Thursday 16th May, 2013
Up late again today, it’s cold here, only about 10C, but only light rain this morning. After breakfast at the same place as yesterday (terrible today – not going there again!!) we bought some bread and cheese for lunch, went back to our room, got rugged up in our polar fleeces and set off to see more sights. Today we visited another of Gaudi’s creations La Sagrada Familia, an unfinished cathedral that is the most stupendous thing you can ever imagine. It is the most visited attraction in Spain with 4 million visitors each year and is truly amazing with decorations everywhere. The hand of Gaudi is present here even though he died in 1926 after having worked on its construction for the last 43 years of his life. Apparently there were no plans for it; just a clay model. Anyway, it is huge with very large internal spaces, almost too big to take in. The giant columns are designed to be treelike and there are curves and other shapes everywhere. They say the building will be finished in 2040! Unfortunately the towers were closed today due to the weather. Before we went in to visit, we sat in a park opposite and ate our lunch on a seat where many tourists came and had their photos taken in front of the building. It was very funny watching them pose for their photos. We walked back through the city and looked at some of the other famous buildings and then walked back to our hotel for a bit of R&R, but once back there, we decided not to go out again for dinner so just had chips and a couple of glasses of Spanish sherry in our warm room. The weather has cleared up this afternoon and may be fine tomorrow. It is very interesting walking around the city: it is mostly flat with parallel streets and easy to navigate around. Once you get off the main tourist streets, it is very quiet and very pleasant with tree-lined boulevards and a number of dog parks. – even saw a cat in a harness and lead in one of them – totally ignoring the dogs!