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Day 17 ..... Rest day ... Barcelona...

It’s St Jordi Day here tomorrow (St George’s Day - patron saint around this part of the world) and tradition goes that the female love of your life gets a rose and she gives you a book. The central tourist office here has onboarded the rose thing with vigour. 

This was taken in their impossibly beautiful forecourt.

If you want wide tree lined Parisian style boulevards with dedicated cycle lanes then Barcelona is the city for you.

 Casa Battlo - designed by Gaudí ... at 7.25 am on a Sunday morning there was already a queue of tourists waiting to be let in.

The younger generation can have their super hero’s who come from unpronounceable planets. No one will ever surpass “Tintin” as well as “Asterix and Obilix” as true hero's of the world.  Comic store book on the Ramblas . Pedestrian walkway leading from independence Square to the harbour. 

Christopher Columbus Statue on the Barcelona Harbour commemorating a Spanish man of remarkable nautical skills.

The narrow streets of Barcelona Old Town are a good way to spend 2-3 hours wandering aimlessly and immersing one self in all things local. Too bad if your neighbour across the “street” is into heavy metal music. 

Mosaic tiled shop front - Barcelona Old Town 

Genuine and spontaneous. Or .....

Barcelona Cathedral. Impressive until I saw something else about an hour later..

La Sagrada Família ..... now I am not that religious but as far as all things architecturally religious and in fact all things architectural (religious or not) this building is super impressive. Designed by Gaudí it is consecrated and proclaimed a minor basilica as opposed to a cathedral which must be the seat of a bishop. 

Construction began in 1882. The mid point was tabled as 2010. You’d hope things pick up from here on in. 

It was originally the inspiration of a bookseller who had returned from a visit to the Vatican in 1872 and wanted to build a church drawing inspiration from the basilica at Loreto.

When Gaudí passed away in 1926 at age 73 less than a 1/4 of the project had been completed . It is hoped it will be completed by 2026 in time to celebrate 100 years since his death. 

 Volunteer run book exchange. You bring your own books and exchange or simply pay what you think the book is worth to you . Simple values not yet lost in the increasing commercial world we live in. Oh - and the books are stacked horizontal so you don’t walk out an hour later with a cricked neck.

Gaudí s first designed house in Barcelona. After being under wraps the last few years due to new ownership and renovations this will be the first summer it’s open for viewing to the public. Expect it to be mobbed. Can’t fault the mans presence / legacy in Barcelona 

Barcelona - a proper international city and despite walking 18 km of its streets today I felt I had barely scratched the surface. Even for mid April there seemed to be 400 million tourists and I can understand the current local push back against the mass of suitcase wielding visitors that are disgorged daily from cruise ships or make their way here by other means.  I’d suggest visiting in winter and regardless of when you do decide to come book your ticket to see the interior of Sagrada Família well ahead of time. 

My heartfelt thanks to Andrew and Helen for their warm hospitality and their invitation to join them for their family lunch with Helens parents on a Sunday. Never mind the United Nations type dinner party they hosted the night  before where at the table we had someone from Australia/Papua New Guinea, The Netherlands, Argentina, England / USA, Catalunya/ England.

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