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Barcelona 13 May 2016


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Friday the 13th

Perhaps we can be pardoned, but won't excuse ourselves, from the repeated fallacy of trying to go back to a wonderful place in the hope of finding it equally, or even more, delightful. So, I am sorry to report, it is for us and Barcelona. 

Admittedly, it's been a long time. We were here with Sienna and Chad at the end of our long wander in 2001. (You can revisit it with us here.) We were 15 years younger, and so was Barcelona. Since then, it has been discovered ... in spades.

It is still a profoundly wonderful place, I'm sure. As cities of 1.6 million go, it's remarkably human-scaled and individualistic. Lots of places for people to sit. Plenty of isolation between speeding traffic and people. Despite the speed of urban life, almost no horn honking. 

Our place, on the edge of the Barra Gotíc, is perfect for us, because we can get most of the places we want to go without fighting the traffic, on pedestrianized streets and alleys.


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. Hour wait to get inside ...in 2001, we walked right in.</p>

Crowds at Sagrada Familia. Hour wait to get inside ...in 2001, we walked right in.

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Our goal for today was to go to Gaudi's magnificent Sagrada Familia Basilica, widely agreed by everyone to be Barcelona's crown jewel. And apparently, they were all there!

We arrived by the so-called Hop On Hop Off bus ...what a bad joke that is! What happens is that people camp in the seats upstairs in the double decker bus and never get off ... so one waits in vain at the hop-on stop, or rides downstairs and sees little. Luckily, by the time we got to Sagrada Familia, we had gotten seats on top ... so we could see the blocks long line waiting for tickets, and the mob in front (actually in back) of the magnificent building.

We did not get off the bus. Maybe what we saw last time was enough? We could see that construction was continuing apace. Maybe we'll try again first thing tomorrow morning?

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Sienna and Chad, correct me if I'm wrong. I remember there were plenty of people there when we visited in 2001, but was it mobbed? Did we have to wait an hour to get in? Did we make a special effort to arrive at a certain time of day? If so, I certainly don't recall it. I remember no wait to climb up inside the towers; apparently now that's another hour wait. 

And will it be as wonderful as the first time? I was enthralled then – click here to see – and I am sure I would be again, only not as completely. Alas, this may be as close as we get this trip. We stayed on the bus. (But don't worry. We visited something even better, if you can imagine that. Just wait... )

So we resolved to enjoy the architecture – Barcelona loves its architects, of all styles and eras – and use the day to visit Casa Batlló instead.

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<p>Barcelona’s varied architecture...

Barcelona’s varied architecture begs for a Gaudi. QUICK! Turn the page!

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