Today we awoke refreshed and ready for a great day of touring. We were both up early (so we thought) and had a lovely breakfast in the hotel. We met up with Devon (one of Matt’s blogger friends) from San Diego. We were happy to have him join us on our day of touring. We first got on the Tourista Bus. A really great idea and deal. There are three loops in the city and you can jump on and off the open air double decker bus as you wish the entire day. It first took us to Sangrada Familia (Gaudi’s masterpiece).
As always scale is elusive in books and this was no exception. It is still under construction and will be for quite some time to come. Seven generations have been involved in its building so far. Be sure to check out the pictures, there are so many from today.
The admission fee is considered a donation. It wasn´t much, 12 Euros. As they get money they continue construction efforts.
Sangrada Familia is stunning in size and vitality. The front facade depicts several scenes and stories. Some of my pictures captured the expressions in the figures. The interior overwhelmed the guys. For me, even expecting to be impressed, I was struck as we first entered. The coolness and vast size grabs you first.
Be sure to check the pictures out. There is just so much to the building. The museum in the basement was very informative. The hanging model (thanks Jon for giving me heads up about that) was an truly amazing process that Gaudi went through. Gaudi hung weights with string and then arranged the strings by gathering them in organized groups. Then he would photograph the contraption and flip it upside down. This is how he derived his shapes.
After touring Sangrada Familia we had lunch in a street cafe. I can best describe it as a chicken pita. It was good and fast. Devon decided to return to the hotel after lunch to have a web meeting with his family. That sounded like a nice way to keep in touch.
Matt & I ventured onward on the red line tourist bus to Park Guell (pronounced Well). This was one of the places I was most looking forward to. I was not disappointed. There was a steep 5 block climb to the entrance. It was a good workout. Lots of children playing next door and many many tourist. We took a more gentle sloped path to the right and got away from the crowds. Eventually the path wound its way to the first vista and one of Gaudi’s residences that is now a museum. Matt noticed several parrots (?) roosting and squawking in the wild. They must be native here.
We rested a bit on the beautiful tile benches. They fit my back so well. The shape forces you to sit a certain way that is relaxing and easy. They were very comfortable amidst the throng of people. I think those are so graceful and colorful. We got some great pictures from there. The view across Barcelona is stunning from this area, with Gaudi architecture in the foreground and the Mediterranean in the background. The activity on the plaza is lively with street vendors, musicians and lots of tourists. I am so happy to have experienced this part of Barcelona.
As we progressed through the different levels of the park the scenes and feeling changed. The middle collenade is another interpretation of Gaudi’s sea theme. This time under the sea. We got to see the legs of our most delicious Octopus (aka pulp). Then through the last of the spaces past the super cool tile lizard and fountains. I was happy to see the use of tufa in the fountains. This is a volcanic rock that is used in many of the Italian fountains as well. I wish I could get a piece of that back in the US.
After our walk back down to the tourist bus and through the remainder of the route we were glad to find our way back to our room. ~K