Barcelona, day 2

I got a chance to see Sagrada Familia today.

Once again, Metro is my preferred way of transportation. Transfer to different lines on Metro, where available, is free. Based on my experience so far, I like the subway system here. The trains are all punctual and fast. There is a display at each station telling you when the next train will come, with great accuracy. The display is relatively big and has at least 3 rows, plenty room for train direction and next train’s arrival time, so the text is not crawling on a single row of display, like Chicago’s EL. You can see an example here. The quality of this shot is not very good, it’s kinda blurry:

Metro Station

Within the car, there is a display right above the door that shows exactly what the next stop is and the direction the train is travelling. Again, I liked this method. See picture below:

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At Metro Espanya station, which is the closet station to my hotel, I bought a bottle of water. The store owner also gave me a sample of this:

Pig skin

I don’t know the English or Spanish name for it, but I know what it is. In Chinese, at least in my dialect, I call it 皮肚 or 油花子. When I was little, we usually buy pork that has pig’s skin and a few inches of meat below it, most of which is fat. We then fry that in a covered wok, so the fat does not splash everywhere. When it is done, the fat would be collected and saved as cooking oil, kind of like the practice of using butter or margarine to pan fry stuff in the West. The residue, which is really fried pig skin, will be saved for snack or used to cook soup. I’ve also seen similar things in Mexico City.

Anyway, I got to Sagrada Familia in no time. Before I got inside, I strolled around so I can take better pictures of it. And I saw 2 persons playing table-tennis on this cement ping-pong table:

Cement ping-pong table

That brought back memories, because outdoor cement ping-pong table in school ground was very common when I grown up. It was cheap to set it up and the pad and ball were cheap to get. We usually didn’t have a net though. We would just put a row of bricks in the middle. The competition can be heated and we all played with gusto. I remember there was a big ping-pong rivalry between my two elder brothers.

Back to Sagrada Familia. It was very impressive. Construction started in the 1880s and it is still not done to this day, having been interrupted by wars, poor finance, and other reasons. That’s why you will see cranes and scaffolding stuff in pictures, because construction is on-going.

From outside, it has a funky look, but the sculptures, bell towers, and various biblical scenes were done with great attention to detail and precision:

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Antoni Gaudi, the renowned Catalan architect and apparently devout Catholic, models a lot of his design on his observation in nature. Once inside, the tree structure of columns are apparent:

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There are stairs where you can climb to as high as 75 meters.

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I didn’t go all the way, because after around 250 stairs, there was a slow line going up. But I was glad that I climbed, because the view was very nice and I got to take a few more pictures.

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Anyway, Sagrada Familia is a must-see if you ever come to Barcelona.

Before I forgot, smoking is allowed in majority of restaurants and bars, and many customers do smoke. For vegetarians, your choice of food can be limited.

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7 responses to “Barcelona, day 2”

  1. Since the rest of the world seems to get more information about your whereabouts than we, it seems that using for our communication is better than the ancient form of talk called e-mails or the extinct form called phone calls.

    Thanks for not asking, we are doing well.

    Yes you got a check-amount not disclosed to the world here. If it is the check you were waiting for I don’t know. Anyway, I faked your signature, cashed the check and went to the spa.

    I’ve been trying to get our son to eat out every day but he only wants to go to the cup of dirt place and I can only stomack that place once a year, so today we ate home:( Yes, I knew that would put a smile on your face!

    And my committee meeting is on March 4th. And I still have a foot of papers to read and a kwazillion power point slides to make. Anyone going for graduate studies are surely insane.

    And your son had a great playdate at Peter’s house. And the science project is coming along great or it’s not. And by the way thanks for your detailed input about the subject. It really helped making this week less stressful for me.

    your second love
    (for those who wonder the computer is his first love)

    And do remember we are expecting grand presents at your return!!

    Have fun:)

  2. “I don’t know the English or Spanish name for it”

    In Spanish it is called ‘Torreznos’.

    I’m glad you enjoyed your visit.



  3. Gracious Senior Carlos.

    Yes honey. I love you just slightly more than computers, which says a lot 🙂

  4. It took you THIS long to check Are you sure you’re OK. Are you feeling faint with your heart pounding fast? Severe longing for something this important can have serious, serious consequences you know. You should probably try to check more often and Google analytics too. At least six times a day. After all I want you to come back healthy and fully rested.
    And you don’t love computers that much anymore you say. That’s interesting;-)

  5. Your blog is very, very disappointing this week. I expected more action.
    Hope you presentation went well.
    Enjoy the rest of your stay.

  6. Hah hah hah!

    Everything is well. My presentation went pretty well also. I’ve been socializing with attendees most of the time.

    Later. Today’s destination: Parc Guell and others, probably Cathedral and a mall. That should put a smile on your face 🙂

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