Barcelona. 

They say if you’ve wanted something for a long time it’s dangerous to actually get it, because over the years you built up these extremely high hopes that often can’t be fulfilled; while I generally agree — Barcelona couldn’t be further from that truth. It’s been a long dream of mine to visit Barcelona and being here has not disappointed any dreams I had prior. When I originally planned on study abroad Barcelona was always the destination I wanted to be in, and while Sevilla has grown on me tremendously and I love it there, I feel as though I could also have loved Barca. 

I’ll be honest, part of my love for Barca comes from the fact that when I was a kid I used to watch all the Disney Channel original movies (I mean, who didn’t?). Of the many DCOMs I saw, I always love the Cheetah Girls 2 which took place in part here in Barcelona. My then younger self thought if I could get to Barca I too could become a star and then world fame would be around the corner. As naive as that is, I’m glad it gave me that love because even though I did not meet stardom or get even close to world fame during my short time here — I did have a truly awe inspiring time. 

In the interest of not writing a lot: 1. Because I’m tired and 2: because I still want to have some stories for when I get back. I’ll just share this one moment that truly touched me during my time here in Barca. 

To those of you who know me well, you may or may not know that I have never truly considered myself to be a very religious person. I grew up and still attend an episcopalian church but I’ve personally considered myself to be more spiritual in my beliefs than religious. During my time here abroad I’ve gotten to visit some of the most beautiful churches and cathedrals which I’ve loved and today I added one more on the list –and it went directly to the top of the list. Today I visited La Sagrada Familia. 

Personally I think everyone should see La Sagrada Familia, whether you’re religious or not, as it is almost undoubtedly the most beautiful building I’ve ever seen in my entire life. And I’ve never felt more religious or connect to something bigger than myself than when I was walking around inside. 

Antoni Gaudi’s vision blew me away and I will be back to visit it when it’s finally completed (around the year 2030) but I hope to be back before then as well. I would try to describe the feeling but I don’t think words can do it justice. All I can say was it was so overwhelming that as I was praying I began to tear up. Not out of sadness, just an overwhelming amount of emotion from the joy and beauty of such a building. 

To think Gaudi designed the building knowing he’d never see it finished also spoke to me about the true power of living beyond yourself. Gaudi wanted to create a building that was emblematic of the Christian faith and I truly believe he did. Every piece has a purpose, all part of a story, all devoted to bringing the bible and liturgy to life. While the work to complete it still continues the impact is already well known. I think even Gaudi himself would have been overwhelmed in such a building. So if you do nothing else if you get to Barcelona, I recommend La Sagrada Familia without having the slightest reservation. Gaudi’s masterpiece is truly just that a masterpiece. 

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