Barcelona was an extra stop for us on the trip, and we had not given it our full attention for planning, a fact that became apparent as we struggled through our second day of sightseeing. We decided to view the La Sagrada Familia church, but had not booked tickets ahead. We turned up after breakfast to find a line that stretched around three sides of the cathedral. While waiting in the line, we checked on our phones for online bookings and found that we could only buy an online ticket for the same day at 2:45 pm. As it was only 10 am, we decided to stick with the line, and expected to get in to the church around noon. It was about noon when we finally made it to the ticket window, where we found that the window was selling the same prebooked tickets as online, and our earliest entry would now be 4:30. Had we known that, we would have gone ahead and booked the online tickets back at 10 am!
We took a lunch break in the park and let the boy run a bit on the playground before heading farther into town for the Museum de Xocolata (chocolate museum). Here we perked up a bit when we realized the museum tickets were in fact chocolate bars! You scanned the bar code on the wrapper, and then could enter the museum. The exhibits covered quite a bit on Spanish exploration of the New World, tying in nicely with yesterday’s study of Columbus.
After fortifying ourselves with a few more tastes of chocolate, we walked through the eighteenth century market, and burned some energy in the plaza near Santa Maria Del Mar by chasing bubbles blown by a street vendor. I was quite happy to give him my change for entertaining and tiring out Boy.
Before returning to see Gaudi’s cathedral, we stopped by the Picasso museum. The entrance line snaking around the building was again enough to deter us, and make us wish we had planned ahead. Instead, we stopped in the museum shop and browsed books and reproductions of his works. The shop also had a number of books and reproduction of Gaudi’s work, allowing a quick discussion of Spanish Modernism, and some comparisons between the two artists.
On arrival back at La Sagrada Familia, Boy pronounced that it looked like an alien had built the inside of the church; a succinct description of the Modernist style.