In the evening we went over to the magic fountain to watch the colorful water display that is put on most evenings in Barcelona. We also stopped by the bull ring that has been converted into a shopping mall and observation site with some nice views of the city during the evening. We used the local metro to get to and from the fountain show.
The next day we had tickets to go see the La Sagrada Familia which is easily the most recognizable building in Barcelona. This church which had been built starting in the 1800’s is one of the most unique churches in the world. It is extremely tall with the many spirals that protrude into the sky and the inside is massive enough to hold up to 8,000 people. We had a guided tour of the church which was extremely informative. Antonio Gaudi is the designer of the church but he died in 1926 and work on the church has continued since then. The goal of the city is to complete the church by 2026 which will be the 100 year anniversary of Gaudi’s death. Gaudi only designed one outside wall of the church and his design had allowed that each following generation would design one of the other four walls. Three outside walls are now complete and the final fourth wall is under construction. The stain glass windows in the church are truly amazing and different from many other churches. They allow light to fill the church during the daytime requiring minimal electrical lights and the colors that come from these windows are different from each side of the building. After our tour we took an elevator up to the Nativity Towers and walked down the spiral viewing the city and church from the many openings in the tower on the way down.
We took a break after our tour and went to a sea side restaurant (El Cangrejo Loco) to enjoy some Spanish Paella. This is a very tasty dish of rice, vegetables and meat or seafood. It is cooked in a pan and presented in this same pan. It is a really delicious meal if you have never had it before. After our meal we enjoyed a walk along Barcelona’s beach which is very nice after having been upgraded when they had the Olympics here. We saw a new sport, beach tennis, being played as we walked around. It looked like a lot of fun.
We spent our final evening in Barcelona taking one last walk through the Gothic section and walking down La Rambla before going over to the La Sagrada Familia for one last look at this amazing structure at night. We really enjoyed our time in this great city and it was fun showing the city to our family in our group who had never been here before. While the rest of our group flew out last night to head back to the US, we are about to board our next cruise on the Emerald Princess which will do a transatlantic voyage back to Ft Lauderdale. During this cruise we will visit Valencia, Malaga, Seville, Lisbon and Madeira. Three of these places we have never been and are looking forward to another great cruise.
Sharon and Greg