the dragonbacked roof

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Yesterday we took a memorable trip to Casa Batlló.

Last year, seeing Gaudí’s work for the first time was the highlight of my trip to Spain. This year, it’s looking like that’s going to be the case again. (Apart from O and her family, who have an indisputable, highly-ranked place in my heart forever.)

For me, where seeing Gaudí’s work on the Sagrada Família is powerful, seeing his work on Casa Batlló is calming. He devoted so much effort and thought into its design and creation, which is true of all his work, but the details of Casa Batlló are my favorite. The ambiguously-shaped balconies, the dragonbacked roof, the oceanic hues – the house feels like something lifted from a dream.

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There are so many clever, groundbreaking touches in Casa Batlló, like this light well. Gaudí designed the house to receive as much natural lighting as possible without sacrificing the privacy of its tenants or the structural integrity of the building. In the light well, he balanced the distribution of light through the colored tiles, dark blue on top and lightly colored at the bottom where the light doesn’t as easily reach. The result is tilework that appears to be one shade.

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Today, the house is privately owned, and reparations are constantly made to keep Gaudí’s work fresh and well-preserved.

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The dragon’s back/the roof of Casa Batlló

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When we left Casa Batlló, we discovered teensy cups of Ben & Jerry’s, and rainbows full of money ran wild in the streets as a result of our joy.

We had lunch/dinner at an Irish pub facing the Sagrada Família, and then we headed home. We hung out with O in her room, where she did a Russian Tarot reading for me. I’ve never had a Russian Tarot reading before, and the cards I was dealt were quite eventful. I had an owl, a star, a campfire, a herron, a casket, a snake – oh, sorry, you wanted to hear more about one of those? The owl, right?

Oh, the casket. Yes. That happened. O immediately saw that and winced. J mourned my imminent demise and I whined at Russia for wanting me dead. When it came time to read the meaning of that symbol, though, it turned out hat the casket upside-down was the only good position, and it meant either I’ll be narrowly avoiding death or narrowly avoiding danger of some kind. Mental or emotional or something, not just physical.

I decided to take a photo for my blog (“Should she do that?” J wondered as I positioned my iPhone up high over the bed. O shrugged and said, “It’s fine,” and snap went the iPhone) and then O finished the reading and tucked the cards away. Every reading had some positive connotation to it, for which I was grateful. In the kitchen, as we made dinner, I pulled up the photo to see the images again but – the image wouldn’t show up. The photos I’d taken before and after popped up from their thumbnails instantly, but the Tarot photo changed to black whenever I called it up.

I guess the universe is testing my memory.

Fare thee well, citizens of fate!

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