La Sagrada Familia; the old and the new.


I have only ever been to Barcelona once and even then only for a few hours. We were on our way to start a cruise of the beautiful Mediterranean Sea in the month of August. It was to be our first ever family cruise and we were all excited and really looking forward to it. Good weather was guaranteed, everyone said wonderful things about cruises so seven days of predictable contentment were bound to ensue. Or so I thought.

This holiday took place almost 3 years ago and changed the course of my life, ending in marital separation. And no, I can’t possibly blame it all on cruises even though I’ve learnt they are not everybody’s idea of a dream vacation. (Just ask the ex!)

La Sagrada Familia was right in front of our little boutique hotel. And even though I had promised the kids there would be no sightseeing I really could not justify not crossing the road to see this beautiful building. It was without a doubt amazing. I knew nothing about it other than the fact that it was in the centre of Barcelona. For me, tenderly and with a touch of sadness, it remains a metaphor of what all our lives are about. The old and the new coexisting with unbelievable grace, beauty and resilience. Still a work in progress even though it was started 130 years ago. It has been in the hands of different architects; starting with Francisco de Paula del Villlar in 1882, then Gaudi until 1926 and various architects since. They have all influenced and shaped the design, adding character and individuality. It remains unfinished but it stands strong.

It has been built entirely from donations. Gaudi famously said that it’s future is “in the hands of God and the will of the people”, aren’t we all….