Hope you like church…Barcelona Day 2

If you don’t know who Gaudi is, you should look him up.  I can’t even begin to go into all that he has done.  Interesting fact, though sad, he was hit by a tram on his daily walk and nobody recognized him so they took him to the pauper’s hospital.  He died two days later and his funeral was attended by thousands of people.

Saturday morning we got up early and headed to see La Sagrada Familia, thinking it being early, we wouldn’t have to wait in line.  Well apparently that is a common misconception, as the line snaked all the way around the building by the time we got there.  So we waited.  The line moved, slowly.  By the time we got to the ticket counter, the first available elevator to the towers wasn’t for 3 hours, so we booked a later ticket and decided to come back at the end of the day.  You must go up one of the elevators if you visit.  It’s incredible.

Since we were not terribly far from Park Güell, we decided to walk up to another Gaudi site.  At the top of a hill is a 50 acre park overlooking the city.  Meant to be a high-end residential development, it had 60 triangular plots that were never developed around an incredible park and community space that was constructed.

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And this is when terror struck.  The man who we asked to take the picture of us (above) managed to half drop Riki’s camera on the ground.  All seemed to be fine for awhile but it now appears the lens is messed up.  Luckily, there is an entire bag full of lenses that we carry around and we were off to more picture taking in no time.  It isn’t even that great of a photo of us.

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This is a must see in Barcelona.  Really incredible tile work and a great place to picnic.  Be advised, it appears the city has started charging for everything.  I guess if you really do hate the tourists like they say they do, charge them an arm and a leg and maybe they’ll go away?  Our book was only a year old, but it appears that many places that used to be free now cost at least $8.  Oh well, totally worth it.

We spent the next few hours before our entry ticket for La Sagrada Familia wandering around the neighborhoods with the most modernist architecture (and graffiti).

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La Sagrada Familia

I came with the Spaniard seven years ago and was excited to see how far they have come in the construction process.   Since my last visit, the floors and roof were completed in time for the pope to consecrate it in 2010.  I remember plywood lined paths around the main area of the church, in which hung huge sheets of plastic.  Cristina and I went up the Passion Tower and had amazing views of the city and a great spiral staircase trip down.

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Proof that I also can take pictures.

We opted for the Nativity Tower this time, even though Riki claims to be afraid of heights (I think he was lying to me – I saw no evidence of this and we were VERY high).  La Sagrada Familia has come a long way in 7 years, with incredible stained glass and more towers, but I don’t see them finishing in 2026 as planned, which is 100 years since Gaudi’s death.  They still have an entire side to complete (the main side) and a whole apartment building is supposed to be demolished to make the main entryway plaza.  Not going to happen.  The literature says: “Est. Completion Date – 2026?”  They know. No way.

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If you go, check out the museum in the basement.  It has great pictures of the progress of the church and lots of huge models (architecture people!).

After 10 straight hours of walking, we ate dinner at 8 pm (GASP! blasphemy in Spain) and crashed early despite the draw of the lively bars nearby.

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