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Saturday, October 18, 2014


My first impression, and one that has lasted thus far, is that this is the most touristy place I've ever been. And this is off season! What can I say, I'm one of them. It is also one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful city I've seen. But let me back up a bit. Actually, my first impression getting out of the airport was that IT'S WARM!! Ahhhh.

It's always exciting flying into a strange city at night and this was no exception. My airbnb host, Sergi, had sent me instructions for getting to his place but when I gave the bus driver the name of the stop, he didn't have a clue. Encouraging. Neither did my seat mate. So some anxiety filled moments ensued until I saw the name of the stop appear on the bus' dot matrix reader. Made me wonder about the driver. From there I managed to find my way to Sergi's place, only asking directions once. Sergi greeted me and welcomed me to his very modern, spotless apartment on the top floor of a four story building with a nice balcony. We chatted for a bit, drank some wine and he prepared a nice little dinner. I was expecting to meet his girlfriend with whom he was living when I booked but they had broken up so it was just him. He works as a production analyst for Alliance, a German international insurance company. Nice young man, in fact we became good friends during the course of my stay.

My first activity on the first day was the obligatory Sagrada Familia, the monstrous, unfinished Gaudi basilica.

Gaudi became involved in its construction a year after it was started in 1882 and it is slated for completion in 2026, the centenary of Gaudí's death. I managed to negotiate the metro system, another great piece of public transportation and arrived at the mobbed square where the cathedral is located. Once again, this is off season!!?? Sure glad I'd purchased my ticket on line. The good news is that ones attention is drawn upwards so as to overlook the crowds to a certain extent and the place is just so awesome that it transcends distractions.











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