I got up at 3:30AM to take Lawrence to the airport. He had a 6:30 flight from Barcelona that would take him first to Vienna, then to JFK. On the way 1t 4 AM we passed by a few clubs, still going strong. The traffic was light and I made it to the airport and back to the apartment in less than an hour, leaving time to go back to sleep for a couple more hours.
After the short nap upon my return, we all arose to pay a visit to Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia. It was Easter Sunday and the crowds were as big as we expected. Nevertheless, we managed to visit inside and out before we had to leave to get Lucas to the airport for his flight to Zurich. I had first seen the Sagrada Familia when it was still a shell back in 1974. The construction was far enough along at that time to climb the towers and look down upon mostly an empty skeleton of a building. We were able to get a pure sense of Gaudi as everything that had been built to that point was directly from his design. The forms were fanciful and reminiscent of a sand castle. I’ve been back several times since and have seen the progression of the building, which has advanced considerably since 1974, especially in recent years. Unfortunately, as the building appears to near completion it has lost something for me. I don’t know if it is because the ideas of other designers have infiltrated the process or that i I couldn’t simply provide my own imagination anymore or some combination of the above, but I left disappointed. While still impressive, it was no longer the building of my dreams. Whether it is now the building that Gaudi’s dreamed I’m not sure, but it no longer has the same effect for me as do others of his works such as the Parc Guell, Casa Batllo or La Pedrera.
With Lucas and Lawrence now gone, we spent the rest of the afternoon getting to and exploring the Tibidabo amusement park. Full of the atmosphere of another era, we traversed some of Barcelona’s most prime and historic real estate, encountering outstanding views of the city and enjoying the rather steep cable car and funicular rides up to the park.
We returned to the apartment to pack and prepare our Easter dinner. We still had the not-quite-as-fresh-as-they-were anchovies that we had picked up on Thursday at the Santa Caterina Market and the mushrooms that we bought on Tuesday from Petras and a few other things we needed to use up. We lightly coated the anchovies in flour and fried them in olive oil. Though not as wonderful as they would have been on Thursday, they were still quite good. I sauteed the mushrooms with garlic, parsley and asparagus and served them over pasta – not bad washed down with a now anonymous Catalan tinto.
By the time we were done with dinner and packing it was late. The next day would be another busy one as we split up and finished our Anniversary celebration.