Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Beautiful, beautiful Barcelona

(We had trouble with the power at our hotel and none of our devices charged while we slept, so we ended up running out of power on the ipad. The following pictures have been copied from the internet. We have to wait until we get home to post our pictures from our cameras.)
Seeing ourselves lounging beside the pool in Barcelona, we booked the Marriott for two nights. However, we arrived late on the first night, and on the second we were so busy touring the city that we didn't get back to our hotel until after dark. One of the things we have learned in life, and especially when travelling is to roll with whatever comes our way.
We set out on the Hop on Hop off bus, which picked us up right outside our hotel. We enjoyed seeing the lovely Meditteranean beaches and the Olympic Village, which have now become condos for the locals. We got off the bus downtown, and found ourselves in the middle of a huge fiesta. Thousands of people had gathered to watch a couple of hundred people enjoying a Catalonyan street dance called the Sardona. This is a traditional dance, in which young and old join hands in a huge circle, and follow the very precise steps of this traditional dance. The dancers were accompanied by a group of musicians playing lively music. Watching them was pure magic!

A little further down, we came upon a woman singing Ave Maria in the most beautiful voice. It was enchanting, and at that moment I fell completely and totally in love with Barcelona! Soon we were caught up in a huge crowd, and before we knew it, we were in a huge square where different teams were taking turns building human pyramids. These pyramids are called castells, and have been part of Castelonian culture for over 200 years!
As we continued through the square, we came upon the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Daint Eulalia. This church was built between the 13th and 15th century, and it perfectly captured the sense of wonder that we felt in being in such a beautiful city. We sat at the back and allowed God's peace to wash over us as the priest conducted mass in Latin.
The landmark that Barcelona is probably the most famous for is the La Sagrada Familia. This is an incredible church that was started by the Catalon architect Antoni Gaudiand in 1882 and is still being built today. It is the most amazing piece of art, taking up a full city block, with colourful bobbles of fruit on the spires. The way that the exterior stone walls are built made me think of a gigantic sand castle.
We took one look at the line that circled around the block and decided to skip seeing the inside. After our experience at Notre Dame, churches and noisy huge crowds just don't go together for us! This is one more thing that we will have to add to our list for the next trip!
Although we could have stayed in Barcelona for several days, we had already booked our hotels at the next two towns, so we had to say good-bye although there was so much more to see!

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