Monday, April 23, 2007

Pictures of Barcelona 2

Off to the Sagrada Familia on Wednesday morning - Gaudi's epic obsession and surely one of the wonders of world. The place is full of tourists so thankfully there's no chance of getting the lift to the roof - the queues are 2 hours long. It's quite surreal really: there's neo-gothic sculpture, areas decorated with bright ceramics, words such as "sanctus" and "sursum" seemingly scattered randomly around the towering exterior, pillars shaped like trees, a Christ sitting on a ledge looking like he's contemplating a jump, and of course the sheer scale of the building. It's estimated that construction will continue until 2026 so I may struggle to see it in its finished state.

We also tackled Gaudi's Parc Guell which was obviously designed to strengthen the limbs of the locals as it's set on a very steep slope reached by walking about a half mile up another very steep slope. This is much more playful and Disneyland-like with wonderful views across the city.

The best meal we had was in a trendy beach-side eatery called Bestial. We reclined outside on large sofas amidst trimmed down olive trees while we waited for our table - listening to some very tasty jazz. The we were served a very delicious meal (seafood, duck etc.) from a menu that was more international than local. The staff were all cool and beautiful and so were most of the diners - so food for the eye also.

Some tips: buy a Bracelona Card - getting around on the undergound is the best way to travel, even if some of the line changes involve serious treks; avoid the Ramblas - it's full of tourists and hustlers, move 100 yards east or west and you'll find leafy squares and cheap bars and restaurants.