The Sagrada Familia

Ever since I learned about the Sagrada Familia in a history of architecture class in college, I have wanted to see it with my own eyes. It really is a spectacular place.

Click here to go to the official site: There is more information there than I can possibly include in a post. And here is a link to the apartment where we stayed. This is the view from our window:


This is not a subtle building. There is something going on everywhere you look. However, the more you look, the more you can feel the rhythm of the place.

This is the newer side of the church that depicts the Passion of Christ. The long columns simulate Christ’s tendons, the shorter white columns above that simulate ribs. The cross and figures at the top of the ‘ribs’ were installed just before we arrived. Workmen were taking down the scaffolding as we left Barcelona.

The statues on this side are more severe and I found them to be very moving.




The opposite side of the basilica is happier, and more worn. There are depictions of the nativity and of Christ’s early life. The style of the statues is different, less angular.






Catherine, this one is for you :-):


This is the back of the basilica.


If I remember correctly there are 5 more spires to be added to the top, plus the ones that will be built on the front. The front side (on the right in the photo below) is the least finished side:


The scale model shows more spires and a bank of stairs that might go into the street, and maybe into the apartment building across the street. I’m not sure how that’s going to work and, thankfully, it isn’t my problem.

There is a planned finish date, perhaps by 2026. Until then, the work will continue. (Look for the workmen, on the tallest spire.)



Enjoying every day!

We spent our last morning/early afternoon of vacation at Empurius beach, followed a visit to the nearby ruins.

The ruins are Greek below and Roman above. Steve and Jeff listened to the audio guide… and then I asked them questions :-).


It was another wonderful day!

We’re back at Mas Blanc now, packing and getting ready for a very early morning. We fly back to JFK at 10:00am. It will take Steve and I about 18 hours to get home, and it’s daylight all the way!

About the Chinese blog posts…

If you subscribe to my blog through a blog reader, you may have been getting a lot of posts in Chinese. My son, Chris, has been looking into it. He thinks that one of my old blog hosts has been hacked. (I used Blogger, then Typepad, and now I’m with WordPress.)

Chris is trying a variety of things, but for now the best fix is for you to unsubscribe on your reader, and then resubscribe to my current blog site at this link:

I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and do hope this fix works for you.

Swimming with the fishes…

Well, I swam with little tiny fishes :-). But first, we walked a bit along the coastal paths near Sa Tuna.



The Mediterranean Ocean is amazingly clear and blue. Actually, it is many shades of blue depending on the sunlight, the depth of the water, etc. The color changed all day long.


There are a lot of ups and downs on this walk but it’s not all uphill. You do get to go downhill as well.


And there is so much to look at that will make you smile!


There were a lot of topless ladies of all ages and sizes on the beach. So many that really, who cares. There were lots of men in speedos… not a look I love but, again, who cares. These folks appear to embrace the bodies they have. I like that.


The beach at Sa Tuna is wider than you see here, but that little tiny bit of sand (really, it was smooth gravel) next to the rock in the lower right is where Steve and I sat in the shade. The kids sat more in the sun.

We got there early, while parking was easy and the beach was empty. By the time we left at 1:30, the beach was full!


We have one more full day of vacation and we are going to another beach. I have so many photos to show you once I get back home. The vacation will live on :-).

Up with the sun…

You know, we are surprisingly busy for four people on vacation. We are in bed around 11:00pm and up at 6:30am, and we have been doing a whole lot of stuff in between. I would not change a single thing! That said, I am way behind on downloading photos so today I’m going to share this morning’s sunrise view from our front porch.

We are staying at Mas Blanc, a holiday apartment. Our lovely 2 bedroom, 2 bath space is part of a remodeled farm building. It is so very lovely and you can see photos here: and here at

There are ruins on the hill in the distance that we’re going to visit on Saturday.


As busy as we are, we took time to watch the light change and that is wonderful all by itself.


And then the sun was up, we saw balloons flying over the fields, and we headed out!



Palau De la Musica Catalana

After our food tour, we went to the Palau De la Musica Catalana. It is a beautiful space where choirs sing. Not just any choirs… magnificent choirs. And not just classical music, but all kinds of amazing music.

I wish I knew more about music, but I don’t. Celia knows a lot about music and she brought us here because it is a famous, wonderful space. I want to come back to hear choirs sing right here.

Side note: Since I’ve been in Spain, when I google something, it is in Spanish. I don’t want to link to a site you may not be able to read so, if you want to know more, google Palau De la Musica Catalana. You’ll be glad you did.

Palau De la Musica Catalana-1

Mosaics are everywhere. This space was designed by a contemporary of Gaudi, Lluís Domènech i Montaner,

There are muses that surround the stage, to inspire the musicians. Honestly, doesn’t that sound wonderful? To be surrounded by muses?

And then there is the stained glass, on the outside of the building…

But the best piece is inside, above the stage. It is not flat, but dips down in the center. The space if lit by lovely, colored light…

After this, we went to see the inside of the Sagrada Familia. That visit deserves its very own post!