I arrived in Barcelona last night, and apparently most of the world did too…Barcelona was so crowded today, though I must say I did spend most of it looking at major tourist sites. Also, people walk slowly!
I started by going to Park Guell, a Gaudi park which like all Gaudi art, is very interesting, a combination of art and architecture. I took the Metro there and was running a bit late (tickets have a specific entrance time…miss the window and adios ticket value). What I didn’t realize was that not only was the park about 25 minutes from the Metro, it was up many many flights of stairs, so I had a good early morning workout today. (On my way back down I felt a bit smug when the young people walking up were huffing and puffing, but refrained from telling them they weren’t even half way there!)
There’s a famous gecko fountain there with which everyone seemed intent on having their photo or their child’s photo taken, and up above a really nice mosaic bench with cool curves and decorations. It was a lovely day and fun to look around, especially in between tour groups.
After seeing the park, I went to the Sagrada Familia, the famous church designed by Gaudi which is taking over a hundred years to build. I’d seen the outside before but didn’t know about buying a ticket in advance online…this time I did and it was a good thing as tickets were sold out today. The inside is spectacular, even though not yet finished. There are pillars and curves everywhere and the light coming through the stained glass windows is gorgeous. There was a service going on downstairs and I could see the priest preaching from above and it appeared that a tourist asked him a question or to take a photo (he was shoed away) and another tourist was trying to take photos down there…not too cool.
After lunch I headed down to Las Ramblas and then over to the Gothic quarter where there’s a pretty old church. I’d been inside before which is good because today there was a long line.The streets are narrow and the buildings older in the Gothic quarter, but most apartments have small balconies which makes the facades interesting.
I went into the Theatre and took a short tour. The theatre is mostly for opera and has great acoustics of course. It was started as a private opera house…rich people bought seats or boxes on the first three floors and that paid for the building, though today the seats are open for anyone to buy. It is quite lovely, though there was an event they were preparing for so the main floor was a beehive of construction.
I wandered down to the waterfront too, and it was super crowded. A lot of people seemed fascinated by the seagulls. They were pretty dirty but posing nicely for photos. There are a couple of interesting sculptures, one Gaudi, one Miro, or so I think, along the waterfront.
Off for California in the morning. It will be nice to go back to the USA, even though this was a fun trip.