We were fortunate enough to have our balcony overlooking Hospital De Sant Pau just outside of our bedroom. With such a stunning view we couldn’t resist making use of the little table and chairs and some coffee and muffins (complimentary of our hosts).
I did unfortunately start the day off on a bad note by knocking our teeny table and spilling hot coffee on Lloyd – that didn’t go down well but once we were fed, showered and dressed we wasted no more time!
Our first stop was Sagrada Familia which we’d briefly passed by yesterday evening while walking to our apartment. As we strolled down Avenue de Gaudi the monster was upon us and was every bit impressive as it is in photos – actually photos don’t do this building justice! It shadows every building surrounding it and you can almost forget the fact that it’s still in the process of being finished because it’s just so beautiful.
The ticket entrance is found on the side entrance opposite the pond so it’s hard to miss. All tickets have a specific time period for entry so if you arrive too early you’ll just have to wait for your allocated time. I’ve read on a couple of blog posts and forums that if you arrive too late then you’re out of luck however I’m not exactly sure how true that is.
Entering Sagrada Familia was very organised and efficient. We were directed to pick up our audio device (if you’re in a group they’ll ask that only one person per group enters). I walked in and picked up ours – they’ll simply ask you for your preferred language and explain how it works which is like any other audio you’ve ever used. Just find the number on the building and press the same number on your device (being an introvert and generally an anxious person, I like to know how things will work which is why I’m going into this detail!)
This mammoth cathedral is like nothing you’ve ever seen before and you don’t need to have any religious calling to appreciate just how amazing it is. It’s said that construction will be completed in 2029 after starting its life in 1882 making it the longest build in history!
Antoni Gaudi didn’t believe in straight lines because there are no straight lines in nature and you won’t find one here. Every piece of this construction has a purpose, be it the pillars inside which are shaped like huge tree trunks or parts of the outer area depicting Jesus’ ribs and stretched muscles. The man was and still remains a true genius.
About the Towers and which tower should you choose?
For an extra fee you can choose to take a lift up The Nativity tower or Passion tower (or both) Our ticket included entry to the Passion tower. You’ll have to pay a little bit extra but it’s worth the ride up to the top! The views of Barcelona from the top are magnificent, especially if you get a clear day like we did!
If you suffer from vertigo I would probably rethink taking this part of the trip as the only way down is by taking the stairs which are a long downward spiral.
If you’re wondering which tower to choose I have personally read that the Nativity tower gives more viewing opportunities both of the view and intricate structure however the Passion tower did not disappoint us so we had no regrets in choosing this one (it’s slightly higher as well if that in any way sways your decision).
After a good two hour stroll around the cathedral we had built up an appetite – but first! We had to go and pick up some deodorant as both of us had forgotten ours – yes we went deodorant free and survived. I didn’t smell but it did make me feel a bit icky…but I digress.
We headed for Blai Street for food at a cool cafe which I’m sure was called D’angelo but strangely I can’t find any evidence of this place online! We ate some good food – I had a delicious focaccia and Lloyd ate this delicious looking salad which he chose because it was called Simona, bless him.
After filling ourselves up we headed for the sea front and found a patch of grass to sit on to take in the sites and sounds of the city. The weather was glorious, there were lots of groups and couples around us and some Hare Krishna’s singing, dancing and generally trying to rally some attention.
After a relaxing little break we made our way towards Arc De Triomf where we found the atmosphere buzzing! There were people cycling and walking their dogs (also can I just say that Barcelona has been the most dog friendly city we’ve ever encountered!), children running around here and there, young groups jamming, practising acrobatics and flair bartending to name just a few activities.
It was a great way to end our first day.