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5 Days in Barcelona: Day 5, February 2017

Day 5: This morning I walked to La Sagrada Familia from the hotel. It took about half an hour. There I met some friends from Italy who came to spend the day with me, Barbara and Paola. We toured La Sagrada Familia, which is the most impressive and truly beautiful church I have ever seen. The architectural genius of Antoni Gaudi is truly seen in this building. And it is still not finished! The construction will span almost 150 years from 1882 to 2028, the estimated finish date. I was very impressed.  Don’t miss the museum below the entrance. It explains so much!   http://www.sagradafamilia.org/en/

After touring the Sagrada Familia, we walked back almost to the hotel where we met Barbara’s Spanish friend Maria for lunch….at Mussol….AGAIN! Wow!! I had no idea when I ate my little desayunos there in the mornings that Mussol was an entire restaurant and so beautiful inside! Mussol has many locations. This one is the Mussol Arago.  http://www.mussolrestaurant.com/ Here I got to have my first la comida! I have to say, the little chorizos were delightful and the steak was one of the best I’ve ever eaten! I also tried vermouth for the first, second, and third times! Yep, it was so good that I had two more glasses. (And the whole experience with friends and fine food was so distracting to this blogger that I completely forgot to take food photos! Oops!) I later discovered on my way back to Italy that there was one of these Mussol restaurants in the Barcelona Airport Terminal 1.

After a divine feast, the four of us took the bus to Park Guell.  https://www.parkguell.cat/en/  The entry cost is 7 euros. I thought the park was beautiful and would have spent a little more time there but all of sudden my 3 companions wanted to go to the Picasso Museum at the other end of the city! This trip would require either a bus or a metro trip. I requested the bus but we missed it by 30 seconds. Rather than wait for the next one, Maria compelled us to walk to the nearest metro station which she said was very close. 20 minutes of high speed walking and we were still not at the metro. My stress level was climbing both from the prospect of riding the metro  and from the pain in my lower back and legs from too much fast walking. All of a sudden I was too tired to do any more. We hailed a taxi and I took my leave of my friends to go back to the hotel. I was so exhausted from the miles I walked the last 5 days that all I could do was take a hot shower, have a good therapeutic cry, pack, and go to bed early because I had a stupid early flight in the morning. But often that is the extra price we pay for a good price on a plane ticket. I look forward to a day of rest and sleep when I get back to Lucca.

I want to make a note of the contrast I noticed once I got back to Italy. The Spanish people are very, very kind; more so even than the Italians, which I never would have expected as Italians are a very friendly people. The bathrooms in Spain were as clean as the ones in Germany! The Italian bathrooms are often filthy. The bread in Spain is very edible and the bread in Italy has too much volume with not enough flavor. The Spanish appear to be very healthy, I saw maybe 2 people with a cold the whole 5 days I was there. Sitting in the Italian airport now, I notice that many of the Italians around me are sick. I think the cleanliness, friendliness, and healthy diet of the Spanish is to credit for the difference.  Also they don’t kiss each other every time they meet. That being said, I still LOVE Italy!! I’m just tempted to spend more time in Spain.