“I’ve definitely chosen the wrong queue,” I said irritably as I leant against the check-out counter.
The woman who was holding me up because of the many items she was buying, turned to me.
“I’m sorry,” she said in an American accent. “I was here twenty-years ago and I couldn’t afford to get in. So now that I’m here, I decided to get all this stuff. It’s just so wonderful to be here.”
I was embarrassed that she understood me. She had spoken perfect Spanish to the cashier so I assumed she was a local and didn’t speak English.
“That’s okay,” I said. “Where are you from?”
She was from Minnesota.
We were both thrilled to be here. But I could see the impact on her was huge.
It was after all the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona!
Almost thirty-years ago, whilst studying in London to be a Barrister, I bought a CD by Alan Parson’s Project entitled Gaudi. That was when I learnt about the unfinished cathedral.
Since then, this was a building I yearned to visit.
It is incredibly beautiful. Words fail me.
It’s a massive temple filled with fantastic, curving shapes inspired by nature. The style is unique. It’s, no doubt, an architectural wonder of the world.
Antoni Gaudi spent 43 years of his life on the project, which he called his Cathedral of the Poor.
Gaudi lived simply in later life and was deeply religious. When he was hit by a tram, no one recognised him because he was dressed in rags and taken to be a beggar. After his friends found him and wanted him moved to a better hospital, he refused. He wanted to remain where he was, where he felt he belonged, with the poor.
I left with my book on La Sagrada Familia and headed off for the next tourist attraction. But somewhere between the rustling of the leaves that lined the Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, I thought I heard the old architect whispering …