Sagrada Familia, Whoa!

Aug 01

Sagrada Familia, Whoa!

We had heard that there would be a 3 hour long line to get tickets for the Sagrada Familia¬†and man was I glad we bought our tickets online. The line stretched around a corner and then at least down a full city block more. It was a short four minutes metro ride to the basilica (wikipedia link for those, who like me, didn’t know what a basilica was) and we walked right past the line. We had to pass a school building with a very curvy roof to get our audio guide headsets and started on our tour.

The Sagrada Familia culminates into a masterpiece by the artist Antoni Gaudi who left the basilica incomplete upon his sudden death. Gaudi created this building using his love of nature to drive the development and symbolism of the structure. He wanted the clergy to feel as if they were standing in a forest, so he created an entirely new way of creating columns and vaulted ceilings to mimik the trees and leaves of a canopy. His main focus for the basilica was his love of nature and Christ. His modernist style re-creates a classic form into something entirely unique and inspiring.

The first time you see the Sagrada Familia you have to stand in awe. There are no other options. The ornate detail and the size of the church are too much to ignore. We listen to the background info on the church and walk on in. Even more stunning than the outside and the size is the inside. I’ve never seen a building quite like it and I dare say it may be the most beautiful building I’ve ever been in, and it’s not even finished! Work was started on the church in 1882 and is scheduled to be completed in 2030. There are huge stained glass windows on almost every wall that let in a rainbow of colorful light during the day.

While at the Sagrada Familia, we finally met other friendly travelers! I didn’t think it would take this long, but we’ve been staying at hostels without much common space. We met Chris, Joy, and Mary when we took the elevator up one of the towers. We exchanged photo taking for each other, and continued on our way only to meet up with Chris again after we descended the 400 something stairs in a spiral staircase. He invited us to grab some food with them and we headed on down to a place just across the street. We exchanged traveling stories while Amanda and I split a Paella de Verduras and potatoes in a garlic mayonaise sauce. They are all teachers for an international school in Tokyo traveling during their summer break.

We both enjoyed each other’s company enough to tag along with them to a Flamenco and Opera show on La Rambla. The singing was pretty horrible, and the dancing was OK. The live music saved the experience for sure. Amanda and I both fell asleep but not because the show was boring. We’ve just been having some late nights recently.

After the show, we were starving again, ready to eat the first thing in site, when we found PaTapas. We had another meal with the entertaining and lively group and then split up to hopefully get to bed early.

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