Monday, December 16, 2013

Sagrada Familia and our Last Day Ever in Belgium

This was our first glimpse of the Sagrada Familia. During our time in Barcelona we did our first-ever free walking tour with a group called Runner Bean. In a time when I didn't feel like doing much research into our destinations before we got there, this was the perfect solution. I fell in love with Gaudi's madness in Casa Batllo and to hear his history from a local as we walked through the city was so interesting. I wouldn't have learned anything about this church otherwise. 

Each side of this church has a different facade. It's been under construction since Gaudi was alive; construction started under a different architect in March 1882. They have 13 years to finish the rest of Gaudi's design in time to open it completely finished on the 100th anniversary of his death. Now...I'm a little skeptical about that actually coming about and our tour guide was too. He kept showing us the finished design and then using his hand to cover up what still needs to be done (which was like...half) and then uncovering. With the back and forth he was saying "All this was built in the last 133 years. *removes hand* The rest of this is what needs to be built in 13 years. *shifty eyes, shakes his head*"  It passed its construction midpoint in 2010...soooo yeah. 

But still, the inside main worship area is finished and it is incredible. When you walk in and look around it's just jaw-dropping. Honestly, when my neck began to cramp, I took a minute to let it recover looked around at the other visitors. Every single person had their mouth open and their eyes aimed to the sky. Wait for it in one more picture... 

Chris taking his turn at getting a neck cramp.
I loved slowly twirling in this space with my head rested back on my shoulders, just seeing it from different perspectives.

My favorite part about the church's history is that it's a church built and funded by the people of it. There's no overwhelming funding for this grand dedication to God by anyone but us sinners ourselves! I kind of love that. Gaudi put it this way: "The expiatory church of La Sagrada Família is made by the people and is mirrored in them. It is a work that is in the hands of God and the will of the people." 

1 day left. ... I think this is the perfect last post while we're here in Belgium. I am so unbelievably thankful to my God for this opportunity of living in Europe the past year and a half. It took me a reeeeeally long time to get here, to the thankful spot, but I'm here now. How inconsistent is that of me is that? And how believable is it since I'm saying it on our last day here...? It's true though. I'm obviously also thankful that it's at an end though. Returning to Belgium after Christmas last year was the beginning of the worst three months I spent here. This year the new year will be bringing a new kind of adventure after Christmas that includes our family and friends and living in a city where people speak 98% of the time. Thankful.

p.s. I have a few more Barcelona posts all ready and set to go but I'll probably have to skip tomorrow since we won't have internet here anymore in the apartment starting in a few hours. But I will we'll see! I also have a "goodbye Belgium" post but that will have to wait until we actually leave. Goodbye Belgium! 

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