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Our Wakes: 2015

Barcelona (29 July till 1 of August2015)
As the Second biggest city in Spain, Barcelona is a city that looks like a bee hive. The marina were we were were located was in the area called Barcelonetta and was very busy till late in the evening. To travel in the city the subway runs from 5am till midnight or even all night on week-ends. A must see in Barcelona is the Cathedral of the Sagrada family. This building was officially declared a Cathedral when pope Benedict XVI visited it in 2010. The place attracts so many people that they limit the number of visitors. So I recommend that you book your tickets on the internet 1 or 2 days in advance to be sure of getting in. Gaudi, the architect, started this Cathedral in 1882 and today it is still unfinished. Today, the builders have started to erect the 4 central towers. The church is expected to be finished around 2026 which means a total of 144  years will have been needed to build it. Gaudi said that his client  was not in a hurry.   When we visited the place, our first impression was a great disappointment as there are more cranes then towers and a lot of scaffolding. But once inside the cathedral, you are so overwhelmed by the shapes and the light inside that you just keep looking. Inside the building numerous panels remind you to remain silent so that people can pray if they wish to, but the only noise you hear is the grinders and other construction tools. If you want to visit the place I can only recommend that you visit the museum first; it is under the cathedral. The museum explains very well how Gaudi was inspired by Mother Nature to design the cathedral and how he made mock-ups to check the constraints to be sure it was solid. Gaudi also hated straight lines and this can be very well seen in the Casa  Pedrera  where the facade looks more like waves and the balconies look like seaweed on the shore.  The Casa Batillo  is also unique and does have little resemblance to the surrounding buildings. Both constructions are located in the area called Passeig de Gracia. The basilica  is a beautiful Gothic construction. Each chapel is a piece of art covered in gold. Under the main altar you have the crypt of St Eulalia. She is one of the saints of Barcelonetta and was only 13 years old when she was tortured to death because she criticized the persecution of the Catholics at that time. Montjuïc park contains many interesting places, but the most famous one is the magic fountains. Every Thursday and Saturday night, the fountains offer a kind of fireworks of various colors and water sprouts of various intensities. The number of spectators around the fountains is a very important indication of how much people like it. Lastly, we visited the maritime museum which contains very nice models of boats trough the ages and how navigation on the seas has evolved. Inside there is a full scale replica of the main vessel of Admiral Don Juan of Austria (size 60*6.2 meters) Most of the time the boat sailed, but in the harbor,  or when the wind was absent, many oarsmen ensured the 59 oars  kept the boat moving. While leaving Barcelona we knew we had only discovered a little part of the many treasures this city has to offer.
Sagrada Familia
Casa Batillo
Casa Pedrera
Crypt St Eulalia
The Basilica
Replica 1/1
Magic fountains
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