Sagrada Familia, With Kids This Time

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.

Travel Tips:

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.



Filed under Family, Holidays, Life, Religion, Sightseeing, Travel

20 responses to “Sagrada Familia, With Kids This Time

  1. Mood Ring Mama

    Cal clicked on every picture you posted, and read the entire post. Between his research paper & this post, he’s itching to go. Me too. xoxoxo – mcs

  2. Raftbuddy

    We will be in Barcelona this July while you are on another continent (sad). I will need all the good tips, so keep track of them! We will be in the Hotel Colon. Loved the pics!

  3. Mr. Understanding


    It was a wonderful time walking through this marvel 20 years ago with you. After all this time, it was truly treat doing it again with you and the Things. It is indeed a rare experience to feel time pass (for the better) and see something transformed from a dream to reality. Love you!

  4. expatprincess

    Mr. U R Fantastic: that comment might be the nicest one ever. Thanks for taking us there. Love you more!

  5. Charlie Chan

    Agbar Tower – prominent indeed.
    When was it elected?

  6. Winnie

    Wow!! What a place! Spain is looking more and more intriguing.

    • expatprincess

      Winnie: a few other things I forgot to mention:

      1) in each of the stained glass windows there are words; the blue represents water. Red = earth? fire? Can’t remember.

      2) the original plans for the cathedral were destroyed in the Spanish Civil War. They are working off Gaudi’s general vision and memory. The new architect is fantastic as well. Gaudi died in 1926 – can you believe?

      3) look in my photo album, at the beginning, for the snail gargoyles. There is also a crazy Sudoku puzzle – all numbers add up to 33. I could spend along time scrutinizing this place and looking for symbols.

  7. Thanks for the post. When you only post once a week, I forget when post day is. You took great pictures. What an interesting place for a photographer, designer, artist. One would really need the guide book to =begin to do it justice. For you I think the symbolism would knock you out.

    I remember the enthusiasm in your voice when you were there the last time.

    Why there below is the little box that you can check to recieve your posts. I have check the box.

    I still say you should have everyone in the family tell what they know about the pictures.

    • expatprincess

      Radish: there is no post day, I just have to do it once a week. The symbolism did knock me out! I will try to get the photo cataloging to happen but I have a few homework crazed teens in the house.

  8. Lisa

    Hey Expat!

    This was a great post. I am itching to see Barcelona . . maybe on our next trip back to see you???

    I hope you’re doing well – thanks for shipping my delicates all the way to the U.S.!!!

    Love you,

    • Hola, Leezer!

      I’ve done better. When are you getting back to blogging? Will write you an email soon!

      • Lisa

        Hey Expat: Will get back to blogging real soon, as Ive lost my job (remember when I was staying with you and followed the election? Well that hen has come home to roost. Me and two others summarily dismissed. I may not return to work for awhile, Im enjoying it!!!)

  9. Gamamãe

    Still love your writing , your keen sense of observation and the way you and Mr. U still make googly eyes at each other- most of the time!!

  10. So fascinating. I’ve just skimmed a year’s worth of EPP’s blog!
    Muy interesante.
    And you will be living relatively near, in OH!
    Maybe we’ll meet F2F un día de estos.

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