WEDNESDAY, JUNE 7, 2017
Barcelona is enchanting, magical and lives next to a large body of water called the Balearic Sea which feeds into the Mediterranean. The city exceeded my expectations and made me wish we had more time (and money) to stay longer.
We had just been spoiled by the beautiful beaches of San Sebastian. The playa at Barcelona went for miles along the edge of the city.
There are beach bars that deliver drinks right to your beach blanket. And if you don’t have a beach blanket, there were people selling those too.
And then there is donut man who wandered the beach selling donuts.
Donut man had super human powers … he could lower himself to the ground to serve donuts and raise up from the ground while balancing the tray on his head.
Good people watching. Good boat watching. Catamaran in the background.
The beach was a great rest stop during a busy day of touring.
And across from the beach, plenty of shopping opportunities.
It took days to get a reservation to see La Sagrada Familia (the Holy Family). It’s a giant Basilica designed by renown architect Anton Gaudi. It has been under construction since 1882 and it’s not expected to be completed for some time yet.
Sagrada Familia is the most popular tourist attraction in the city, with over two million visits a year.
Gaudí disliked straight lines and angles because they don’t often appear naturally. Instead, he based his design on the swirling curves of nature.
Located on the outside on the east side of the basilica is the Nativity façade. The three Kings are shown here. The Passion façade is found on the West, and the Glory façade, which is not completed, can be found on the south side.
Nicknamed “God’s architect,” Gaudí stated that he designed and built all his work for the glory of God. One day while walking to work at the basilica, he was hit by a tram. Because of the 73-year-old’s unkempt appearance he was mistaken for a beggar. Gaudí lost consciousness and was ignored. A police officer eventually took him to a hospital where he received care that a pauper would receive. It wasn’t until the next day that the chaplain at the Sagrada Família recognized the beggar as the famed architect, but it was too late — Gaudí died two days later.
This stained glass window is dedicated to the Camino and Santiago.
Due to high demand, the only tour ticket we could purchase was the basic self-guided tour. The next level would have allowed us to access the loft through this lovely stair case.
This holy water font is made from a giant shell.
Even though the outside of the basilica is covered with many images depicting biblical stories, there are very few statues inside Sagrada Familia and they are of the Holy Family.
Parachuting Jesus may have stirred a lot of controversy but it is very interesting to look at and ponder.
When I first saw it, I thought it had kind of a beer garden umbrella look to it.
Another Gaudi creation is Park Güell. It is like walking through a Dr. Seuss book — very colourful, fun and whimsical. This public park is made up of gardens and architectonic elements.
Ornate colonnaded footpaths were under walkways and roadways.
Gaudi’s mosaic Salamander enhances the main entrance.
Many mosaic pillars and statues on terraced walls.
Walking trails wind throughout the park.
This lookout had an amazing panoramic view of the city and sea.
We enjoyed seeing a full moon over Park Güell.
Found a nice market by the hotel for a quick lunch.
The market featured a wide range of local fruits and vegetables.
And of course, lots of fresh fish and seafood. There were some atrocious looking critters in the selection.
And lots of olives. The ones we liked best were in vermouth.
We packed a lot into our short stay in Barcelona. We wrapped up the trip by spending a night in Paris and then on home to Minnesota.