The affection for strikes is in the national psyche of the French. On the 9th of April it was the turn of the air-traffic controllers. Ryan Air made us sit on the tarmac for 2 hours so WE could sit in searing heat and THEY could sell the maximum amount of water @ 3.00 Euro per piece. Robbery to be sure; but the fares are so low that they have to make their money charging for the add-ons. On arrival in Girona (Barcelona) I found my bro Rudi waiting seemingly quite patiently, although a luncheon with his pal Louis had been arranged to coincide with my scheduled arrival and was thrown for a loop.
No major harm done, as the wine supply in the restaurant is quite limitless and we found Luis and a friend in good conversational form. The Spanish know how to eat well and especially Catalan people never run out of stories.
After a very nice lunch we initially toured the stables where Rudi had his horse and made our way to Granollers, a town 1/3 hour from Barcelona, where we walked around, took in the sites, and a couple of carachillos . By this time the supper bell was ringing and we made our way to a good place packed with people due to the Barcelona Football game. Rudi’s apartment is a hop, a skip and a jump to the train station and in the morning a visit to the Gaudi attractions was a must.
Since I had been there some years ago, I wanted to see the progress on the Segrada Famila. designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi (1852–1926). Although incomplete, the church is aleady a World Heritage Site and in November 2010 Pope Benedict consecrated and proclaimed it a minor Basilica as distinct from a Cathedral, which must be the seat of a bishop.
Construction of Sagrada Família had begun in 1882 and Gaudí became involved in 1883, taking over the project and transforming it with his architectural and engineering style, combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms. Gaudí devoted his last years to the project, and at the time of his death at age 73 in 1926 less than a quarter of the project was complete. There aren’t very many countries in the world left that take the time or spend the money, to complete a building over several generations, like in ancient time. Hats off to them for that!
The Gaudi Building reminds me of the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson fairytales.