22.12.2012 - 22.12.2012 19 °C
We woke up a bit short of sleep in our tiny "Medium Hotel" room. Muriel and I went out in search of breakfast and allowed the kids to sleep a bit longer. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed so I wasn't the best shopping companion for Muriel but with some patience and understanding from Muriel I came around. I eventually realized that a bad morning in Barcelona is still better than a good day back home. I think a morning coffee would really have helped me this morning but our neighbourhood didn't seem to wake up until midday so such a pick-me-up was not to be had--too bad for Muriel (Sorry dear--I am lucky you married me for better or worse).
Our accommodation flip-flop did have a fringe benefit-we happen to be three blocks from Gaudi's cathedral, the Church of the Holy Family. After breakfast we went to view this amazing sight. The cathedral as a project is in the tradition of all great churches of Europe in that it is not an undertaking of years or even decades but rather centuries. The project began in the very late 1800s and is likely not to see completion for another 15 years. Gaudi's work is more like a sculpture than a building. The entire cathedral is inspired by structures and shapes found in nature giving the entire structure an organic look of some kind of forest on the inside and coral reef on the outside. It really is more interesting than beautiful in my eyes. Gaudi must have been a very charismatic figure to have inspired a city to buy into and follow through on such a Dr. Seusian structure. The people of Barcelona are to be admired for their audacity in seeing this project through.
In front of the Church of the Holy Family is a large Christmas market where you can buy nativity figurines and scenes and Christmas decorations of all kinds. We decided we really couldn't have Christmas without a tree. We found a tiny tree, bought lights, decorations and a star for the top. It was really great fun to assemble these items and got us into the Christmas spirit. I bought figurines of the three wisemen so we could continue our tradition of hiding the wiseman around the house until epihany when the tradition states the wisemen visited Jesus. We take turns hiding them and whoever finds them gets to hide them again.
We managed to get off to our new apartment by the beach without a parking ticket (only 2 hour parking during the day) and got to our new place and experienced the usual treasure hunt of finding the exact location (numbering of buildings is really done randomly here) and then having to go to another location to find the office and needing to find a phone to call someone to meet you at the building. We were happy to discover that what we booked online did match what we found and maybe a bit better. Our apartment is straight out of an Ikea catalog. We will be very comfortable here. The supermarket which also has fresh fruit, cheese and meat market in the same building is half a block from our apartment-everything we need to celebrate Xmas seems at hand.