Barcelona, Spain

We wanted one last Mediterranean beach before enduring the inland heat of sunny Spain. Barcelona has a great sandy beach plus Antoni Gaudi’s legacy of architectural wonders. We arrived just after a thunderstorm because our flight was delayed two and a half hours to wait for that thunderstorm to pass.

We got to know the bus and metro system quite well during our two days in Barcelona because the city is enormous. Park Guell was destination one and a bit of a letdown from what I was expecting. The houses looked like life-sized Gingerbread houses and the trees grew in interesting formations, but the entry to the paid portion didn’t offer much that the outside didn’t already have.

Next stop was Las Ramblas and the Gothic quarter. Our metro fortuitously stopped at a beautiful Gaudi structure, Casa Batllo.

Las Ramblas is a famous street with a pedestrian walkway and restaurants down the middle of it. I don’t know why it is famous as there isn’t much to say about it and has no sights worth photographing. Perhaps it is the people watching that make it notable, but we had one more destination that evening: La font majica de Majuic.

I love fireworks, and water shows with lights and music delight me almost as much. Barcelona puts on a thirty-minute show every night in front of a castle and it is spectacular.

The next morning we had tickets to La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s masterpiece that is a work in progress since 1882 with an estimated structural completion date of 2026 and decorative completion date of 2032.

We have seen a lot of beautiful and famous cathedrals over the last six weeks, and they prepared us to appreciate the groundbreaking uniqueness of this one. No flying buttresses or dark interiors here. Gaudi used parabolas to support weight and diffuse light. For a model he built the Basilica upside-down with strings and weights to determine how to angle and arrange the columns.

We then spent a relaxing evening at the beach. The sun didn’t make an appearance that day, so it wasn’t crowded or noisy. The water wasn’t as blue as Nice, but sand felt so good on my feet!