Wed May 3 – Park Guell & La Sagrada Familia
Flew to Barcelona late-afternoon to meet Tom & Linda for the rest of our travels. Walked about our commercial harbor-front apartment building to see the Columbus statue and La Ramba, the blocks long pedestrian lane with restaurants, shops, a great market, and all that along both sides. Bought some wine and cheese and watched the ferrys, cruise ships, and container ships coming and going right below and in front of us. Went to dinner at a very small, recommended restaurant down an ally. We didn’t have reservations but lucked out and got 4 bar seats – 2 inside and 2 outside.
Thu May 3 – Barcelona – La Sagrada Familia
Took a taxi about 8 km away to the Park Guell (Whale) for the start of a tour to see it and La Sagrada Familia. Gaudi designed the entrance to the park, the walls around it, the 3 level walkways, and a fascinating plaza-like area with surrounding benches that collects, filters and directs rainwater to an underground cistern. All very interesting, gaudy and organic.
Then bussed over to the main attraction – the still unfinished Basilica of the Sacred Family, or La Segrada Familia. Seeing it up close for the first time is breathtaking, but it’s not until you get closer to it that you see the amazing amount of intricate detail that covers each façade, tower and wall. No way to describe it. We entered the Basilica through the Nativity portico which depicts every part of the Nativity and early life of Jesus – from Mary’s Annunciation, birth, the three kings, escape to Egypt, wood working, preaching in the temple – all in statues and carvings towering above you. Once inside, we were floored by the immense, breathtakingly beautiful, bright, white, towering beauty of the interior. As rough, carved, sand-castle like, and varied the exterior, the interior is immaculate, polished, ornate and as simple as you could possibly imagine. We exited through the Passion portal, which features every part of Jesus’ passion, crucifixion, burial and Ascension in a more modern style of huge statues and carvings – from the Last Supper, to the Garden of Gethsemane, the scourging, the stations of the cross, death on the cross, and Ascension – all in great detail. What a thrill to see it. Walked back to our apartment in a light rain, about 4 kms.