|I had left this day as a free to explore Las Ramblas (if we could find it again) and Barcelona on our own with a tour of La Sagrada Familia later in the day. We found Las Ramblas – yeah – and started exploring. We stroll down Las Ramblas, dodging the many cars, pedestrians, street performers, trinket booths, bicyclists, etc…and always keeping one eye open for the potential pickpocket. We ventured down side streets, popped into stores that attracted our attention, set a nice leisurely pace. Then it started to rain so we decided it must be time for lunch and found a little place in the middle of Las Ramblas just in time before the skies opened up and it rained and it rained and it rained. We took lots of time having lunch and until we finally decided we needed to leave the restaurant and get wet so we could get back to the hotel to get the tickets for La Sagrada Familia.
Lesson learned – do not wear flat leather sandals in the pouring rain on the stone and brick streets and sidewalks, it was like a skating rink. By the time we got back to the hotel we were soaked. After a quick change of clothes we were off to see La Sagrada Familia.
La Sagrada Familia
This was Gaudi's life's work, his grand masterpiece. Gaudi worked on Sagrada Familia for 43 years beginning in 1883 until his death in 1926. The church is still not done and construction continues on today. The goal is to finish it by 2026 - the 100th anniversary of Gaudi's death.Construction began on this massive structure in 1882, and it's still going strong today. Eventually, the tallest tower (still to be built) will reach a height of 560 feet.
Photos of La Sagrada Familia simply can’t do it justice. They don’t convey the enormity of it…the sheer gaudiness of it all…you simply have to stand there for a few minutes and just…absorb...ponder…wonder…imagine…and finally ask...what the HECK was Gaudi thinking when he designed this?
Every where you looked, you could find a little hidden treasure….
With admission tickets in hand, earplugs in place and then we walk through the fabled doors of the La Sagrada Familia.
Seriously. I had goose bumps. It TOTALLY blew me away.
For me, it was a surreal experience, as the exterior of the Sagrada is so over-the-top… It has all of Gaudi’s signature style of curves, swirls, and natural elements…but the inside was just the opposite – for me, anyway – done in a very soothing, calming and spiritual style.
If you’ve never been inside the La Sagrada Familia…then stop what you’re doing. Right now. And get over there and go inside. Seriously. Buy your tickets early – or wait in line if you have to…but you have GOT to go inside.
That’s all I’m saying on it…once again, I’ll let a few photos “tease” you with what you can find inside:
We listened through our earpieces as our guide, described what we were seeing...and we then had a bit of free time to explore on our own. The church is so massive inside, and the crowd is controlled, that it never felt crowded at all....