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5-1-2022 - Gaudi, Guell, and Goals, Oh My!

We started our day with a walk to the Gothic Quarter in hopes of seeing the traditional Catalan Sardana Dance in the cathedral square, but that was canceled due to May Day, so we got to see a variety of demonstrations instead. We spent the afternoon exploring two of Guadi’s nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Park Guell and Sagrada Familia. Before our tour, Nora introduced us to Guadi’s life and architectural style, and her notes about his love of nature, his religious fervor, and his Catalan nationalism helped us better understand his work. Forrester detailed Guadi’s partnership with the industrialist Eusebio Guell (which is pronounced GWAY in Catalan) and their original vision for the site, and Rory told us what to look for in the charming  park, including the iconic mosaic salamander on the entry stairway. Before our guided tour of the still unfinished Sagrada Familia, Becca described the history and symbolism of this stunning basilica. We had an hour of fun (but chilly) pool time back at the hotel and then a delicious paella dinner. In the quiet of the restaurant Michael gave us a thorough introduction to the history of FC Barcelona, including Franco’s influence on the team; his speech would have been impossible to hear on game day at the largest football stadium in Europe. Then we took the metro to Camp Nou for a match versus Mallorca. It was spectacular!  Our seats were awesome, Barcelona won 2-1, Joe Reiser was featured on the big screen, and even the non-football fans had a great time. Once the crowd thinned out, we caught the metro back home and headed straight to bed. It was a long and wonderful day in Barcelona.  
 

 

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