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1st November, 2015

Barcelona, Spain

Our early morning arrival was greeted with cloudy skies, however as the sun rose the clouds cleared and by the time our first tours were making their way ashore it was clear we were going to have a very pleasant day ahead.

In my mind no call to Barcelona is complete without a visit to the Sagrada Familia. Our first excursion this morning did just that, entitled, funnily enough, ‘Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia’. The Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece, is one of Barcelona’s most popular tourist attractions. Construction on this church will continue for at least another decade, but it has already become Barcelona’s most important landmark. On this excursion our passengers had the opportunity to discover this remarkable church with an English-speaking guide.

The expiatory church of La Sagrada Familia is a work on a grand scale which was begun on the 19th March 1882 from a project by the diocesan architect Francisco de Paula del Villar (1828-1901). At the end of 1883 Gaudi was commissioned to continue the work, a task which he did not abandon until his death in 1926. Gaudi himself said: “The expiatory church of La Sagrada Familia is made by the people and is mirrored by them. It is a work that is in the hands of God and the will of the people.” Already designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a Minor Basilica by Pope Benedict XVI, it is hoped that the church will be completed by 2026, the centenary of Gaudi’s death.

With everyone aboard by 6pm we cast off and we now make our way slowly west to our next port of call Valencia.

Captain Wesley Dunlop

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

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