On our second wake-up in Spain (I’VE BEEN TO SPAIN!!) we got ready and headed to the main attraction for the day: La Sagrada Familia.
Aimee and I, the coffee
addicts drinkers, stopped by Starbucks for an IV drip, um, Apple Crumble Latte. Funny story: we got these coffees while Christy and Jessica got our tickets to the cathedral… we walked up with our delicious drinks and discovered that there was not nearly the line we had expected. In fact, they were already into the part of the line that had the black line tapes directing traffic. We walked up, worried that we were going to have to sneak across the lines, when an employee asked if we were with Christy and Jessica. We said that we were and the employee told us we could finish our coffees and then get in line with our friends.
We were quite shocked at how nice they were. But our coffees were hot and the line was really moving quickly, so we drank as quickly as we could, not savoring our coffee as much as desperately chugging it so we could join our friends. By the time they had reached the part of the line where we were about to get left behind, a different employee opened the black line, let us through, and said, “Just throw the cups away before you enter the cathedral.” Everyone we met in Barcelona was incredibly nice. This was just one example!
Upon entering the cathedral we were mesmerized by the beauty around us. It is by far the most beautiful building I’ve ever been in. There is no way for me to show you how gorgeous it is, so please put “Barcelona” on your list of places to visit, with La Sagrada Familia as one of the destinations.
I love the apse with the fragile, papier-mâché looking decorations. As Mary, Jesus’ mother’s name, being translated as Maria, I couldn’t resist taking a picture of this for Anna and her beautiful daughter, Maria.
We had paid the extra cost to be able to take an elevator up one of the spires for the views of the city. I’m not really afraid of heights. Not really. But I was experiencing some serious waves of vertigo or something. I very specifically remember taking the picture on the top right of the following collage and thinking, “Oh, I do hope my face does not reveal how wobbly I feel right now.” It does. I can see the discomfort clearly, but I will SO go back up in this spire again if I am ever able to return. It was very worth the long wait to get on the elevator and the weak knees and churning stomach. Very much worth it!
The top left picture is a picture by Jessica taking a picture of Aimee taking a picture of me taking picture. (Sort of an inside discussion, and maybe not at all interesting to anyone other than the four of us on the trip.)
Okay, so let me give you a bit of info about the pictures.
We rode the elevator on the side of the cathedral that has the Tree of Life. If you’re facing the side that has the tree, I think we went up the third spire from the left. I think we crossed behind the tree. And then I think we descended the far left spire. (I was feeling a bit loopy.)After our tour of La Sagrada Familia we found a spot to eat. We continued to meet the nicest people and, when we sat down to eat, the waiter brought us a gift bag. It was from the La Sagrada Familia gift shop and looked exactly like the bags we had just brought in. At first we thought one of us had dropped ours, but then he said, “Last month a customer came in to eat, but left this behind. Would you like it?” Well, SURE! We scored some neat trinkets from the gift shop and all in English!
I couldn’t resist the paella again and went a little more adventurous in my selection. Aimee and I ordered two different ones and split them in half, to get a good variety.
We took a little time back at our hotel to let the baby rest and to drop off our goodies. After recharging we went to the waterfront in Barcelona. We walked along the Port Vell – Moll de Bosch and thoroughly enjoyed the water, wind, and boats.
At the Columbus Monument we turned left onto a bridge filled with swooping seagulls.
Basically a fun strip of shops and entertainers. Halfway down we stopped in a bookstore to shop for a while. While there the fatigue of a very fast-paced three days started to settle in so, while Christy shopped, I used my handy-dandy iPhone to look up the number to our restaurant of choice, Hard Rock, and called to make a reservation. We still had a twenty-minute or more walk, or we could take the metro and get there in five. As soon as we were all done shopping we hopped on the metro that was located very near the store, and rode to Hard Rock.
I found Matt’s souvenir and actually bought one for myself as well. I think that was my first Hard Rock t-shirt ever!
We went back to our apartment and worked our magic trying to get that freezer open. We had purchased some ice cream at a nearby shop and the freezer wanted to keep it for itself. We were determined…
After our ice cream I think we stayed up until about 2 am, fully aware that we had a super-early wake up to get back to the bus station. Every second of lost sleep was worth the sleepy days I had following.
How does one thank her friends for such a thoughtful, intricate gift? The months spent planning and preparing. Keeping a secret. The expense of paying for my trip. The thoughtfulness of the idea in the first place. I simply cannot adequately thank them.
No words will suffice.