19 Jun Barcelona and Valencia
We decided to combine two trips taking the train to Barcelona for three days and another train to Valencia for three days before the train back home.
We found Barcelona to be a beautiful city full of friendly people with a unique history tied to the Castellan culture. In Barcelona we took a tour of Park Guell and the Basilica de La Sagrada Familia (Sacred Family) both designed by Antoni Gaudi. The phone map showed the park 1.2 miles from our hotel and a 20 minute walk. It did not show it was a steep uphill the entire way. We got there in 40 minutes just in time for the tour, but almost too exhausted to take it.
Gaudi designed and oversaw the construction of Park Guell with the intent of building homes for 48 families. Only two homes were built and sold, but the beautiful park was completed and walking through the park one can not help but think that Dr. Seuss must have been the architect.
The Basilica when the Christ Tower (central) is complete will be the tallest religious structure in the world. A Cathedral is paid for by the church and a basilica is paid for by the people attending the services. In this case about $25 million a year is spent with 3% paid by the City of Barcelona and the other 97% by tourism. The Basilica was scheduled for completion in 2023, 100 years after Gaudi’s death, but the Coronavirus has caused a delay of about 4 years. Construction of the Cathedral started 120 years ago. It is so large I had to cheat and take a photo of a postcard as my camera could not give justice to the structure. Their are 12 towers for the apostles, 4 towers for the gospel writers, a tower for the Blessed Mother, and eventually the Christ Tower.
In the front, you can see three entrances each with a large facade above them….one for Mary, one for Joseph, and one for the birth of Christ. The detail of the work is amazing and I would have had to post over a 100 photos to capture the magnificance.
In the Alicante post you can see a very large Market Building. Barcelona is very different, you don’t know you are there until you walk up to the first of over a 100 stalls. Then you feel like a kid in a candy store (there were candy stalls also).
After the excitement of Barcelona, we were not as impressed with Valencia. To be fair we were a little under the weather. We did spend a day at their large beach where we had a form of Seafood Paella called Fideos. Paella is normally made with rice. When you substitute the rice with a short noodle, you have Fideos.