Sagrada Familia, excellent tapas and a visit to Dolby Barcelona

We took so many photos, today, that it’s going to take a while to consider a “pick”, to top this post.  Hold on.

Sagrada Familia hits with its overwhelming presence as soon as one climbs the stairs from the Metro, and turns around. It’s just there, and it fills up the sky in one direction. All crazy and pointy and decorated in the finest detail. It keeps getting more amazing as one circles, looking for the ticket queue (it’s on the opposite side.) The queue stretched around the corner, so we were quite prepared to accept the word of the uniformed staff that it would be faster and more convenient for everyone if we bought our tickets on-line, so we did. The line moved fairly quickly though, so we only just beat it, buying on Cath’s iPhone.

Inside is even more amazing than outside. The light and space are matched or exceeded by the colour, and vaulting _lightness_ of the place. Compared to gothic cathedrals of older times, this one is mostly space. Most of our photos are “portrait” orientation: it’s the only way to get the vertical extent in-frame.

Unfortunately the rain had closed the towers for the day. The attendants assured us that the refund of that part of the ticket price would be automatic. Would have been an amazing view, I expect.

We set out towards the Bari-Gothic, in search of lunch. Being a Monday, many of the cafes along the way were closed, and most of those open were of the microwaved factory-made sandwich variety, which we avoided. After seeing the Arc de Triomphe (of Barcelona), we found a really lovely Tapas bar called Tantarantan, on a little street of the same name. Cozy spot, great wine and delicious tapas. Heartily recommended!

Over lunch we plotted to go our separate ways: Cath would shop for a bit and head back to the apartment, while I went to visit the local Dolby office, to meet the engineers I had not yet met, and compare notes. We asked Google for public transport directions, which has worked in the past, but this time, following the directions and Metor links faithfully brought me back above ground at the opposite end of town, over 3km from where I was supposed to be! So I hopped in a nearby taxi, and arrived anyway, ten minutes later. The self-directed Metro trip home was much more direct, and also accurate. Getting around Barcelona by Metro is very easy and pleasant, at least if you pay attention to where you’re going!

Cath had started on the dinner, which was baked potatos, asparagus, and the Iberian port chops that we had bought from the markets the day before. Seasoned and pan seared, then left to rest in the oven with the potatos while the asparagus sauted, they were easily the best, tastiest pork chops I’ve ever had. A revelation.

Time for bed. Photos can wait.