Friday, August 29, 2014

La Sagrada Familia Pictures

This is actually the first time I have been inside the Sagrada Familia Church. The last time I was here I was only outside, turned off by the long queue of tourists. This time however, I joined in with everybody =)

Dutchman said that the church being under construction for more than a 100 years adds up to its endearing charm.

Magnum Opus: La Sagrada Familia
Website: Sagrada Familia

The church is an awesome piece of architecture, it is one of its kind. Due to its geometrical patterns it looks somewhat futuristic yet there is a nature inspiration braided around it as Gaudi is often inspired by trees, bushes and roots. That explains his somewhat scruffy and earthy style of design. People call him the Dante of architecture, and rightly so I think. Just look at his magnum opus, the Sagrada Familia and I think of Dante's Inferno piece. Quite paradoxical, it is a church but it makes me think of hell.

Being inside the Sagrada Familia Church reminded me in a way of my visit to the Salvador Dali's Theater Museum. It is amazing, you stand there in awe at the large tree-like pillars, the huge nave with interlocked vaults they call hyperboloid, those stunning stained glass, the patterns used everywhere and at the same time it makes you think why the architect designed the building this way.

The church is also somewhat cursed. Cursed in such a way that it has been under construction for more than a 100 years already. It started construction in 1882 and is supposed to be slated for completion in 2027.

Do you know of a building in this day under construction for this long? Dutchman would like to believe that the unfinished and neverending construction is part of the charisma of the Sagrada Familia. Do you think the same as well?

By the way, I went up to the tower, see here the pictures: Sagrada Familia Tower and Views of Barcelona

Trivia: Did you know that Gaudi remained single until his death? They say he was not a very social man, but people close to him say he is very pleasant.

This is a cool sculpture of phrases, words and letters.

Because the interior of the church is lighted with natural light beaming through holes and cracks, and because my point-and-click camera cannot handle this well, my interior pictures are really not that great.


Gaudi is into the stained glass and this is one of the pretty ones in the church.

When I look up at the ceiling designed with the hyperboloid vault, it reminds me of a forest.

And that figure in the middle reminds me of Batman, haha.

The altar of the church.

A dizzying work of art if you are to ask me. This reminds me of the castles in Sintra, Portugal.


The crypt. I am not sure if Gaudi was buried here though, I mean if this was the right crypt. Maybe it is.

A very interesting Altar Cross with a hanging beach umbrella attached with dangling lights. You'd think Jesus was like Mary Poppins gone circus mode.

I used to be religious, some 20 years ago. It has been a long ride since I left religion, but it does not mean I do not appreciate it anymore. If not for the culture it has brought to humanity.

La Sagrada Familia.

It is easy to come here with the metro, which is under the church.

Everyone on the go in the underground metro.

Yup, travelling without a valid ticket/pass/card will incur a penalty fare of 100 euros.

Travel Period: November 2013
Destination: Barcelona (Catalonia), Spain

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pula (Croatia) and the Serious Cafe Terrace Scene

Croatians I noticed are avid cafe terracing people. They really take this to heart that it is very rare you will find café terraces serving food, not even snacks. They just serve drinks—coffee, tea, beer, wine, alcohol, and well, more coffee really. I was in for a surprise in Pula while looking for lunch.

I wanted to sit outside to enjoy a bit of sunshine, the lively atmosphere and some people watching but not a single café terrace I checked out was serving food. As I look around me, people were only drinking and smoking. Mostly coffee. Latte, macchiato, cappuccino. That’s all. I am already getting hungry but after half an hour of surveying the café terrace scene I gave up.

I did saw a restaurant with an outdoor terrace selling food but it was located in  a nook and not in the core centre where the action is.

Taking a table at the square in front of the Pula Central Market I ordered a glass of chilled chardonnay and engaged in a short discussion with the young waiter.

‘Why is no one serving food?’ I asked.

The young waiter look at me with a big surprise smile, he did not know what to answer so he gave a wide eye and a sheepish friendly grin.

‘It seems that not a single café restaurant is serving food here in Pula.’ I told him again.

‘Yeah.’ He replied. ‘We only sell drinks, no food.’

‘Don’t people eat lunch?’ I further asked. ‘It’s lunch time.’

‘We buy food at the bakery or supermarket.’ He said. (or I guess bring food from home or eat there)

‘AHHH ha…’

When I finished my chardonnay, I walked straight away to the market in front of me. I am burning with hunger. You know that when your your stomach is tossing and churning. I saw a bakery earlier while checking out the place, and indeed on the corner there was one. I then ordered the Croatian donut—Krafne with chocolate filling. This is my lunch.

Nevertheless, my stomach is pleased. Not hungry anymore in Pula =)

The cafe terrace scene.

The Pula market square.

No eating, no snacking, just coffee drinking mostly.

 One of the remaining gates of Pula.

Beautiful facades of old historical buildings.

I don't know the background of these three girls on the wall of a building but they are surely a sight to behold.

This dog is waiting patiently for his owner who was having errands at an office across.

Laundry in the city.

This restaurant with an outdoor terrace was the only one I saw serving food but its location did not tempt me as it is a bit far from the core centre. I want some ambiance and I want to people watch.

Children having a lunch break at the doorstep of their school and perhaps waiting to be picked up by their parents.

My chilled glass of chardonnay. Most people order coffee here. A warm cup of coffee, latte or cappuccino. 

Pula Central Market.

Church and a nun cleaning the church square grounds. Many Croatians are religous.

Ah, time to taste the Croatian donut =)

My lunch: The Krafne donut with chocolate inside.

Travel Period: March 2014
Destination: Pula (Istria), Croatia

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