However, the architects have promised that by 2026, the Tower of Jesus Christ will be completed for the 100th anniversary of Gaudí's death. Each tower of the church represents a different element of Catholicism. The tallest tower will represent Jesus Christ. This tower will stand at 558 feet, which is also taller than many buildings in Barcelona! Every element of the church is symbolic and extremely thought-out. For example, the exterior of the church on the east side (Where the sun rises) is the nativity scene, depicting the birth of Jesus. The architecture on the west side (Where the sun sets) depicts the Passion. Even the windows are symbolic, with certain color schemes of stained glass representing events such as the resurrection, while others represent specific saints, etc. The windows in the central part of the church have no color, and are made with translucent glass to symbolize purity. After spending time in the church, we visited the museum and learned about all of the geometry (Way over my head) involved in the design, and even saw the current principal architects at work in their office, making designs with digital and clay models. It was amazing! I would really love to go back and see the final product someday!
Friday night we ate dinner on La Rambla, one of the main streets in downtown Barcelona. From there, we ventured to the beach where all of the nightlife is. The highlight of the night was Icebarcelona, which is a bar where everything-- the walls, seats, and cups, are made of ice. The bar is kept at 20 degrees Fahrenheit (Which really seems like nothing after last winter!), and they provide you with a parka and gloves. It was definitely unlike anywhere else we went out!
On Saturday we went on a guided bus tour. At first, I was skeptical about a bus tour, but I quickly realized Barcelona is way too big to walk around, and the main attractions are very spread out. Our guide also let us get off the bus at many of the sights. We were able to stop at the Olympic Stadium from the 1992 games, on a mountain for beautiful panoramic views of the city, and lastly, Park Güell. This park contains more works of Antonio Gaudí, as well as beautiful nature and views of Barcelona. I was really bummed to find out that as of recently, they charge you to go into the part of the park where all of the mosaics are. Unfortunately we were unable to get tickets because you have to reserve them in advance… But I'll get to see it during my next trip to Barcelona when La Sagrada Familia is done, right? ;)
After the bus tour, we had free time for the rest of the day. We stumbled across Barcelona's Central Market, which had the largest and freshest foods I have ever seen. The supplies of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seafood, and spices were never-ending! I wish I took more pictures. After that, we visited Montjuïc, which is another area that offers great views of Barcelona. At the top of the mountain, there is an art museum, and in front of the mountain, there are the Magic Fountains of Montjuïc. This is where a music video for the Cheetah Girls (A popular Disney Channel movie during my childhood) was filmed. I remember thinking it was so cool when I saw the movie way back when. It was surreal being there in person! We liked it so much, we decided to come back at night for the Magic Fountain Show, which did not disappoint. It was a 30 minute show, and all of the fountains were synched to music and lighting. There was also a full moon right over the fountains. It sounds corny, but it was honestly one of the highlights of our weekend! We ended Saturday night celebrating my friend's birthday at Espit Chupitos, a famous shot bar. They have over 600 kinds of shots, all of which are unique and interactive. Some of ours were on fire… Literally! It was a ton of fun!
On Sunday, we had a guided visit of Barcelona's Gothic Quarter. We saw several old buildings and shops and restaurants that are native to Barcelona. The main attractions were two cathedrals: Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, and Santa Maria del Mar. Both were very pretty, and we even got to see the locals dance the Sardana (A type of circle dance typical of Catalonia) in the plazas outside of the churches. We tried visiting the Picasso Museum afterwards, but the line was unreal! It snaked down the streets for at least five blocks. After exploring the city a little bit more, we loaded the bus and headed south for our last week in Valencia!
P.S. I'm not sure if I already posted about this, but there are several different dialects of Spanish. Each region of Spain has different ways of pronouncing sounds, and some words have different meanings depending on your location. It's pretty confusing, but I never had any trouble communicating with anyone until visiting Barcelona. We asked for directions and received a response in Catalan that we could not even begin to decipher!