Friday, June 26, 2009

Sagrada Familia

We deemed the kids ready to go after we returned and fed them all lunch. I'd wanted to see Casa Batllo first, but Rob insisted that we see the Sagrada Familia, ticking off the most important sites first. He was right. Five minutes after we walked in, I was going to check the stroller, and ran into Jeff and Susan from Provo, who had just finished up the Madrid program and were visiting friends. Incredible! It was so good to see them and they look wonderful, though they said it had been tough traveling every weekend (the Spain program is really good about taking their students everywhere in the country -- we do one big schlepp near the end, and we don't cover nearly everything).
We wandered around with them, being amazed at the changes they've made since we'd last seen it (I was there in 1994 and Jeff had been in 1999). I remembered it as mostly roofless, and the construction was more theoretical than actual. This time they've made big strides (see the roof and stained glass pictures above) and there were workmen pounding and carving and assembling away in the middle. It is supposed to be done in 2026 and it will be amazing. It was even interesting for the kids. There is plenty of biblical symbolism with the twelve towers and the three facades, and then lots of interesting detail in the nativity and passion facades, which even have scriptural references carved by them. I should have brought my scriptures when I visited as a missionary. Then there are the plain wacky things like the oranges and staves of wheat tower toppers. We were going to climb the stairs, but now you have to go up the elevator, and there was a 90 minute wait. We wait for nothing for 90 minutes. We lasted until Joss fell apart, then parted with Jeff and Susan as they were ran into someone else they knew. True celebrities, those two!
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