After a quick breakfast in our respective hotel rooms, we were off. First stop: Sagrada Família. Though we arrived early, the queue was already long. But it moved quickly and soon we were inside. This was my third time visiting, and still I found it awe-inspiring. The scale of it is almost too much to comprehend. There’s still so much to be done to complete Gaudí’s vision too – I guess that’s why they have guys whose job it is to paint the scaffolding?!
Mom, Dad and I took the lift up. After a quick look around, Mom decided she’d prefer to go back down the lift and keep Duncan and Hamish company. Dad and I continued up and up and up. And then came down, down, down. Coming down is so much harder than going up.
Looking down. Or was it up? Hard to tell.
Dad and the view about half way down the tower
After lunch – some absolutely fantastic Andalusian Gaspacho for me – the next stop was Casa Millà (La Pedrera). But it was getting on in time and the queues seemed to be on the long side. Much of what makes La Pedrera special (to my way of thinking) is visible from the outside anyway – though maybe not in great detail. But we had a look and then continued on to Casa Batlló, where Dad and I had a good look around.
I am boggled by Gaudí’s ability to continually surprise. Simple ceilings become ripples in water.
Every element has purpose – every colour, every line, every shape. The internal courtyard went from deep blue to the palest of blues and the windows increased in size the lower down you got – all to help with the reflection of light and the temperature control of the building.
Outside you can see the spear penetrating the back of the dragon, as well as Gaudí’s amazing skill to use tile like it were paint. And through the gap on the left, his Sagrada Família is framed beautifully in the distance.
After we were done with Casa Batlló, we headed back to the hotel for a swim (for Mom, Hamish and I), a rest for Dad and a wander for Duncan. We then headed back towards La Rambla in search of dinner. This time we went via the Arc de Triomf and approached from the east, rather than north. Mindful of the situation we were in the night previous, we were keeping an open mind, but not looking for the ultimate eating place. Lucky for us we came upon exactly what we were looking for – though maybe a bit pricier than we were hoping for. We had a lovely meal in a lovely outdoor plaza.
Of course on our way back to the hotel, we located all of the lovely little eateries that you read about and see on the travel channels. In fact I think we found the one Duncan and I had been looking for back in 2002! Then we ended up an area that we were altogether not too comfortable in and had to backtrack pretty quickly. We’ll know for next time.