Sunday, August 13, 2017

A cathedral of color

The exterior of La Segrada Familia is impressive and the interior is no less so...

It's colorful, for one thing...

It's got a very high ceiling!

Many shots were taken with the camera pointing directly upwards in a neck-craning maneuver

 There's a mix of spotlights and natural light

With so many people sharing the space and so many distractions it pays to be aware of your surroundings and especially your property (in my case cameras) as you are in Barcelona where pickpocketing is rife.

To change lenses I had to kneel on the floor then close up my camera bag and put it back around my neck and over my shoulder. Wearing the bag in front of me made it thief-proof. I take no chances in Barcelona or anywhere there is a crowd of people.

Guided tours by headphones are available for rent but we were guided by Anna's commentary

My head was on a swivel, trying to see all of it in the 45 minutes we had to spend to stay on schedule

So much detail and variety of shapes

You can only experience this in Barcelona

We have to meet Luis our driver so we leave to go back outside into the sunlight....

Friday, July 28, 2017

Pepito Tours

Wanting to get the best out of our short two day stay in Barcelona we looked online for a tour company who could show us what we were most interested in- the architecture of Antoni Gaudi and we found Pepito Tours and booked a 4 hour tour with them. They would meet us at 8.30 on the dock.

We left the ship to prepare to load another 3,000 passengers and went to the Customs Hall to find our luggage-only there wasn't any Customs to go through! That was the first time we experienced that in our cruises and we were happy that there would be no standing in line. We went straight out of the hall into the Barcelona morning and there was a man holding up a sign with my name on it-our driver, and next to him our smiling English speaking guide.

A black Mercedes E Class waited at the kerb and it didn't have to wait long until we were cocooned in it's leather comfort and sipping bottles of iced water.

We thought we were heading straight for La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's last architectural masterpiece but as it wasn't open just yet our guides wanted to show us some of the city first.

The Emerald Princess far below

We drove to the top of Montjuic as they wanted us to see their beautiful city from the best vantage point. It is raining heavily out to sea. Would the rain spoil our day? Yesterday it had prevented us from visiting France and our Captain made a good decision as there was flash flooding ashore and some people died as a result.

A bird's eye view of this beautiful city

After 20 minutes or so it was time to move on with our tour. This is Luis our careful driver.

We are driving along with Anna our guide giving a commentary on what we are seeing. I am taking photos from the car. I am loving everything I see.

We are driving on a very wide street called Passeig de Gracia. Hey! That's the street our hotel is on!

There is a crowd outside this building. It's Gaudi's Casa Batllo. It's not on our tour today but we will get tickets on line and visit it tomorrow, Sunday.

We wind our way through the city until it is time for Luis to stop and let us off. He will meet us in a couple of hours to continue our tour. Men are playing bowls in a park. We will walk to Sagrada Familia.

I think that's it!

The Basilica is expected to be finished in 2026

We had pre-paid tickets and Anna went to retrieve them. This allowed us to avoid the long lines of people wanting to buy tickets.

You could spend a long time just admiring the sculptures, so many and varied are they

People waiting to get in

The door is open and we will soon go in to marvel at the interior

Just so much to see!

There are many musicians and animals portrayed in the wall sculptures

The horse's head

Giant insects amid the ivy sculpture

Ok- we are going inside! (Next)