A Day in Barcelona

A Day in Barcelona
With just a day allotted for Barcelona, we hit the main attraction first: La Sagrada Familia. I recognized it as the melting candle–looking building I’d seen in pictures, but it turned out to be much more than that.

Inside, we learned about the architect’s detailed plans, how he incorporated nature into the design and structure of the building. Some elements were obvious like the inside pillars that resemble tree branches and the spiral staircase that resembles a shell. But Gaudí also studied things like the shape of honeycombs and the molecular structure of DNA. His propensity for detail was shocking.

Of course there were also the obligatory religious figures and symbols, like the nativity scene and a crucified Jesus, but it was nothing like any church I’ve visited before. It was like walking through a giant piece of confused art that somehow worked. And it’s one of the few places that I feel I need to see again. Once it’s finished that is. Though construction started in 1882, the church won’t be complete until 2026. Maybe then I can get some pictures without cranes and scaffolding.

After La Sagrada Familia, we visited the Barcelona Cathedral, one of many, many churches we would see throughout our trip. It was lovely, a fine example of Gothic architecture, and definitely worth a quick walk through.

Next we visited the Picasso Museum, which was a huge disappointment. Though I’m not a particular fan of Picasso, I still expected to be inspired. And though I’m certainly no art critic, I know a good museum when I see one. (I particularly enjoyed the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.) For me, the Picasso Museum was a waste of time and a LOT of money. Though it ranks well on TripAdvisor, I agree with the reviews listed under 1 star. Even they say that it’s best reserved for art buffs and Picasso fanatics.

After the museum we walked around the city, stumbling upon things like a Roman wall, two of Gaudí’s other buildings, La Pedrera and Casa Batlló, and a great candy shop in the Gothic quarter, El Tresor d’en Cristobal. For some reason, we repeatedly found the best gummy candies in Spain.

At the end of the day we headed for the famed local market, La Boqueria. However, when we got there everything was closing down. The market was enormous with every kind of meat, produce and goodie you can imagine. We realized we had made a mistake ranking it so low on our list while we frantically grabbed a bit from each station—chocolate covered orange peels, gummy candies, and mango-kiwi fruit smoothies.

From there, we headed to nearby Las Ramblas, a tree-lined pedestrian street with shops and restaurants, and sat to have sangria. We spent the next hour talking to the couple next to us, two engaged med students from Chicago who had been working in Africa. They told us about living with a family in the village and the “slowly, slowly” philosophy which dictated the pace of daily life there, even the pace of walking which was frustrating for them. In turn, we told them about our trip to Morocco and the loud high schoolers in our hostel. It was nice talking to some Americans, since we saw very few during our trip.

After finishing our sangria, we said our goodbyes and headed back to the hostel. The next morning, we were off to Avignon, France.

Copyright © 2016 Fortuitous Travel. All rights reserved.

La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia
Barcelona Cathedral
Barcelona Cathedral
Barcelona Cathedral
Barcelona Cathedral
Barcelona Cathedral
Barcelona Cathedral
Barcelona Cathedral
La Boqueria
La Boqueria
La Boqueria
La Boqueria
La Boqueria
La Boqueria
La Boqueria
La Boqueria
La Boqueria
La Boqueria
La Boqueria
La Boqueria
Antoni Gaudí’s La Pedrera
Antoni Gaudí’s La Pedrera
Antoni Gaudí’s Casa Batlló
Antoni Gaudí’s Casa Batlló
Barcelona from La Sagrada Familia
Barcelona from La Sagrada Familia
Plaça Reial
Plaça Reial
Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona
Las Ramblas
Las Ramblas

Copyright © 2016 Fortuitous Travel. All rights reserved.

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One thought on “A Day in Barcelona

  1. Pingback: 36 Hours in Madrid

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