My oldest cousin Arun (always hailed with the suffix “achachen”, which means “older brother” in Malayalam) finally joined us in Barcelona. Arunachachen and I had done a trip together before, in 2011 when we went to Peru, and he was the first one to propose that we try to hit 30 countries before 30. I guess wanderlust runs in the family!
Since we had a late night, we started off with a late breakfast and set up for Hospital Sant Pau. As I was the only who spoke any Spanish, and was the most organized, I was in charge of our daily itineraries. We get down at the station and come face to face with a very modern looking hospital, complete with sick people going in the door. Cue the vote of non confidence from my family!
After convincing them that this was definitely not the historic landmark, we set off in search of the actual monument, following the roofs of some old looking buildings. When we got there, we found out that we could only really see the chapel, with most of the buildings being closed for restoration. We wandered the grounds for a bit and then made our way to the pièce de resistance in the city- the Gaudi temple.
After looking at the line for the Sagrada Familia, we decided that lunch and a siesta would be in order first. We went and got croquettes, stewed vegetables, paella and fish from the local deli (which was delish) and then napped for an hour in the park. So by the time we got ice cream and got in the line, the crowd had thinned out a bit due to the heat.
The Sagrada Familia basilica is unreal! It’s hard to explain what the space is like. An amazing feat of architecture, it’s understandable why the church will take another 30 years to be finished. In the inside feels like being under a forest canopy, which translates into a very peaceful space. We spent over three hours at the church, without even realizing it! Gaudi was truly a genius, and I can’t wait to see the Park Guëll that he designed tomorrow.
As most of our Barcelona plans revolved around food, we decided that getting lost in the gothic quarter while looking for a good place to eat was the right thing to do. We actually ended up talking to a local artist for a while and picked up some art as the perfect souvenir. He even recommended some really nice places to eat in the neighbourhood.
All this while, we talked about various heavy topics such as parenting and our faith, as well as more of our usual including teasing each other and exchanging family gossip. This is my sister on fracking: “I thought it was a swear!”