Europe 2016 Day 5.1: Sagrada Familia

I suppose some of you would ask, why Barcelona? Why not go somewhere else? Like Prague or Greece or Sweden?

You know, I have always wanted to come to Barcelona since… since my time in Liverpool. I went on a 14 days Europe Tour, but the tour did not go into Barcelona because, well, Spain is very out of the ways for any tour bus to want to go there. And because I had limited funds (I was a one semester student back then), I had to give up any plans of going there on a separate trip on my own.

So I guess this was just me trying to fulfill an unfulfilled wish of mine.

But what is it that specifically made me want to come to Barcelona? Well… merely this incomplete basilica…

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The Sagrada Familia

Full name: Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família. Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family. The full name is a handful to pronounce and to write, so this church is more commonly known as The Sagrada Familia.

This is currently the blog post that has the largest picture count in my blog so far. I have another 49 (originally 70). I’ve tested by loading the page on my phone, loading the full page eats up about 10MB of data. So I’m hiding the rest of the post. If you are reading using your smartphone/iPad and using 10MB of data is a concern for you, you should go somewhere with wifi or go look for a computer or… I don’t know, skip this post?

Otherwise, proceed…



  1. This is a great post giving us such a detailed tour of the Sagrada Familia! I don’t feel so left out now that I won’t get to see it. 😛

    And man, I don’t know why but everytime someone complains about the behavior of Chinese tourists, I feel like I must apologize on their behalf, even though I’m not one of them! When I see them, I walk far away so no one thinks I’m part of them. :/

    • Why not? Regardless of how your plan changes, or if you are traveling solo or not, there’s no reason to not be able to go to Barcelona if you want to, right? 🙄

      At least you are one of those who acknowledges this “problem” rather than accuse others of misrepresentation. I’m not any better compared to you in such situations, I’m also Chinese, remember? I’ll try to stay away from all the chaos as best as I can.

      I just hope with time, these travelers would learn the concept of “manners” and “you’re not the center of the universe”. 五千年文化 Five thousand years of culture, and that’s how some of them behave, that’s a total disgrace to our ancestors 🙄 ..

  2. I’m glad you liked it! Did you know that the construction has advanced a lot in the last few years, thanks to all the tourists and their entrance money? The construction does not receive any money from the government, only from tourists and donations from believers.

    I went there in 2000 or 2001 and a big chunk of the ceiling was still unfinished, and also the back part if I remember correctly. Also, there was no elevator to the towers! I climbed aaaaaall the stairs, haha. And when I got to the top I found out my camera was out of film 😀

    • The lift was that new?? Phew!! Lucky me! I thought it had been there for 10 or 20 years! 😀 😀

  3. Sounds like a full on morning at the basilica. Really, people would stop up there in the towers and take selfies? From the looks of it, the lighting might be quite bad unless you are near the balcony areas 🙄

    So rude, those Chinese tourists. Monkey see, monkey do. It really is too bad but as you mentioned in the above comments, who knows what they could have done to you if you protested. Maybe if you spoke to them in Chinese explaining the situation it might have helped…

    • Of course they would, any opening and balcony up here are prime for selfies! 🙄

      Nah, if they are capable of shoving you aside and thought it was the right thing to do, don’t think there is any point reasoning with them…

  4. Here is it!! On your previous post about Barcelona, I was like why all food and no Sagrada one? Haha, sorry ya! Big fan of Sagrada here, that’s the reason why I MUST visit Barcelona once in my entire life.

    • Hahaha, patience. I already said I will only write proper posts after I come back to Malaysia. I can’t write a proper Sagrada Familia post in my hotel room in hunchback position >.< ...

  5. what a long looooonggg post here…Ok, I’l find time to read it later..I jst roughly browsed thru the pics and read the bonus story – about some bad-ass china tourists. They are everywhere. I encountered them before too. And well, there are some video showing them being ‘hungry ghosts’ in BKK. These super-kiasu people are such a disgrace to their country.

    • I feel bad for specifically pointing them out as Chinese. But I’m someone who prefers to call a spade a spade. If we do not discuss this candidly and instead hide behind big words like “don’t generalize”, “racist” etc, things like this would never be resolved. Some of these newly minted nouveau riche from China are really… sigh…

  6. i just lepak outside and took some photos without going into this architectural wonder!! if i ever go to Barcelona again, i would definitely like to go in and have a look…

    • This is just my personal opinion, but The Sagrada Familia is one of those rare cases where it is worth paying to go inside. 😉

  7. I wondered why you wanted to see this basilica and after looking at your photos and reading your post, I can totally understand why! It’s so awesome and it must have been exhilarating to be there in person to witness with your own eyes.

    • I wonder what it will be like in 10 years’ time, when the whole thing is complete. There would be 6 new towers and another facade to see… 🙄

  8. 1) As a non-Christian, I was surprised to read that this is the single most important reason why you wanted to visit Barcelona. I guess it’s the awesome architecture that attracted you.

    2) Anyway, thanks for the detailed tour of this large Roman Catholic church for those of us who can’t get to go.

    3) I only know them as stained glass windows too.

    4) The place is filled with tourists all the time, how could someone scribble on the wall without being seen? They should throw these people out.

    5) You’re big-sized wor…how could they physically push you away ;D I would have stood my ground.

    Thanks again. I think I’ll probably enjoy this post of your trip the most.

    • 1. It was 100% the architecture and nothing to do with religion hahaha! 😀

      2. What you mean can’t get to go? Just buy the tickets and go! 😀 😀

      3. Hmm… guess that’s it then. I always thought there’s a one-word name for the windows. 🙄

      4. I have no idea how came those scribbling. But we did not have any escort or tour guides while on the towers. I guess other tourists who saw those blasphemous acts just opted to keep quiet and not single out the culprit(s)…

      5. I could’ve stood my ground, but that would be counterproductive as it might trigger worse reactions from them. 🙄

      You should get on the plane and go visit for real. If not now then maybe 2026 when they do their grand opening…

  9. Fuiyoh, got open sesame & close sesame wei !! Reminds me of SK for a moment when I see stuffs like this, haha.. When I scroll until your wooden structure, I was laughing so loud, yup, you are right, I don’t know what is that too.. Oh dear, I was reading on your coin machine, and I can relate.. They pushed you aside when you’re not done yet, and hog the machine “chup chup” instead of letting others use first, eeewwwww, potong stim, benci ahh !!

    • Not all China Chinese lah… got some are quite civilized too. But got some really… make me speechless. Sometimes I even run far away from them, lest the Spanish locals think I am one of them. 🙁

  10. Imagine you visit this place and they play Gregorian songs in the background, will it make the visit more awesome? I like Gregorian songs

        • Hahaha, in my vocab, they’re the same. Just like Buddhist chant inspired pop songs are Buddhist songs to me. Inspiring you to be “at peace” or “enlightened” (which in my vocab means “religious”)… I’m not saying these songs are bad, I do enjoy a good song regardless of what genre they are, if they happen to make it to my ears. Just trying to call a spade a spade here… 🙄

  11. The Nativity Towers is very unique, impressive and awesome! My friends joined tours to visit but they did not have time to go up like you. I find the architecture so unique that I do not know how to judge it. Lol

    I will visit this place when I go to Barcelona someday…..

    • If those packaged tours, they usually take the basic ticket, so no surprise with having no time to go up. They’d rather you spend more time shopping than them paying extra for tickets for you to go up. 🙄

  12. Thank you for the detailed guide to Sagrada Familia. Now if I don’t get to go also ok because I have seen it through your photos.

    Thanks also for the warning. You have saved many people their data plan quota on their hp.

    1. Are you looking for the term “stained glass window” for the coloured glass window?

    2. You culled 21 photos and only show us 49 of 70 photos (I counted 48 so many I missed one) so what photos did you not show us?

    3. The phrase translated into many languages is “Give us this day our daily bread” from the Lord’s prayer?

    4. Lucky that you went to the toilet or else you would have missed the museum. The audio guide never mention the museum?

    5. Was there a long queue at the toilet? Need to pay extra to use the toilet or not?

    6. For that photo where you were not shooting at that wooden structure – what were you aiming at? The lady? Why?

    7. No photos to show us how your souvenir coin looks like?

    8. How did they push you away? You mean literally man handled you and gave you a shove? You should just tell them off and say that you are not done yet and proceed to get all your coin souvenirs.

    9. How many steps did you walk down the stairs?

    Thanks again. Reading your post is like having gone to Sagrada Familia. Very enjoyable reading.

    • 1. Stained glass window is the correct term? I thought there’s an even more church specific, one word name for those windows. No?

      2. No worries, I took away photos that shows the audio guide, different angles of the Nativity Facade and the Nativity Towers, and mostly the museum exhibits which made no sense to me for me to write much about…

      3. Bingo!

      4. Not that I heard of. Although when I was done with the Passion Facade, I kind of dropped the audio guide back into their return box. Maybe if I held on to it when I went to the toilet, I might hear something once I got into proximity. (But they place the return box just outside the Passion Facade door, so who would know??)

      5. Toilet FOC. I mean already included in the entrance ticket 🙄 . As usual, there’s a long queue… at the ladies’.

      6. Because I thought she looks pretty? And I like her “look, what’s that?” look. 🙄

      7. I gave it to someone else already… now that you mentioned, should’ve gotten a picture first arghhhh…

      8. They just came and knocked me aside with their body, and acted as if nothing happened. They were a group of 5, so who knows what might have happened if I say or do anything that might piss them off. You know they are notorious, right? I am a highly principled man, my principle is “avoid troubles at all costs”.

      9. Who counts the number of steps?? @.@

        • 1. Right? I vaguely recall hearing about church windows as something that is not [stained glass windows], but I couldn’t recall anything now. Maybe my memory is playing tricks with me. 🙄

          7. Aiya, next time lah, maybe one of those 1P100W posts in the future…

          8. Exactly!

          9. Not that I noticed lah. But then I also did not notice any museum entrance, so… 🙄

    • Aiyo, you don’t have Sleamyx or Unipie at home one ar? Susah lah… Kids nowadays need internet to “study” and “do homework” one leh! Time to get a bigger plan 😉 …

    • I don’t travel that much also nowadays, so I cannot answer that question effectively. But I guess, depends on my mood. 🙄

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