After 5 long years, I’m finally getting around to organizing my Europe photos. I’m starting with Barcelona, a city that stole my heart.

Gaudi has a lot to do with why I loved Barcelona so much — his work is whimsical, colorful, and imaginative in a way that makes me wonder if hallucinogens were in vogue at the time. Every inch of this town is covered with textures and patterns and it was incredible to be enveloped so completely by detail. Even when it was too much (as Gaudi often is) it made me giddy to be in a city that lives and breathes design this much.

What I loved most was how the mundane — chimneys, attic ceilings, benches, vents — was transformed into the exotic. Form follows function, of course, but I see no reason why everything practical can’t also be whimsical or elegant.