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The Meyer Family Relaxes on the Cost Brava

P1080329After aP1080316 busy week climbing and exploring castles in southern France, the Meyer family travelled further south into Spain for a relaxing week on the beach.

Amber and Eric rented a beautiful house on the side of a hill in Calonge, Spain, about an hour and a half north of Barcelona. With access to many of the beautiful beaches and quaint fishing towns, this was a wonderful way to relax, kick back, enjoy some wonderful food, and experience a part of Spain that the McLeods (Brian and Louise) had never visited before in any great detail.

Matthew is living proof that you can survive being stung by a jellyfish, and we learned that applying ice to the sting areas works really well.

We spent one day in Barcelona visiting the Ramblas, the Gothic quarter, and the magnificent Gaudi Basilica, the Sagrada Familia.

>> View a week on the beaches of Spain

>> view a Day in Barcelona

 The Sagrada Familia

>> view a Day in Barcelona

[right] View of the Passion Façade (Western side) in September 2009 – cranes digitally removed. [courtesy wikipedia]
The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, commonly known as the Sagrada Família,  is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926). Although incomplete, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in November 2010 Pope Benedict XVI consecrated and proclaimed it a minor basilica, as distinct from a cathedral which must be the seat of a bishop.

Though construction of Sagrada Família had commenced in 1882, 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.Sagrada Família’s construction progressed slowly, as it relied on private donations and was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War—only to resume intermittent progress in the 1950s. Construction passed the midpoint in 2010 with some of the project’s greatest challenges remaining and an anticipated completion date of 2026—the centennial of Gaudí’s death.

The basílica has a long history of dividing the citizens of Barcelona—over the initial possibility it might compete with Barcelona’s cathedral, over Gaudí’s design itself, over the possibility that work after Gaudí’s death disregarded his design, and the recent possibility that an underground tunnel of Spain’s high-speed rail link to France could disturb its stability.

Describing Sagrada Família, art critic Rainer Zerbst said “it is probably impossible to find a church building anything like it in the entire history of art” and Paul Goldberger called it “the most extraordinary personal interpretation of Gothic architecture since the Middle Ages.”

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