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Barcelona #1: Sagrada Familia & Casa Mila

Having managed to secure tickets for the Sagrada Familia on Monday 26 February, we set out early to make sure we were at the queue in good time. Walked to the station and caught a very busy train into Barcelona Plaça de Catalunya. Thinking we had time for a leisurely coffee, we did leave it a bit tight to walk across the city. Arriving, somewhat stressed at the route-finding, with about 35 minutes spare, the queue wasn’t too bad. The system for entry and security was efficient and friendly. Once in the complex, we could relax and enjoy the fantastic atmosphere, architecture and spaces of this truly amazing unfinished work originally conceived by Gaudi nearly 100 years ago.

After finding a good tapas bar for lunch, we were undecided about what to do next but as we walked past the Casa Milà at 5pm we managed to get the last tickets into the house. It is also known as la Pedrera and was Gaudi’s last private commission. This fantastic house was built between 1906 and 1912. Two families still live there, having been allowed to pass the tenancy on through two generations – at the same rent! The tour included looking at some of the apartments as well as visiting the attic with vaulting based on whalebones and the roof with it’s remarkable sculptures and somewhat disconcerting walkways up and down steps of varying depths. After a somewhat tiring if exhilarating day we caught the train back to the van and decided to spend a second day in Barcelona tomorrow since the weather looks fine for one more day.