Sacred Family

by Sarah

Our friend

Our own sacred family photo next to crazy Gaudi's church.


We have been swept by Gaudi fever. On our first hungover morning we woke up in time for the 11am free Runner Bean tour of all his sites. We quickly realized he was a total madman. His homes look strikingly like they were designed for Candy Land. You can’t help but be intrigued, wondering what WAS he thinking?? And how are his designs so beautiful and ugly at the same time?

Gaudi's Batllo home. A dragon that Barcelona's patron St. George slayed OR Hansel and Gretel's home??

We visited the Battlo house first, which is believed to be a design of the dragon that Barcelona’s patron Saint George slayed. The brightly covered tiles and confettied sides look just like a few of my old Barbie Dream Houses and I had a strong urge to move in and live a fantasy life.

The Sagrada Famalia was next. Perrin, Julie and I all gasped when we emerged from the subway, stunned by the massive size. As we got an explanation of parts of the exterior we were just overwhelmed by how busy the facade it. Herod killing babies, Darth Vadar look a likes, a Christmas tree in the center, brightly colored words scrawled on the side and balls of fruit in the towers. It’s a bit crazy for my liking, but compelling at the same time.


George Lucas found his inspiration for Darth Vadar in Gaudi's Roman guards, scattered on the church's exterior...

... and in 2007 Darth and his storm troopers celebrated the 30th anniversary of the film outside the church. Ok, so we weren't here for this. But I thought this picture was priceless.


If you pay 12 euros (not recommended) you can go inside the unfinished structure and get the sensation of walking into Babes in Toyland. Babes in Toyland. The pillars spread above you into massive tree trunks and in the center you have the tackiest Jesus Christ I have ever seen. He is hanging from a trapeze Mardi Gras type contraption that looks like it’s straight from the Moulin Rouge. Yet, somehow the more I saw, the more I wanted to see. I’m hooked, I have the Barcelona fever.

This scene depicts Herod killing all the babies in Judea. In order to make the babies look as realistic as possible Gaudi went to the local hospital and took plaster molds of the stillborn babies. He also took plaster molds of live donkeys for the scenes with Mary riding the donkey. That's creepy devotion to reality.

Welcome to the Moulin Rouge! I really don't mean this to be sacreligious but I expected Jesus to start doing flips on this Mardi Gras contraption hanging from the ceiling.!

You should absolutely visit The Sagrada Famalia but don't shell out the 12 euros to see the inside. It's under heavy construction and covered with cranes and filled with the sounds of power drills. You can only walk into the entrance. The tree-like pillars and cupcake holder type ceiling are cool but much is obstructed.

We finished our Gaudi tour with a trip to his Gaull park, which is an incredible site and provides incredible views of Barcelona. Definitely worth a visit. You have to trek up a mountain to get there, but don't worry. Escalators have been installed to help you on your way! San Fran developers should take note.



About sistersbailey

We are Perrin and Sarah Bailey, collectively known as “The Sisters Bailey”. The moniker was born out of a crazy weekend at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz Fest and it was the first time we had ever been referred to as one unit. We grew up in Alexandria, VA together and then separated for college - Perrin to The University of Pennsylvania and Sarah to Northwestern University – and somehow landed together in New York after graduation. It was in the midst of the hustle of Manhattan that we became friends for the first time in years. Somehow we landed jobs in the same industry - Sarah worked in marketing at HBO and Perrin managed creative digital promotions for her media agency’s main client, Disney - just three blocks from one another. One day we decided to leave our jobs, sell our belongings and travel abroad with a backpack and a collective savings of $10K. The stories of our continuing adventures and those of other fearless travelers are here to inspire you.
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