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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Down Day Timed Perfectly

Dear Family and Friends,

On Tuesday I told Chuck that before we leave Barcelona, and continue our journey, I need a down day.  A real down day, a day that I could just lounge around and really get rested up.

We knew we wanted to go to the Sagrada Familia Basilica before we left Barcelona.  The choice was to either take Wednesday or Thursday for the down time.

We decided to visit the basilica on Wednesday and rest up on Thursday.  Our timing was perfect because as it turns out everything is pretty much shut down around town today.  The metro is closed, buses are not running, most of the shops we have seen in our neighborhood are closed due to a nationwide strike that is taking place.

I hope this link is still working by the time you click on it.

Here are some pictures of our visit to the basilica yesterday.

As other sights we have seen here in Barcelona, Gaudi designed this cathedral.  He died in 1926 but left instructions on how to finish it.  It is still being constructed.  The plans are to get it finished by 2026 for the 100th anniversary of Gaudi's death.

Here is the outside of the basilica. The line to buy tickets went all the way down the front of the basilica and around the corner. We took a deep breath and went searching for the end of the line

Here is Chuck patiently waiting in line.

The line moved along pretty fast.  We only took us about 30 minutes to buy our tickets and begin our tour.

The inside is spacious and open, unlike the other cathedrals we have been in.  Like Gaudi's other designs, it is very modern inside.

Some of the columns branch out like tree limbs.

I especially loved the stained glass windows.

Here is a picture we saw in a store window nearby of how the basilica will look when finished.

Across from the church there were vendors selling palms for this Sunday.  It reminded me of what we see in Cuenca...only their palms are yellow and ours are green.

They were also selling laurel and something else. Don't know exactly how this is used but we will find out, I am sure, on Palm Sunday.

They were selling candy too....sort of like Palm Sunday and Corpus Christi rolled into one.

I asked the lady, "Why the beans?"

She said the candy was for the children and the beans were for women.

It is an assumption of mine that the beans are for fertility.

Hope the strike is a one day thing.  We'll see.


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