-->Saturday was our first day in Barcelona and what we mostly learned is that it would take more like a week even to begin to experience this remarkable city. Sharon likes to “gut” a city by fist taking a plain old Gray Line bustour, which is what we set out to do. But when we got to the Antoni Gaudí masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia basilica, we just had to get off the bus. The place speaks for itself. The esthetics establish a spirituality that shines, literally and figuratively.
|Ma and Pa and Gaudí|
After the 19th century completion of the Köln cathedral, this has to be the next great ecclesiastical masterpiece, and like that church, which took five hundred years to complete, after 140 years workmen are still using Gaudí’s drawings to complete the exterior on the Sacred Family side and are working from both Gaudí’s and other plans on the Crucifixtion Side. We briefly debated whether or not to brave the crowds to go in. Thankfully we decided to for the interior is another wonder perhaps greater than the outside. Strangely it reminded us both of Wells Cathedral in that it forced your eye and your spirit upward. Amazing!
From there we did something entirely different. Throughout this trip we have been eating modestly, mostly in local, typical restaurants. Barcelona is a restaurant/foodie city. So we decided to go to one of the city’s Michelin two star restaurants, the relatively new Moments created by one of Spain's star chefs and her son. We had to try the degustation menu and both the food and the experience were phenomenal.
After that remarkable lunch we got back on the bus (a somewhat disjunctive experience) and toured the rest of the city, before walking the Rambla, teeming with people on an unsesonably warm Saturday evening.
|Frank Gehry's Art Hotel, the man is everywhere in Spain, of so it seems.|
|This nighttime image along the Rambla seemed to capture the spirit of the city.|