I was 17, and it was my first time out of North America – a “cultural” trip to France and Spain with my French teacher and a group of 16 students. We spent a week in France followed by three days in Barcelona and the Catalonia area. It’s hard to recall my exact itinerary now seven years later, but what I do remember is that Barcelona became my new favourite place (keeping in mind that at the time, I had very little to compare it to).
One of our stops was the infamous Sagrada Família by Antonio Gaudi, the never-ending work in progress with construction thriving only on public donation. In 2008, much of it was scaffolded, under construction, and it had not yet been consecrated by the Catholic church. As a group we did not go inside, but I remember one thought as we looked at the drawing of what the finalized cathedral would look like – would the Sagrada Família be finished before I die? It was already 100 years in the making – what’s 100 more? Would I see it again when construction was further along, or complete?
This summer, my boyfriend and I are going to Barcelona – him for the first time, me for the second. La Sagrada Família has since been consecrated by the Pope. In the photos I’ve googled, there appears to be less scaffolding before.
It’s grown since then and so have I.