The last time I was in Barcelona, I was engaged to Sr. Understanding. Sr. Understanding lived about a block away from the Sagrada Familia church while he was finishing graduate school, nineteen years ago. The Sagrada Familia church, Antoni Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece was just that and it still is. I do not remember paying to go in – I am not sure it was the tourist attraction that it is today. In any event, I did not remember a) a roof b) stained glass windows or c) an elevator. All of these things are “new”, improvements in the quest of completion. Sr. Understanding and I did go up in the spires but we, being young and sprightly, climbed. I can’t remember there being any other people up there; now an elevator whisks you to the top and back. Only the brave walk down.
In the distance, we could see the Agbar Tower, a bullet of a building jutting above the skyline, which was not there in 1991.
I could have stayed all day. My children could not. The Things, however, were game for a good three hours which was good enough for me. It was a marvel to see the arc of time, literally, in concrete. I can’t wait to go back when it is finished, in another twenty years. It will be worth the wait.
1) SF not recommended for small kids – especially the trip to the top
2) go at 1 p.m. – no lines
3) easy as pie to get to on the Metro
4) the funicular ride to Montjuic is only worth it if you are actually going to visit the castle
5) there are two city tour buses – take the red one with the top if it rains or is excessively sunny.