Day 33 – Sleepy sightseers see Sagrada and Science Center

Day 33 = Friday, April 13, 2012

Our day began, as usual, with everyone sleeping in. In fact, we all got up so late that we didn’t leave the apartment until 2:00 PM. Speaking of the apartment, I added some photos of it to yesterday’s post.

We walked to La Sagrada Familia basilica, which is just a couple of blocks from our apartment.  Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece was surrounded by fencing and scaffolding, which is fitting as it has been under construction since 1882.

We did not actually go into the basilica, as the tours in English were not for starting for ages, so we made plans to go later in our visit. Instead, we hopped on the bus, Gus, and headed over to CosmoCaixa, Barcelona’s science museum. This was no great loss for Quinland, who was way more interested in this guy in front of Sagrada Familia:

Interested in his ability to make giant bubbles, of course; she’s not checking out twenty-something guys in public squares. (There was also a headless guy that you could get your picture taken with, but he was charging for the honor, so I don’t have a photo of him.)

So, as the bubble guy would indicate, the science center was a much better choice than visiting another church. We all liked CosmoCaixa; there was an interactive exhibit on sound and light that was nicely aligned with Quinland’s school science topics; an excellent case filled with mammal brains of all sizes; a special exhibition on epidemics which D and Q enjoyed, and a cafe for Christine to get some much-needed tea! (The rest of us are caffeine free, so we forget that some people need to stop to get hot beverages.)

The sun was shining beautifully, so after getting our fill of exhibits, there was some frisbee to be played in the courtyard…

… and a stand-up picnic to be had at the bus stop. Who knew one could fit so many sandwich fixings into a single camera bag?

The bus dropped us off at one end of the Avinguda Diagonal, so we took a stroll down the avenue to our apartment.  I found a pharmacy and paid a zillion euros for a replacement medication organizer, but it’s really spectacular: the days of the week are all written in Catalan. (Diluns, Dimarts, etc.)

We dropped by another Gaudi building (conveniently located on the Diagonal) – an apartment building called Casa Milà, otherwise known as La Pedrera, or “The Quarry.” Built at the turn of the last century (1905-1910, to be precise; the whole “last century” thing kind of freaks me out), the local government objected to so many things about the project – and ordered so many changes to be made – that Gaudi almost quit. Typically for us, we opted out of the pricy peek into the interior. Still, it was awesome to see the apartments in person; you can really see how Gaudi’s undulating style influenced a building like Hundertwasserhaus in Vienna.We moseyed back home after this, where we indulged in another round of quiche and groceries. Christine and I went out for a glass of wine at the bar next to our building, since we had a year’s worth of catching up to do. A drunken local came over and introduced himself, complete with cheek-kissing and the announcement, “In Spain, we kiss two times!” This has become a mantra with Quinland and me, which we use on any likely occasion (“In the Netherlands, we kiss three times!”) and plenty of not-so-likely ones as well.

I apparently had more wine than was good for me (two glasses – I swear, I am the cheapest drunk on earth these days), as I forgot to take my meds. I slept horribly as a result. Lesson learned! (That should probably be a question mark, not an exclamation point…)

Expenditures: CosmoCaixa tickets, tea and cookies at the museum, more quiches and pizza from Kuk, two glasses of wine.

Experiences: My first time seeing anything by Gaudi! (David’s an old hand at this, as he traveled to Barcelona when he was on the Munich program).

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