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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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October 30, 2015

Wednesday - Lots of Gaudi! - Part 1

Today, we did a lot of sightseeing and a lot of walking (always!)  We all three went to La Sagrada Famiglia, getting there at 9:00 a.m. which was a good thing because by the time we left, the place was way too crowded for my liking - just hordes of people.  But it is an amazing, magnificent, fantastical, almost whimsical, absolutely unique structure and to realize that it was entirely one man's (Antoni Gaudi) vision, makes it almost unbelievable.  I don't understand how one person can have such wildly novel ideas about designing a building - what makes him capable of thinking I won't do it the way churches have always been built, I'm going to make my pillars look like trees and make the pinnacles on my towers look like bunches of fruits and vegetables?!!!

We were there for probably 3 hours or more and I took a lot of pictures knowing that a lot of them would not be very good but wanting to get as much as possible of what I was seeing recorded.  So here they are along with a link that will explain Gaudi's Sagrada Famiglia better than I can.  The link first:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagrada_Fam%C3%ADlia

And next, the pictures.  And I am quite far behind on posting so haven't done as good a job as I should probably on editing these photos.  Also, I know I took some shots that really showed some of the columns soaring up like trees with limbs branching out as they neared the top, but apparently I didn't depress the shutter button firmly enough because I only have one that gives a slight indication of that. (:

These kind of decorations are going to be on most of the spires I believe.  This is a tree of some type filled with white doves .

 This is a portion of one of the two finished facades.  I believe there will be a total of three facades with the third one currently under constructions.  This one is the "nativity" facade and is just a riot of carved details - the very busy background is a grotto and it has a heavenly choir, including a harpist and trumpeter and below them are the figures of Mary, Joseph, and the babe.  The blue, red and green is part of the entryway - the blue is glass and the red and green are individual ironwork leaves that have been painted.  They are an extension of the doors which are shown in the third and fourth pictures below.

 All the windows are like this - stained glass that always ranges from red/gold to blue - so the interior glows with this light.
 This photo gives an idea of the columns suggesting huge trees soaring heavenward.  You can just see at the top where large branches start going up from the main trunk.

 This is a shot looking down into the crypt where they have a small chapel.  I stopped that for a bit and took a few more pictures.

 and when I went back to the windows into the crypt, they were having a service.  Got a picture of that and then got shooed out because I was not supposed to be doing that but I had not seen any sign saying so.
 I forget where this was but thought it was beautiful.
 A close up of that green tree with the doves because we also bought a ticket to go up one of the towers.  Thank heavens there was an elevator up but we had to walk down a very corkscrew narrow staircase.  However, walking down it enabled us to get some good views as did the little bridge we were on when we took these pictures.  The bridge connected the elevator tower to the corkscrew staircase tower.

 Are these incredible or what!!!  I love them.
 Now we're starting down the tower.
 I'm looking up at Chris here.

 I spent a fair amount of time here waiting to see if these workmen would be able to get this piece of some structure into its slot.  I finally had to give up but sent them a silent "wish you well" message.
 And here's the spiral staircase - really kind of frightening to lean out over the center to get the picture of the center.

 We sure have had wonderful weather this whole time (and I'm typing this Friday evening at the end of another beautiful weather day).
 As we left finally, it was very hard to quit taking pictures.  This place is simply amazing.
We had lunch at a tapas place that I was delighted with cause it was really like the ones I've read about and seen on travel shows - you go in, there are plates being set out with fresh-made tapas of every sort each with a toothpick in them.  You take as many plates as you want and save the toothpicks so that when you are done (and you can go back however, many times you want for more), you take your plate of toothpicks to the register and pay whatever the per tapas price is.  In our case, it was 1.40E - an incredible price for really fresh, delicious tapas.

I'll report on the second half of the day next - Heather did the flea market and Chris and I took off for
Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau.

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