Travel has been a great educator. I had never heard of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona while in Australia, but it truly is an astonishing site, and for my money, one of the top two or three most fascinating churches in the world. The extraordinary facade, concocted by mad Spanish architect-prince Antoni Gaudi looks like it is a CGI graphic that has been super-imposed on the real world. The tall, arched stained glass windows let in a pretty amazing kaleidoscope of colours, creating a place of beauty in a way that very few places of worship I have seen do. And to top it all off, the church is still after about a century, a work in progress. Even today, it seems the church is 50% construction site, and 50% place of worship, started in 1891, and scheduled (perhaps optimistically) to conclude in 2026.
Astonishing. Go there.
They must be mad for George Clooney in Spain. Either that, or they must be driven crazy by the sight of him seemingly everywhere, from amusingly exuberant Martini ads like this one, to his pleased looking face on Nespresso billboards. The hotel where we stayed in Barcelona was located nearest to the Clot metro station, which was perhaps fitting given the amount of ham, chorizo and cheese we ate while we were there. Every night in the evening, after a full day walking around and taking in the city (for my money the best in Spain), we came home to Clot, and hence, to George, whose absurd expression greeted us when we exited the metro station each night.
He is clearly a shameless man, but on the other hand, this ad brought a smile to even this Clooney shunner’s face every evening we enjoyed there.