Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Barcelona, Spain

Sagrada Familia Cathedral
Sagrada Familia Cathedral, still under construction...
Sagrada Familia Cathedral... old with the new 

my first view inside...this one took my breath away
Stained glass

looking up... 

Gaudi's ornate style...
Park Guell 
Park Guell
We arrived in Barcelona, Spain, May 15th, 2013. It is Wednesday, or at least according to the elevator rug, changed daily by the ship’s crew. Aft deck 7:30AM, taking my first, early morning light, photo.
It was cool, in the low sixties. I would need a light jacket for touring. 
At first glance, I realized how very busy this port is. There were several large cruise ships docked and several more waiting their turn. Very industrial, by comparison to other ports we have visited.  
This is a back to back cruise for us. Many passengers disembarked here and many new passengers embarked. Five hundred original passengers, crossing the Atlantic would remain aboard to Venice. We picked up 400 Australians. Rumor has it that they are party, hardy, people. Should be a riot!
We booked a tour through Holland America and were so very pleased that we did.. Millions of people inhabit this city. It is a contrast between old and new that blend nicely, if you know where you are going! We were warned by the cruise director, that Barcelona is the pick pocket capitol of Europe, surpassing Naples and Rome. 
Lucky for me, my friend Judy, bought me a pouch that clips easily to my bra straps. The pouch fit, our required passports for this port, cash, ships card and my phone, in search of free wi-fi. 
So now secure and secured we met our tour guide Cinda, and off we went in search of adventure. A large motor coach our transportation. I, with my newfound chest and hubby wearing his waist security pouch, hidden under his pants. I’m not touching that one!
“Where are we going” hubby asked? “Gaudi” I said! “Gowdy” he asked? Curt Gowdy??? No, no, I roared, Antino Gaudi. He is a very famous architect. “Gaudi, well he never made any fishing magazine that I have ever read!” I know he was pulling my leg, or at least I hope he was!!! Curt Gowdy, is a well known fishing expert and sports announcer. 
We meandered about the city, navigating through lots of traffic, finally reaching our destination! Drum roll please!!!
Sagrada Familia Cathedral. Gaudi’s, most famous work. An extremely large cathedral dedicated to the Sacred Family. OMG! I have died and gone to heaven, I thought. The first stone was laid in 1882. Gaudi, took over the project, a year and a half year later, adding his own style and interpretation. It resembles a large drip, sand castle in a surreal kind of way. “Still under construction over 100 years later, it depends on donations for its completion. If it continues, the way it has been, in the last two good years, it should be completed in 2026,” Cinda said. It cost 15 euro pp, to enter. There are about eight thousand visitors a day! You do the math! The costs must be astronomical.
There are simply no words to describe this man’s genius. His ornate style, represents his love for nature and turning stone into the motion of water! The phrase “it’s gaudy or it looks so gaudy” is actually derived from his unique ornate style. Once inside I reached a state of nirvana. Light fractured, through the stained glass windows, illuminating the large support columns, into different shades of the rainbow. I can’t even begin to guess their height. “I am a mere child of God, and now I have seen Him,” I thought! Hubby wiped a tear from my eye. 
A choir made up of woman, gathered and began to sing, I was able to record them. Their voices bounced off every facet and there melody echoed to the ceiling. Ethereal! This is unusual, Cinda said! Hey, they knew we were coming! We left humbled and grateful for the opportunity to view this magnificent structure.
We drove by other Gaudi creations and then stopped at Park Guell! This glorious work of art was designed by Gaudi for, Eusebi Guell, he was a friend and benefactor of Gaudi. The utopian collection of broken tiles, fashioned into an artistic masterpiece, is almost to much to believe, humanly possible. The park is built on the side of a mountain and had many architectural challenges for Gaudi. Admission is free, so you can only imagine the crowds.
Gaudi, was killed tragically while crossing the street by a trolly. He was left to die, dressed as a pauper, no one would take him to the hospital. He died five days later in 1926. My guess is, he was looking up and not paying attention! A very bad habit of mine, I will admit. Click, click, click!
We had a wonderful day and all of my senses are on overload! No crashing allowed! We will visit France tomorrow, I am praying that lavender is in bloom! Well goodness gracious, they know we are coming! 

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TexWisGirl said...

all i can say about that cathedral is 'holy smokes!'

She Who Carries Camera said...

this is totally amazing! I can just imagine the awesomeness of seeing it in person!

Gail Dixon (La.Belle) said...

The cathedrals in Europe are some of the most beautiful and breathtaking artistry in the world. And when you consider the tools they had then! Glad to see my galavanting friend posting almost daily about her dream trip. :)

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