Antoni Gaudi. A Catalonian architect that lived from the mid 1800’s to the early 1900’s. His work here in Barcelona on the Sagrada Familia is the most visited site in Spain. He started the design and building of the church Sagrada Familia, which means holy family in 1882. His work is still being finished today by others and they are hoping for completion in 2026. The joke locals use that is if something is taking forever or you are waiting a long time you might say it is as long as the Sagrada Familia. It has been a long project. But oh, is it stunning.
I booked our tour with a guide months ago and I am so glad we did. A lovely woman named Rosa walked with us for an hour as we explored the outside and heard details of the design and interesting facts about Gaudi and his life and talent. There are three facades on the outside. The passion, death and resurrection. As the sun moves across the sky, its light further emphasises the qualities (generosity, harmony, or drama) of each facade. Gaudi loved nature and incorporates it into his work and design. As soon as you walk thru the doors into the inside your breath catches. So beautiful. The pillars resemble trees reaching the stars on the ceiling. It’s hard to look away from the colors of the stained glass shining. One side the colors symbolize a sunrise and on the other side sunset. It was a beautiful sight to see. My pictures don’t do it justice. Look up the Sagrada Familia or Gaudi of you are interested. Wonderful experience and I highly recommend making the trip here to see it.
After lunch we made our way to Catalonia Square where we met a gentleman named Guille who showed us around areas called El Raval and Barrio Gotico. He walked us thru the old city and told us the history of the area. We came across a sweet tea shop with smells that were amazing and darling little teapots. I am bringing one home. So many shops to look in…so little time. From there we journeyed to Park Guell which is another area designed by Gaudi. It is so beautiful and whimsical. It looks like a Dr. Suess world….thousands and thousands pieces of mosaic put together to make pathways, benches, ceilings, doorways etc. One thing our family loved about Gaudi is how he incorporated science and art. He used recycled materials to make a lot of his creations. It’s so interesting how we categorize people as artistic or scientific. But do we promote people to be both? What a powerful mix when the two are encouraged together. After we toured the park we said goodbye to Guille and were on our own to explore. We went back to the Bona area to find a place to eat and look around more. These Spaniards eat so late! We are trying to adjust but it is so hard to eat at ten o’ clock. So everywhere we go to eat lunch things are closed for siesta and then we are hungry for dinner around six or seven because we didn’t get to eat a late lunch and nothing is open. The struggle is real. Still working on it. This was our latest night yet. We all went to bed around 1:00 after a very full day. Did I say I love the air conditioning? Each night I peel my clothes off. Sticky and humid! I love it.
The next morning we had breakfast in our little cafe down the street from us again. The people recognize us and the same man was there as yesterday. We exchange holas and it feels nice like I have made a friend without conversation. EVERY restaurant and cafe here have these cool machines for fresh orange juice. Annalin and I have one every morning. So good. You can watch the oranges go in a circle with a press of a button and there is your fresh juice.
Cappuccinos and pasteries and we are off to FC Barcelona Camp Nou. A tour of the largest soccer stadium in Europe. We toured where the great Messi and Neymar Jr. play. Trophies, pictures and an audio tour took us thru the stadium. There is so much passion for this team and the people are such fans. From here we hopped on a bus that took us to different stops where you could get on and off. We took it out to the beach and right away weretaken with all the sunbathers and the stunning ocean. It took Sam by surprise as we passed the local 70+ year old women sunbathing topless but I think he’ll make it. We found a great restsurant in the beach where we all put our feet up and relaxed. Cappuccinos!😉. We spent quite awhile relaxing and resting up. From there we then ventured for dinner….of course. A little early. Places were just starting to seat people. All the restaurants had their seafood displayed on ice. Sam felt bad for the lobsters…took us awhile to pick out location but once we did the sangria was ordered. Great dinner of tapas and paella. Sam loves the fish and chips here and Annalin gets offered sangria with us! I let her have baby sips.
Figured out our way home on the Metro. We are becoming quite the professionals I might say. I think the kids have it figured out! Even started chatting with the locals while we are on it. Back to our great Airb&b for a good night’s sleep and our adventure to Valencia tomorrow. Must come back to this city, love it!