After seeing much of the city yesterday, we decided we definitely needed to see “Sagrada Familia”, a cathedral designed by the famous Barcelona architect, Gaudi. Construction began in the late 19th century, and is still not completed. They think they may finish it sometime in the next 20 years. It’s an unbelievable building and the design has so much detail and thought. Gaudi died in 1926 (run over by a tram). Even with all the improvements in construction equipment and cranes, I don’t know how he could conceive the cathedral’s completion when it began over 125 years ago.
We purchased our tickets online yesterday, and are able to enter the cathedral when it opened at 9:00. Entrance is carefully monitored by times to avoid huge crowds at the entrance. We also purchased the audio tour, making the tour that much more meaningful. There is so much symbolism in the design. We took an elevator up and back down one of the towers (we weren’t too excited about the prospect of 400 steps, one way). We had heard that Sagrada Familia was a “must see”, and they were right. Great place to visit!
After we exited the cathedral, we found a small café and sat down to enjoy some drinks and the view. Refreshed, we climbed on the Hop-On bus, and rode to our next stop, “Blau Tram / Tibidabo”. We transitioned from the bus to a tram. It took us up a steep road to the Funicular (steep railroad, my definition) Tibidabo. Tibidabo is a large hill overlooking Barcelona. There’s also an old amusement park at the top as well a cathedral. The view from the top is wonderful. After riding the bus all over town yesterday, it was nice to see put it all in context. The thing that jumped out to me was how most of the city buildings were the same height, and then there would be a single building or a cluster of buildings that rose out of the rest.
We snacked a little at the top, enjoying the view and then headed back down on the Funicular, to the tram. Back on the bus, we rode to another plaza, Catalunya, where we could walk down the famous Rambla, a pedestrian shopping/eating path that wanders from the city center to the port. We only made it a few blocks before our sense of adventure gave way to hunger and we found a nice restaurant for lunch/dinner.
After dinner, we decided the hotel would be our next destination. We walked back to Plaza Catalunya and caught the subway back to the hotel. It’s been really hot today, and I am drained. Water never tasted so good.