appreciate the glory of God depicted in this sacred space.

... Window detail ...

… Window detail …

I have a fondness for the grand cathedrals of Europe. I’m in awe of their structure, workmanship, and artistry. Their sheer scale somehow embodies the essence of peace, leaving me feeling wonder-filled and worshipful. Even as tides of tourists flow up the aisles and around me my place in the great church is not lost. In that I find comfort.

Where permitted (not all churches allow photography) I take out my camera and capture moments that capture my imagination.

... Light painted floor ...

… Light painted floor …

Like a child wide-eyed in front of a shop window dressed for Christmas I’m fascinated by the magical light-play of stained glass reflected on stone and marble. The colours mesmerize as they slowly advance and
recede following the path of the sun.

... Ceiling detail in amber light ...

… Ceiling detail in amber light …

... Central Nave ...

… Central Nave …

The scale of the large churches and cathedrals of the Old World always amaze. They are ancient and have stood
the test of time. That, too, is part of their wonder.

This incredible structure, designed by acclaimed Catalan Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926), is still under construction. Work began in 1883 and is scheduled for completion in 2026 (the construction of this edifice is funded almost entirely through donations so when the money dries up the work stops, which has happened before).

It is a rather different experience to wander the nave of a mammoth sacred space that has yet to be completed. I feel like a witness to something significant.

The Sagrada Familia is a UNESCO Heritage Site.

... St. George in silhouette overlooking the central nave ...

… St. George in silhouette overlooking the central nave …

Perhaps if you have not yet visited this modern architectural wonder its astounding beauty is a delightful surprise for you too.

... Organ pipes ...

… Organ pipes …

... Organ pipes reflecting blue light  ...

… Organ pipes reflecting blue light …

Whatever your life journey, whatever your faith, with all my heart I wish for you the peace, joy and magic the Christmas season brings.

May all your surprises be delightful. 😉

... Detail from the Nativity Facade ...

… Detail from the Nativity Facade …

Thanks for visiting …

Merry Christmas!

Dorothy 🙂

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Copyright Aimwell CreativeWorks 2012

Contemplation … Port Olimpic, Barcelona, Spain

One of my favourite things to do is meditate in quiet contemplation by the water, so when I caught sight of this young mother with her baby focusing on the Mediterranean Sea I couldn’t resist capturing it.

I live in rural Ontario, no where near the sea. We recently had the garden re-landscaped and installed a bubble rock. Finally the meditative essence of water in my back yard. Still, I’m looking forward to my next excursion to a somewhat larger body of water.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

Copyright Aimwell Enteprises 2012

Equestrian Monument Perspectives … Barcelona, Spain

When travelling I keep a mental bucket list of must-sees/dos to check off wherever we go.

In particular, in the old cities of Europe I keep an eye open for cathedrals and stained glass, opera houses, speciality chocolate shops, jewellery shops so I can find a piece of my treasured labradorite (I collect wherever I travel … love it … a story for another day), and equestrian monuments, just to name a few.

There are a couple of monuments at Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona that caught might eye.

The first of these was the Triumphal Arch designed in 1888 by architect Josep Fontsere who was assisted by the then unknown Antoni Gaudi, a young student at the time. The arch was completed as part of a massive park project to replace the original citadel built for Felipe V between 1715 and 1720 which, in the 19th-century, became the much-loathed symbol of centralized power.

What follows are a few perspectives of the Arch taken, as you can see, with the brilliant blue sky as a back drop. The golden monument itself was almost blinding.

The Arch complete with pond, fountain, dragons and a couple of tourists (it was the winter) …

Did I mention the monument was blinding? Actually, almost a shock against the azure sky …

Switched digitally to black and white I really like the perspective of the horses seemingly rising from behind the tree’s winter branches. Also, they have the patina of gold without the shock of it …

This last perspective, taken through winter’s skeletal branches, gives the illusion of a mosaic, which I really like.

The second monument, smaller in stature but also impressive, is that of General Prim — the man responsible for the demolition of the citadel and the land being given to the city as a park.

As you can see, the seagulls also have an eye for a good thing and love to leave their mark.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

Mediterranean Meditation … Port Olimpic, Barcelona, Spain

As I was standing on the sandy beach at Port Olimpic in Barcelona, meditating on the view with my camera, I caught sight of this wharf and its many meditations.

The hope-filled men casting their lines into the sea and meditating upon their next catch.

The gentle sailing boat meditating its way along the shore in the background.

The lone bystander standing at wharf’s edge meditating upon the crashing waves.

All beneath the meditation of a passing cloud.

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Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

Cool Embrace … Barcelona, Spain

A lone man ambles through an archaic archway … carrying his daily groceries, perhaps?

No doubt an ordinary, everyday activity for him. Yet it is a photo-worthy moment for me.

When I look at this image I recall the cool embrace of ancient walls; the musty, damp smell of old dirt and stone; sharp, blinding sunlight against grey building facades and the echoes of silence and occasional footsteps surrounded by the cacophony of a large city bustling with life.

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

Walk On By … Barcelona, Spain

As people who have visited this blog before know, one of my photographic obsessions is coloured light.

Whenever I visit Old World churches and cathedrals I make a point of watching what the light is doing. And usually I look up.

On this occasion I got all excited by what was emerging in the light as I looked down.

We were visiting Barcelona Cathedral. It was about 2:30 in the afternoon, and as the light moved around to the south, this wonderful reflection of light and shadow appeared on the stone floor. Like a kid in a candy store I just couldn’t get enough and captured several images as it lingered there.

What strikes me about this particular image is that while I found this light show to be so magical another person (a man, judging by his shoes) was not so enchanted and simply walked on by.

Remember to look up … and down … 😉

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

Two Solitudes … Barcelona, Spain

During our recent trip to Barcelona we stayed at a hotel located near the Port Olimpic, site of the boating events of the 1992 Olympics.

The area boasts an expansive sandy beach (which is groomed every day), palm trees, night life, sailing school, many seafood restaurants and, of course, lots of opportunity for finding your own solitude.

It was easy to become mesmerized by the lolling waves of the Mediterranean Sea as they ebbed and flowed upon the sand and crashed into rocks around the piers. And even though it was cold for the time of year the locals, all bundled up against the chilled air, could be seen indulging in their own special solitudes by the sea — whether it was fishing, running, playing with the dog or, as depicted in this image, riding a bicycle or simply sitting in the sunshine staring at the sea.

Lloyd and I don’t get a lot of opportunity to walk near water, so we took advantage of our hotel’s proximity to the beach and walked there every day.

The brush of the wind through my hair, the roar of the constantly moving sea, the call of the seagulls, the intense reflection of the sun as it bounced off the water are all experiences locked in my memory and relived when I look at this image.

As for my solitude? It was to be found behind the camera capturing the solitudes of others.

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

Light Play in Barcelona

Today an experimental shot taken on the Carrer Del Doctor Alguader as we walked back to our hotel from the Marina Port Veill in beautiful Barcelona.

Sometimes I just do this … point my camera lens toward the sun, take the shot and see what happens.

With this image a natural golden sepia tone was achieved with just a hint of colour reflected from the cars parked in the background. Also, I like the play of light in the trees and the tall shadows cast on the sidewalk. The silhouette of the person in the foreground provides a sense of movement.

Shadows fascinate me — I suppose, because they make the light appear all the more brilliant.

And I love the light …

 

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012