When I came to Europe, I didn’t expect to visit Spain. I’m really glad I did.
Barcelona offers so much to see and do, but the #1 thing to experience is the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia (Church of the Holy Family). Although it’s still being constructed (to be completed in 2026), the enormous forest-like interior took my breath away.
Before I visited, I didn’t know much about the basilica or about Antoni Gaudí, but I spent most of the weekend visiting places he designed. Gaudí’s designs are playful and colorful, but also meticulously thoughtful and symbolic – especially when it came to the Sagrada Familia. Below the basilica is a museum which celebrates all its details and the architects and designers who’ve contributed to it. I poured over Josep Subirachs’ sketches for his sculpted geometric figures on the Passion Facade. While abroad I’ve gotten to see so much religious art, sculptures, and cathedrals, and the Sagrada Familia’s extremely unique worship space and contemporary way of depicting scenes from the life of Christ was refreshing and inspiring.
After we had our fill of Gaudí for the day, we grabbed some food and wandered through the city towards the beach!
The next morning we headed north to Park Güell. The weather was perfect and the park was beautiful, so we took our time and soaked it all in!
Slightly sunburnt and windblown, we continued north up to the top of Tibidabo mountain for a an amazing view of Barcelona.
On our final day, we spent the morning in the Picasso Museum. From his realistic portraits made at age 14, to his obsessive studies of Velasquez’s Las Meninas at age 76, the collection focused on the evolution of his artistic style. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take photos, but I was grateful for a chance to do a bit of sketching and I snagged a few sneaky pictures with my iPhone.
After an amazing and exhausting couple of days, it was so nice to relax in Ciutadella Park for the afternoon.
What else can I say? Gaudí and Picasso blew me away. So did the paella & tapas. Thank you Barcelona.
If you haven’t had enough, check out Sarah’s blog for some awesome fish-eye lens photos from our trip!