So we slept in a little bit today - boy did I need that extra hour or so.
Today was a day of Gaudí. We started off at Parc Güell. This is a really cool park with a bunch of different levels of sand, different rock and tile formation. The whole place was gorgeous, with so many unique areas. If I loved there I would go there all the time.
Once we finished at the Parc and had some lunch we went to the Sagrada Familia (Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia, in its full name). This was the coolest part of the entire trip and one of the best and most interesting places I have ever been in my life. The whole outside is very intricate, with each facade and section being vastly different than all the others. It is nothing like anything I have every seen before. The modernist style is so unusual and different from any other church in the world. The interior was just as intricate and nothing like what I expected. It was so vast and light and colorful. There were giant columns of varying heights that branched into multiple smaller ones at their unusually shaped capitals. Gaudí designed the interior to to capture as much natural light as possible so there are skylights and large windows throughout the nave, shining on the light colored marble and stone everywhere. The apse also has skylights as well as very vibrant stained glass windows (which have some inscriptions but no images). There are intricate, and sometimes hidden, spiral staircases all over. We were lucky that the inside was complete (at least that we could tell) when we went. This can be credited to the Pope and his visit last weekend. Because he was consecrating the Sagrada Familia they finished and cleaned up a lot of the interior work before his arrival. There is a museum below which has pictures and videos from various stages in the construction, as well as models and drawings of what still needs to be done. There are still at least another 30 years of construction to be done (although they hope to finish in by 2026), a large portion of which seems to be mostly exterior. A large central tower with a cross (potentially glowing, you will be able to go inside it) is the most notable missing piece and will probably be one of the finishing touches. The whole experience was just amazing and I can't wait for it to be complete - I am definitely going to come back once it is.
After the Sagrada Familia, Stacy and I went to her internship (teaching english to Peruvian children). This was intersting. There are quite a few trouble makers and they are all different ages (between 6-18), making it difficult to teach them all at the same time. Stacy told them I didn't speak spanish, so they would have to practice their english with me. This was funny because even with my rusty spanish I could understand what they were saying about me to each other and it was hard to feign ignorance until they addressed me in english (i actually understood their spanish better than their english).
After the session was over we met up with her parents and went to the gothic neighborhood for dinner. We went to a delicious tapas place. We had sangria, fried eggplant, potatoes aioli, fried artichoke (not me), chorizo, tortilla española, potatoes bravas and pan tumaca. Then we finished off with crema catalan (a cross between flan and crem brulee). All of it was fabulous and very very delicious. I love spanish food so much.
After that we went back to the apartment and figured out stuff for tomorrow. I skyped with mom briefly to update her on my trip. Shea got on the phone and said "Ali, I want you to stay home." It's a miracle I haven't cried yet when talking to her on the phone.