Modernista Biking and Fair Video

Bicycle merry-go-rounds and toilet Ferris wheels–just another fair in Barcelona. Las Chicas join about 40 others in the 5th annual Bicicletada Modernista–a bike ride celebrating Modernist architecture of Barcelona. The ride ends at the Fira Modernista–Modernist Fair complete with steampunk rides for children, dancing giants, and dancing teenagers. Enjoy the fair video at the end of this post.


We first see our Modernista starting point through the trees.

We ride to the start of the event on a wide, shady street, quiet because it’s Sunday, and last night, Barcelona won it’s third championship this year.  So most people partied well into the night. Go Barce! We gather at Hospital de Santa Creu i Sant Pau, with others in period costume.

Hospital de Santa Creu i Sant Pau

Hospital de Santa Creu i Sant Pau

Designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner in the early 20th century, the hospital  recently closed its medical operations in the Modernist pavilions. Now, it’s a tourist site, home to non-profit offices, art galleries, and conferences. The new hospital is located behind the one built in 1905.


Modernist couple.


Modernist family.


Modernist and non-modernist bikes ready to go.


Las Chicas sport non-modernist footwear.

We are faking it with semi-appropriate hats and muted tones of white and tan. Others are also not dressed in costume and really, it is a little humid to be wearing layers of skirts and tweed.  After the “family photo” of the whole group–we ride down Avignuda de Gaudi to Sagrada Familia. Happily we have a police escort, a car and several police on bikes, so traffic must stop for us!

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia with its cranes and tourists.

We ride down streets of Eixample with Modernist buildings in almost every block. We pause near the highlights, like the Palau de Musica. For more about this building, check out a previous blog post: Some Surprises.


Palau de Musica, also designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner.

After weaving our way around Eixample, we come to the Catalan Museum of Modernism for our beer and chocolate break. No one touches the beer, but most people drink a cup or two of the liquid chocolate.


Men in hats drink chocolate.

Las Chicas briefly explore the museum that focuses on furniture and stained glass from Modernist buildings.


A sky light designed by Gaudi.


Lisa framed by Gaudi Mirror.


Building that houses the Catalan Museum of Modernism.


This Modernista Chica blends leather power gloves with fresh flowers.

Outside the museum, we block the sidewalk and some tourists take photos. We are now ready to head to the Modernist Fair. On Passeig de Gracia, we stop by Casa Milo, also known as La Pedrera.


La Pedrera, designed by Gaudi.


Modernist cyclists in front of La Pedrera.

At last, we reach the Fira Modernista. The festivities are in full swing and Las Chicas wander and watch various Giants “Gigantes” Dancing, teenagers fitness-dancing to some peppy Cuban music, and the much anticipated Ferris Wheel of Toilets with children riding upon same.




The Modernist Fair Ferris wheel is hand-cranked to power chains and pulley mechanisms that turn the wheel.

A variety of music floated on the Modernista breeze including old-fashioned carnival music, pipes and drum band for the Catalan Giant parade, and Cuban dance music for the orange-shirted teenagers. Click here for Modernista Fair video.

© 2015 by Lisa Howells and Mary Reynolds. All rights reserved.

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