Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hello Barcelona, Last Day in Spain

Our third port found us in Barcelona, Spain. The last port in Spain. I was pleasantly surprised by how beautiful that country is and how much we enjoyed visiting it. I didn't really know what to expect and had some rather vague notions involving flamenco dancers and bull fighting. While those two things exist in Spain, we didn't see them and instead saw other phenomenal sights.

That uber large building above is La Sagrada Familia (meaning Sacred Family) church. It has been built entirely from donations and isn't finished yet. It was started in 1882. The famous architect Antonio Gaudi worked on it from 1883 until his death in 1926.
When it's completed, it will hold 6,000 people sitting; 8,000 standing, and 1,500 people in the choir - a total of 15,500 people in a single service. Wow.

It was very, very crowded around the church. Lots of tourists. Also warned about lots of pickpockets. We didn't have a problem. Of course, we didn't advertise our personal belongings either.

After seeing the church we went to Park Gruell, another Gaudi creation.
Colorful mosaic tiles abound in Gaudi creations. This wavy bench seat went around the perimeter of a rather large courtyard, for want of a better word. The colors were breathtaking. And my pictures do NOT do it justice!
We walked underneath the courtyard and it was like being undersea. Undulating waves of concrete felt very liquid around us.

It's hard to believe that concrete can be designed and shaped to have a liquid feel. Yet, in one section of the park, you can walk underneath a concrete wave right before it crashes to the surf.

Very wild.
Everybody wanted their picture taken with this giant tiled lizard. I have some front shots of it but there's always several tourists in the pictures. This was the cleanest shot I could get to show all the tiles.
While I was above a courtyard getting pictures of the lizard, the rest of the family waited for me. They finally spotted me so I could take their picture.

K. never really did find me in time to snap a picture. Of course, this was after the white statue behind her to the left freaked her out when it moved.

It was a man that looked like a statue. Very real. And frightening when he moved.
After we got back to the ship, we decided to walk around Barcelona for the afternoon. We meandered our way up Columbus Boulevard and found a harbor with an outdoor flea market. We shopped for a little while and worked our way to the end of this pier.

Guess what we found?

A Spanish shopping mall! Yay!

Happy me, happy K., happy J.

Sad Man.

We had a blast walking around, trying stuff on and purchasing. Language was not a problem. We found some scarves, a sweatshirt for J. and a jacket for K.

Successful shopping excursion. We can shop all over the world.

From my journal:

"Neat factoid - Gaudi was supposed to design a hotel for NYC but it never came to be because the height he wanted was too high for the Americans, at the time. They said no way. It's now the Empire State Building! They developed that instead..."

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