|La Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudi’s yet unfinished masterpiece. |
This facade shows the Birth Of Christ
For some reason, Security at Heathrow in London believes that traveling between Terminal 5, where 747s land and Terminal 3, which will take you onward to Europe, you have somehow managed to get your hands on bomb-making ingredients while transferring on their own carefully-guarded buses. While a British cop informs you that all liquids will be confiscated, your hand luggage is once again screened, in a far more invasive way than it was in New York. Dozens of passengers have containers of applesauce and hand sanitizers torn from their persons in an operation that wastes about 45 minutes time.
Fortunately BA 174 arrived forty minutes ahead of schedule so the indignity of having the staggering number of electronic devises re-inspected lost its sting and we took off for Barcelona on time.
Barcelona, however was another matter altogether. Sunday is sacred to Spanish border control agents and so a limited number of them showed up to check the passports of literally thousands of arrivals. If there was any consolation, it was that by the time I arrived at Hotel Cram, I was able to access my room immediately. The Cram, despite it’s awful name, is a Small Luxury Hotel of the World whose members can count on upgrades and extras like a substantial and included breakfast. And if you prepay, you even get a very good breakfast included.
My room on the 5th floor overlooks a busy intersection. The Modernist building has revamped interiors that would look perfectly at home on “The Jetsons”. Once the windows are closed, complete silence prevails. After a one hour catnap, and with my time here limited to two days, I set off to see one of the most spiritual places I have ever been. La Sagrada Famillia had just been listed by AFAR magazine as one of travel’s ‘life changers’. Apparently I am hardly alone in wanting to visit Gaudi’s masterwork. Mobs of people surrounded the great Cathedral and entrance was impossible until late the next day. I circled the building slowly, took Barcelona’s terrific subway home and made on-line reservations for Tuesday’s first tour.
|The Fish Course at Etapes|
Salmon with Roe, Melon
and a Honey Soy Sauce
In closing, a word to Donald Trump. The game is up. There are no walls. Barcelona is packed with people of all colors, a beautiful rainbow you see in the school children and the tourists. At Etapes, in the immediate vicinity of my table were 5 Francais, 4 Finns, 2 Japanese women (who ate everyone under the table) and next to me, 4 Barcelona natives having dinner with 4 ethnic Chinese with Australianaccents. So forget, Mr. Trump, your wall is done for. And please take Dr. Carson with you. Adios amigos. Tomorrow, I board the Viking Star.