Barcelona was on my list of places to visit for a long time, so when the opportunity arrived to have a stopover there on my way to Zakynthos, Greece, I took it without hesitation. With 12 hours between the flights, I planned to visit only two main attractions, Park Guell and Sagrada Familia, both designed by Antoni Gaudi. I knew it would still be a challenging task after an overnight flight. Fortunately, everything worked out well. My flight from Philadelphia to Barcelona had a lot of empty seats, so I was able to lie down and take a few naps – just enough to function without sleep deprivation.
Getting to the city was easy. I paid 30 Euro for a taxi and arrived at Park Guell two hours before my scheduled time to enter. I was glad that I had my ticket already, otherwise I would need to stay in line to buy it, and would not be able to walk in for another 4 hours. Park’s rules are very strict. They will not let you in even a minute before your assigned entry, and you only have half an hour to do it after. If your miss it, there is no mercy! There are no restriction on time spent inside.
Park Guell was my main reason to visit Barcelona. Based on internet pictures, I became fascinated with its colorful fairy tale architecture, overlooking the city. In person, I found the area a little disappointing. It is a beautiful place but much smaller and not as diverse as I imagined. Still, it offers plenty to enjoy and photograph. Despite my initial disappointment, I had a great time there. It certainly is an architectural phenomenon and the fairy tale atmosphere is definitely there.
My next step in Barcelona was Sagrada de la Familia . Its construction started in 1866 and it is scheduled to be completed in 2026. I took a taxi to get there and arrived again well ahead my reserved entry time. On the outside, the structure looked exactly how I imagined. To say it nicely, it is not that pretty. It looks like a sandcastle, way too busy for my taste. It will most likely look much better when construction is over. Here you can see how the final project will look like. Inside of the temple, on the other hand, is breathtaking! It is all about the ceiling. It looks like heaven! You can easily picture angels stepping out of there. My pictures show just a glimpse of this spectacular creation. In this case, the reality exceeded my expectations!
I finished my day in Barcelona with the well deserved meal! Later at night, I took a plane to Vienna just to spend a night there before my final connection to Zakhyntos next day.