Had no plans this Wednesday afternoon / evening, so figured it would make sense to stop by La Sagrada Familia and Passieg de Gracia, to tick those items off my list. To be fair, I didn’t really experience any of the landmarks in this post - I only stopped by to take a few photos, and didn’t actually enter any of the Gaudi historical sites. So - this is a pretty poor and superficial review… sorry! (This type of sightseeing activity is not really my thing… ALTHOUGH, I just looked up photos of the interior of La Sagrada Familia, and it really is incredible.... maybe I do need to go back before I leave! On the other hand, though, the lines were incredibly long to get inside, so there's another thing...)
La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia is easy to get to from anywhere in the city - there’s a metro stop directly in front of the large church. I did, honestly, breathe out a sigh of astonishment when I first surfaced and saw the building - it's huge, and really impressive. There's a lot of construction going on at the moment (La Sagrada familia has pretty much been a construction project 'in-progress' for the past two centuries or so!), so a lot of the Western side was covered when I arrived.
Still, it's pretty breathtaking when you first get a glimpse. It's also a really interesting architectural piece - particularly for me, who isn't at all familiar with Gaudí or his works. Walking around the exterior I felt it to be very - for lack of a better word - artistic, sort of like what you might see in a brilliant child's dream. There's the architectural genius and integrity of the gothic style in the main construction of the building, but then there are all these dreamlike additives that have been built in on top of this - an apparent tree of doves sitting over the front entrance, names of Apostles to be found lining the walls throughout, then the ridiculously intricate facades.
I'm definitely considering going back and looking at everything in more detail, perhaps if I have some time this afternoon. There are discounted youth tickets after 6pm Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays!
Casa Batlló and Casa Mila
Both of these houses of Gaudí can be found walking down la Passieg de Gracia, one of the main streets in Barcelona and it's principal shopping avenue.
Again - both of these appear as if out of a gifted child's imagination. In a modern-day perspective, I'd say it's like entering a Guillermo del Toro film in real life. The works still appear on the cusp of modernism, despite being centuries old. They're really quite fascinating and, again, if I have the time I should like to go back and explore. Entrances to both these houses are fairly price though - 20Euro for adult tickets.
If I were to choose one, I'd say Casa Batlló may be the slightly more interesting of the two.
Passieg de Gracia
There's a lot of shopping to be found along Passieg de Gracia - but unless you're really in the mood to shop, I wouldn't say it's anything particularly special or exciting. Perhaps it's coming off of Paris, but the shopping in Barcelona definitely isn't anything to write home about. If you are interested in visiting some stores while here, I'd say hit up the big Spanish brands: Zara and Desigual. None of the foreign imports will be particularly cheap or impressive in Barcelona.
Made a stop at Sephora on the corner of Placa Catalunya, before calling it a day and heading home. It was a rare cloudy day in Barcelona.
Happy Hump Day all…