Light, warm, welcoming, special, incredible, artistic, and I could go on and on about the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia. We have been to many cathedrals across the U.S. and Europe and we have never felt so inspired before. We pre-purchased our tickets online and at the entry time found out we had to go around to the back entrance. After going through security (similar to at airports) we picked up our audio guides. Once inside the Basilica did a brief self tour before heading up in the elevator to the Passion Tower. I was expecting a type of terrace once we stepped out of the elevator but the journey down starts immediately. There are close to 400 stairs to walk down but the views and architecture make it enjoyable! Once we were back in the Basilica we continued our tour of this impressive building. We had some extra time later in the week and both agreed a 2nd visit sounded enjoyable so we purchased a couple more tickets online and as my sister says enjoyed the feeling we were being hugged by a rainbow!
When it came time to visit Park Guell we did everything wrong. We had the insane idea to just enjoy the exercise and walk from the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia to Park Guell. This is a 2.1k walk mostly uphill. The weather was 60 degrees which was enjoyable but the sun shone strongly on our backs. Once we arrived at the Park we made our way to the monumental zone thinking we would get in easily at our assigned time. Unfortunately, we found a long and winding line of people with the same assigned time.
During the time in line, I dealt with teenagers behind us almost pushing me out of the way to sit on small boulders along the way. I also had to witness a family from another country allowing their children to try to kick and throw rocks at birds. I'm thankful that my loud gasp, look of horror, and angry face stopped the little boy from throwing his rock and the mother holding her daughter on the other side of her away from the birds. Why do people continue to feel animals are beneath us?
Sadly the nature square is closed right now for repairs and with the crowds, you had to kind of fight for the views. The architecture, Trencadis style art (use of broken tiles meshed together) and natural surroundings were lovely and unique but we didn't end up staying that long.
When looking online at Casa Mila we ended up purchasing tickets to visit during the day and the night. Unfortunately, the night we were supposed to go on a tour Greg had food poisoning. The next morning he was feeling better and able to go on our self-guided tour. We entered Casa Mila and had to go through security but after a large group. The stairs were closed off when we entered so we took the elevator up. Once outside you are met with an architectural playground. Everywhere you look there are unique sculptures, angles, and views and during our visit, it never felt overly crowded. After wandering around for a while we visited the attic. Inside the attic, you will find architecture models and pieces that were used for inspiration.
After the attic, you enter one of the apartments. It was fun to see the time period pieces however it was really hot and crowded so we hurried along. The souvenir shop has a great mix of gifts for yourself, friends, and family!