If I haven’t mentioned it, you should definitely check out my mom’s blog (https://akinderworld.blogspot.com/) and my sister’s blog (https://redredhothead.blogspot.com/). They are both posting some about our trip last year with different photos and commentary. It’s awesome! Now on to the next installment!
24 September 15
Mom got up early and headed to the doctor to have her blister checked. She was back quickly because they were closed due to the holiday (La Merce).
Let me interject here a bit about the apartment. While the interior is quite lovely and modern with big comfy beds, where it significantly lacks is in water pressure. My god, it is non-existent. I got up early this morning to take a shower, and it was a complete joke. I learned a whole new level of patience as I tried to wash my hair. Sandy didn’t even attempt it.
We headed to La Sagrada Familia. The neighborhood we were in (L’Eixample) is very near the church. We stopped on the way for some churros. We watched them being made and put in the little paper cones just for us. They were incredibly delicious! Fresh and hot. We sat in a park and ate them and people watched.
We approached the LSF and saw there was a line going in so we got in it. Turns out the line was to go down to the crypt where Gaudi is buried. It was really beautiful.
We went back up and tried to figure out how to get inside LSF (now that you can, last time we were here the inside wasn’t done yet). We found out that tickets were sold out for the day and that you need to buy them ahead of time online. Sandy & I will probably do that.
We went into the gift shop where we all happily purchased a bunch of stuff, gifts and things for ourselves. I became a little obsessed with Gaudi on this trip. His impact on the city is immense, and his passion for God is unmatched. That kind of stuff usually doesn’t do much for me, but his art and architecture is so pure, and so incredibly imaginative, but in a different way than a Dali. Gaudi was inspired by nature and the inherent beauty of it. Truly fascinating.
We also stopped at a Barca store where Sandy bought some things for T.
After LSF, we came back to the apartment and shortly thereafter grabbed a taxi to go to Ferran’s house for lunch. He had graciously invited us. His wife, Mercedes, made us a giant paella de carne. Nice of her since it was her Saint Day!
And oh my goodness, was it tasty. Also there was his daughter, Gloria, and her daughter, Patricia. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this yet, but Sandy, Mom & I noticed right away when we first arrived in BCN that nearly every Spanish woman, young or old, is well put together. They are stylish without looking like they try very hard. It was a source of envy and something to aspire to. Let me tell you, Gloria was a well put together Spanish lady. I couldn’t help but just stare at her sometimes. And to think we’re distantly related! We also had a lovely fruit tart for dessert and some cava.
After lunch we chatted about their upcoming election (to decide if Catalunya should separate from Spain). It was an interesting discussion and to also hear from the different generations their thoughts.
Ferran very nicely offered us a ride home after lunch. Sandy & I wanted to go to Parc Guell, so he dropped off Mom at the apartment and then dropped us off near the Parc. I say ‘near’ because it wasn’t at the entrance, I think he missed a street or something. We had to walk up a bunch of steps but then we were there. Parc Guell (another Gaudi part of BCN) is divided into 2 parts, a free area and a paid area. Much of the cool stuff that Gaudi built is in the paid area. The next entry time into it was 6:30 pm and it was about 4:45 pm when we were there. But we called upon our mantra of “no regrets” and bought tickets and used the time to wander the large ‘free’ area.
Within the free area is the Casa Gaudi Museum, which is not free, but we paid and went in. It was really cool. Gaudi lived there while he was working on the park. The park was meant to be a neighborhood which overlooked the city. I think only a couple houses got built though because it was too difficult to get the supplies up the hills. I don’t recall if he built the house that he lived in, but I still enjoyed it.
After that we went and sat on a bench while we waited for it to be time for us to go into the Monument Zone as it’s called. I think I snoozed a little.
Finally, it was time. They let in 400 people every 30 minutes to help preserve the Parc. We kind of started backwards, but there’s no wrong way to go. It was truly awesome. He was a genius, yet so humble and unassuming. I’ll just add the many photos.
The Hypostyle Room:
The Dragon Stairway:
Entrance and Porter’s Lodge Pavilions:
We were done around 7:15 pm. Mom had said to take a taxi back. Ferran had said to walk. We decided to walk after we’d looked at the map. I felt so happy to have understood where we were and how to get us back. It took us about 35 minutes to get back to the apartment. It was getting dark but there were plenty of people out and about and never did we feel like we’d made the wrong choice.
For dinner, we walked to a little café called Enrique Tomas to get sandwiches and took them back to the apartment. Sandy & I enjoyed a cana while we waited. The sandwiches were good. We watched the celebrations of La Merce on TV. We had thought about going to Montjuic where the celebrations were happening, but there were a shit-ton of people down there and we didn’t want to deal with that. We enjoyed watching it on TV. Mom sang along to many of the songs that were played. Another fabulous day!