I'm woefully behind in putting up blog posts, not for lack of things to write about, but things have been busy! I have less than a month to go before I should be home, and that seems both fine and incredible and short.
I'm realizing that while I've done a lot of new things in the UK this time, I haven't done much in the way of repeat things. I haven't been to any of the same places in London, haven't gone to Norwich or many of the cities or places I went last time (I did go to York, and passed through Edinburgh, and went on the campus field trip to Lincoln).
Now, as time is drawing to a close, I have ten days in London at the end of the trip, primarily for working at the British Library (reading there has been the big, big difference, this time around). But I'm thinking on the Sunday, at least, I won't be at the Library, so I should go somewhere else. I'm thinking, Battle, to see what remains of Battle Abbey, and to visit the site of the Battle of Hastings and such.
Other suggestions? How about things to do/see near/in London if I want an afternoon off? (There are some art shows!)
And now, without further ado, Barcelona. We left on Wednesday afternoon, and got in fairly late, took the Metro to a stop near our Hostel, and as we came up out of the Metro, we were just about right in front of Casa Battló. There were 20 of us, and as we came up, each of us gasped at the sight. It's just stunningly beautiful.
Then we walked about a block to our hostel, which was friendly, with a reasonably comfortable bed for me in a room with an en suite bathroom (the joy of life!).
I bought tickets ahead for a bunch of places I was pretty sure I wanted to see, and for the hop on hop off bus thing, and for riding the Metro. The Metro was totally worth it. The hop on hop off, not so much.
Here's Sagrada Familia, which I had a first thing Thursday morning ticket for. The Basilica is laid out in a typical cruciform way, except that there's a cloister around the building that sort of masks the cruciformness of it. The three short sides are the Birth/Nativity and Childhood (which is where you enter, and I think on the left if you were to stand facing the altar), the Glory (behind the altar), and the Passion. The Glory one isn't done yet, I don't think.
You wait outside, and then enter through the Nativity façade, so here it is:
Wikipedia link to show how catenary and parabolic arches are a little different. So fascinating!)