Barcelona : Day 3
November 16, 2011
Chels and I woke up bright and early because we knew that we wanted to spend some time exploring the Sagrada Familia. After seeing the incredible exterior of the building, we could only assume that the interior was just as wacky and mind-blowing. Luckily the rain had stopped, and we were able to cruise around Barcelona sans-umbrella (well, at least for the most part). Most of what you see below is from the Sagrada Familia because it is huge and so unbelievably detailed. We spent several hours walking around, constantly saying “Holy moly… check that out! How did he do that?!” This was usually followed up with “So cool… so cool.”
Here is a little background on the building:
The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, commonly known as the Sagrada Família, is a huge Roman Catholic church designed by Catalan architect (and artistic madman) Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926). Construction on the building began in 1882, and in 2010 it hit the half-way point to its completion. There is a lot of speculation as to when it will be finished, but judging by what we saw… they have a long way to go.
To see all of the photos from the day (and there are a few), click here.
We saw this in the train station… sure looks familiar, but something isn’t quite right.
The queen and king of nerdery.
Pablo was getting hungry, so we stopped for a slice of pie.
These sculptures on the exterior of the Sagrada Familia really stood out to both of us. The peasant on the right is carved beautifully. We saw this on one of the giant bronze doors to the Sagrada. Does this remind anyone else of when Han Solo was frozen in carbonite in Star Wars?
Another set of bronze doors were covered in carved Biblical references. Incredible.
The stain glass windows were one of my favorite parts. They were all completely abstract, like clouds, but you can definitely find objects in them if you look hard enough.
Yup, the church is even outfitted with a sweet Electra-Ride for the priests.
The ceiling was designed to resemble the underside of a tree canopy, complete with trunk-like columns and branches.
Looking straight up.
The crucifix in the church is really odd and circus-like. It hangs above the altar, inside a giant umbrella with fake grapes and lights… kind of like eating in a dusty, old Italian restaurant.
The carving on the outside of the building was the most intricate part of the whole building. You could spend hours finding objects that have been hidden in here.
Then we headed to basement to check out the building’s museum. This is where they house all of the sketches, models and history related to the construction.
An early model of the building, made of plaster.
This was insane. Gaudi made this model out of string and tiny sandbags to figure out the exact arches for the roof that would make the most stable structure possible. It is displayed with a mirror, so you can see how it matches the outside of the building. Remember, this was created at the turn of the century. Genius!
Here are a couple of short videos that Chelsea took, to help give you a sense of scale.
After all that, our brains were tired and we were hungry. Creme filled churro, you say? Yes, please!
I love these stencils we found in an alley. Geometrically awesome.
Ummm… I am pretty sure that is not really a word.
On our walk across town, we ran into this public fountain at sunset. Beautiful.
Who knew that Barcelona had its own Arc de Triomf?! That is the ghost version of us on the left… spooooky.
In the park, we ran into a group of old dudes playing a little game of bocce ball.
The navigator, hard at work.
We found the illustrious Museu de la Xocolate (Chocolate Museum), but it was closed! Right behind that was a culinary academy that we checked out. Tonite, they were making traditional Italian desserts. Mmmmm.
Ooooh, so close.
Just your typical church… no big deal.
Once we saw the international squatters symbol (Circle N on left), we knew that there was a squat nearby. About a block away, we found the squat on the right in the Barri Gotic neighborhood of Barcelona. I love the painting on the outside.
This little girl’s face is a stencil. Yup… a really, really intricate stencil.
Back to our favorite Mexican restaurant for the 2nd night in a row. How could we eat the same food again, you ask? Well, there is NO good Mexican food in London so we had to go back and fill up before heading home.
On our walk back to the hotel, Pablo & Lupita made a friend. He was just the right size.