Oh Barcelona! We came…we trained…we explored!

Training in Spain!  A land of sunshine, beaches and so much warmth!  Who wouldn’t want to go to the coast of Spain for any kind of conference or training time!  You get to spend time with people you love and who challenge you in a common calling.  You are served wine for lunch and dinner….every day!  Oh, and did I mention the SUNSHINE!  Being in Germany this last year was pretty dreary and cold – a record-breaking year, I’ve been told.  So this past trip was a true delight.

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Here we are..some of our Young Life staff from all across Europe…

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A walk along the coast of Platja d’Aro

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A new way of eating fish….loved the tails in the mouth!

Making The Most of It!  Brent and I are learning, that when we go on these trips all across Europe – for training or helping with Young Life camps, we need to plan for some exploring time – if possible.  So this time, we decided to “See Barcelona” as we waited for our evening flight to go home.  We offered to take our awesome friends Liz and Aaron to the airport at 4:30am.  This was a no brainer, not only because we love these guys, but also because it gave us a full day to explore the city.  Ok…I can hear some of you now…1 day for Barcelona????  It’s the best we could do, for now.

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The city is alive with street art everywhere!

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Allie way near the Cathedral

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It’s amazing what you see when you look up!

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Sculpture that represents the “castelliers” – human towers, a popular sport in Spain.

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Even Christopher Columbus loves football!

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Lot’s of “Live Statues” everywhere!

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Etched on a vacant business’ window painted white…so cool!

Like every other first timer to Barcelona, we  visited Sagrada Familia.  It’s been called “An architectural bible”.  This church is facinating.  Living in Europe we’ve seen many churches.  They all have history,  all were designed for worship, and became the center of community for years.  Yet this one stands out, for many reasons.  Every part of this church symbolizes something.  It tells the Biblical story as well as a story of worship and adoration. Because of the lens I am using (an 85mm fixed lens) I was not able to get a good shot of the whole exterior of the church, but found more delight in the details anyways. (Actually, there was so much scaffolding around, it took away from the exterior.)   By no means am I able to describe and explain all the meaning found in this magnificent church.  That’s something you would do well to read about on your own.  Yet, here are a few photo’s that stand out to me.  (You know there’s many more than these.)

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Part of the Passion Facade. At the Front of the church are different scenes depicting the Passion of Christ – those last days before his death. The other side of the building depicts his birth.

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At the entrance…part of the Passion Facade

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One of the panels on the doors to the entrance.  Each panel had another word in gold, such as Grace and Hope.

At one point, it began to rain and we heard the loudest crack of thunder.  I have never experienced the type of echoing that took place within this structure. It was incredible!

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The ceiling decor

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The columns give the feeling of trees. Acknowledging God as the Creator.

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The suffering Christ at the altar

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Magnificent stained glass throughout

 I felt many emotions while walking through this structure. I must admit, there are many churches we have visited that I questioned the extravagance, the gaudiness of the interior.  For some reason, this is not the feel I had here.  To me, everything was built and designed to be an expression of thankfulness to God.  An act of worship to Him.  (I would strongly suggest to purchase the audio sets to explain all the details. Not sure I would have had the same reaction if I didn’t understand those details of the architecture.)

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Lot’s to ponder!

So much more to see in Barcelona!  Can’t wait for the next visit when we get to return in May.