What is La Sagrada Familia?
La Sagrada Familia (The Holy Family) is a basilica designed by architect Antoni Gaudí. It is one of the top tourist attractions in Barcelona and does not disappoint. Gaudí's imaginative designs, inspired by nature, are truly breathtaking. La Sagrada Familia hasn't been completed yet and resides next to a pair of cranes to help with that construction.
How much does the ticket cost?
Basic tickets cost 15 euros. I was able to get the under 30 price for 13 euros.
What does the basic ticket include?
The basic ticket is, as the name suggests, quite basic. It includes entrance into La Sagrada Familia. It does not include an audio guide, guide or tower visit. However, if you are low on cash, there is still a lot to see just with the basic ticket.
Recommendations for your basic visit
I recommend that you start your visit by going through the Gaudí and Nature exhibit. This is located inside the church, next to the doors. In the exhibit you will learn about Gaudí's childhood and how nature influenced his designs.
Next, go outside, gaze up, and take in the façade of the basilica.
Now, explore the delicate twists and turns inside the church, staring up at the ceiling and absorbing the colors of the stained glass windows.
If you would like to pray, you can go to the back of the church. However, remember to bring something to cover your shoulders, or you will not be let in.
Finally, look for the religious details throughout such as Jesus on the cross, names on the metal doors and specific scenes from the Bible.
Lastly, go beneath the church to see Gaudí's plans for La Sagrada Familia.
The website suggests about one hour to visit the church, but on the basic ticket you could easily spend 1.5 or 2 hours there.
After graduating from Lawrence University, I was awarded a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to study Arabic in Alexandria, Egypt during the 2010-2011 academic year. I was sponsored by the Madison Rotary Club and hosted by Alexandria El Nozha Rotary Club.
I loved living and studying in Alexandria. I studied Modern Standard and Egyptian Colloquial Arabic at Alexandria University, located behind the Library of Alexandria (above). Rotarians and Rotaract members quickly became my tour guides, Arabic language partners and friends in my daily life.
Alexandria is a stunningly beautiful city, but few visit it for more than a day trip. Much of its historical significance has been destroyed. As a place to live, I really enjoyed it and felt quite safe (well, until the Egyptian Revolution happened and we had to leave our house during the imposed curfew, but that's for a future blog post.)
The Ambassadorial Scholarship is just one of Rotary International's programs that gives back to the community. My specific grant sponsors a young person to study in another country, providing financial means in return for reports, a certain number of presentations about the sponsoring district and participation in a volunteer project. The scholarship enables positive exchange between people of different countries.
While I am in Australia, I am planning on reaching out the Rotary clubs there to share my story and hopefully get involved in one of their projects. If you would like to learn more about Rotary, please visit www.rotary.org or comment below and I can answer your questions.
Rioesquillo Pool - A taste of nature without the chill
Yesterday I went to the Rioesquillo Pool and recreation area with David and one of his friends. You'll need a car to reach the pool from Madrid. It took over an hour to get there.
Once we arrived, we were met with a long line of cars waiting to park and a long line of people waiting to get in. After another half hour, we were inside!
The pool is chlorinated, so despite its close proximity to nature, it's not freezing like other pools in the Madrid mountains. The pool is very large, curved and located right in front of a body of water with a dramatic mountain view.
There were A LOT of people at the pool on Sunday, but there was plenty of space to put down our towels and enjoy our lunch. There is a large grassy area where people put down towels, umbrellas, chairs and even tents. The pool is deep enough to dive into and had a perfect, refreshing (but not freezing) water temperature.
If you are lucky enough to have a car, I recommend a visit to this pool as a way to escape the Madrid summer heat!
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