Barcelona, Spain

Exploring Barcelona and the Master Work of Gaudi

We arrived in Barcelona with just one day to explore, and so were delighted to have a bit of a driving tour and a visit to Sagrada Familia, the master work of Antoni Gaudi, who exemplifies the style of Catalan Modernism. Quirky, eerie, and haunting but somehow at the same time stunning and pleasing, this cathedral-still-in-progress is planned to be dedicated in 2026, the centennial of the architect’s death. His work is surprisingly contemporary . . . and so full of extraordinary detail that there is not an inch of ordinary. Below, four examples: the exterior, unlike any other religious institution I’ve ever seen; two of many spires; interior columns resembling a forest of trees, made of differing stones depending on the load they bear; detail from one of the thousands of friezes and statues, this one said to bear the face of the architect.

At sea, we had the third in our series of Nobel Laureate speakers and dinners; this from Dr. Brian Kobilka, who won the prize for being the first to create a 3D visual of G protein receptors. These lectures are always a challenging adventure for the mind, followed by engaging discussion on and off the topic.

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