Barcelona: La Sagrada Familia, Gaudí

We have arrived in Barcelona!

Before our trip, we got tickets to La Sagrada Familia that included a visit to Gaudi’s house, which is now a museum.  Our tickets were for 10 a.m., so we made our way over to Park Güell, which is where the house is located.

The overall trip wasn’t that bad until we got off the Metro and saw the nearly upright hill we had to hike up in order to get to the park entrance (no one tells you about this part when they share their gorgeous pictures of Park Güell…or maybe they did their research and figured out that there is a bus that drops you off right at the entrance?!)

When we got to the museum, we showed our tickets, and, like most of the monuments we visited, you can stay inside for an unlimited amount of time.  Once you leave, though, you can’t re-enter.

The outside of the museum was gorgeous! There were brightly colored flower bushes, and even a tree tunnel!  The house itself is a pastel pink color, and was built as a model home for the housing division that was envisioned for where Park Güell is now located.  Unfortunately, the houses were too expensive, the plan never took off.

After our museum visit, we decided to head down to Gran Via and try to find some more architectural landmarks by Gaudí, including the Casa Batlló.  We looked all over the place for this house, and it ended up being right in the middle of a bunch of high-end shopping stores! We’d walked right past it a few times and completely missed it!!

We stopped for a coffee and pastry before heading over to La Pedrera.  For nearly everywhere we wanted to visit, you had to purchase tickets, which can add up pretty quickly.  We opted out of this one, but, cheap hack, you can get a pretty great view from inside the gift shop if you really want to visit but don’t feel like buying tickets.

After that, we still had a little time to wait before our entrance time at La Sagrada Familia, which was at 4 p.m.  There’s a public park on the other side of the reflection pool in front of the church that you can get a really good view of the church (plus photo ops for you to fit the entire church in one picture without having to take a picture at an awful angle!)

Eventually, our entrance time came and we went inside to experience wall-to-wall stained glass that reflected the sunset so beautifully.  Seriously, I have some beautiful pictures, but they don’t do the colors justice!! Our tickets included the audio tour, but honestly, if you aren’t interested in architecture (i.e. what materials make up the columns, etc.), I would just recommend going and experiencing the church on your own terms.  I was fascinated by the ceilings and just how intricate all the stone carvings were.

We didn’t realize at the time, but there is a chapel below the main basilica that has a site to honor Gaudi.  It was the day before Palm Sunday, so we stayed for Mass.  Even though I couldn’t understand the language, it was still cool to have that experience and say that I’ve been to church there!

Oh, and speaking of Palm Sunday, the palms that were being sold on the streets were unlike anything I’ve ever seen before! Now, I’m not a very tall person, but these things were taller than the majority of people in the streets.  Just watching everyone try to navigate the streets with these huge palms was both hilarious and amazing!

Overall, we had a very successful first day in Barcelona.  Day two was spent exploring the beach, visiting the monumental zone of Park Güell, and fighting off large groups of pushy tourists, so stay tuned for that post coming soon!!

Thanks for reading, as always.  -MK





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