I arrived in Barcelona around 7:30 last night after a 10 hour trip from Lourdes. Back to a big urban environment, and all the very good and a few bad things that involves.
I’ll have something to post on my trip to Lourdes, France, but I’m still in the process of, well, processing it. Suffice to say for now that it was productive.
As destinations on this long trip go, Barcelona is a big one, so I’m excited to be here for 10 days.
My room in the Hotel Nuevo Triunfo in the Montjuïc neighborhood of Barcelona is small but well laid out and comfortable. And it’s smack dab in the middle of the old city’s yeasty mix of cultures, and just three minutes from its outstanding metro train system.
My first trip on the L 2 metro line (there are ten lines) was to the Sagrada Familia stop and the world famous church designed by architect Antoni Gaudi. I find his work a bit weird, but that aside, walking up the steps of the metro station and turning to see the church bordered on awesome.
It is a remarkable structure. One that goes on and on and on and on. Trying to describe the building is akin to the ancient and widely circulated parable of several blind men describing an elephant by touching it.
Long story short, it all depends on where you’re touching the elephant. With the Gaudi church, what you think and feel about the building tends to change as you walk around it, as several thousand people already there were doing Saturday morning when I arrived.
It also depends on when the part of the building you’re viewing was built. Construction started on the church this month back in 1882, so there are not just marked differences in the styles and angles of the building, but also in the coloration of stone installed nearly 140 years ago versus stone installed more recently.
The still far from finished church is a dizzying mix of architectural styles, materials and aesthetics. Trust me, you’ve never seen anything like it.
There’s also a lovely and peaceful park directly across the street that was a welcome respite from the milling crowds that ring the church on all four sides.
I didn’t go inside the church on the tour because I didn’t care to spend 38 Euros when I’ll very likely be back here next winter with someone who wants to spend like two days exploring the building.
I’m doing a good deal of writing, but I plan to visit some site of note each of my days while here. Lots of photos and text to come.
And, by the way, the next time you’re felling sorry for yourself, think of this guy. I know I will.