Escape to Barcelona

Sitting in Sant Carles last weekend it felt decidely like we were entering a new phase of our journey as we planned the details of our itinerary for the next few months, started to prepare for the ARC in November and to think about things we will need in the Pacific next year. The last six weeks have been great, a bit like, dare I say it (Penny and Stephen), an extended holiday, cruising with our friends around the Baleric islands. But in the next six weeks we have some serious organising and sailing to get through.

After a couple of days cleaning and sorting, Raya was taken out of the water on Monday. We are having the hull painted, three coats of anti-foul which we hope will get us through until we reach New Zealand in about a years time.

 We can live on board while she is out of the water but we have no drainage and little privacy as the guys from the boatyard work around us, so just to extend that holiday feeling a bit longer we have been in Barcelona for a couple of days. It became apparent soon after starting to write this blog that I would need to increase my stock of adjectives and this post as I attempt to describe Gaudi’s incredible buildings has brought on an adjective crisis.

The jewel in the crown is the Sagrada Familia, his magnificent cathedral. The outside is a chaotic tussle of religious symbolism and Art Deco style images from nature, with a sprinkling of fruit basket. It is one of those things in life that truely needs to be seen to be believed, photos really don’t do it justice. Started in 1883 by Gaudi it is still unfinished, so to add to the eclectic mix of the view, there are two cranes towering above it as they continue construction to Gaudi’s design.


We entered, expecting similar eccentricity on the interior. We walked through the huge doors carved with an intricate ivy pattern which was interspersed with insects crawling out from beneath the leaves, into the amazing interior. But inside it looks not eccentric but futuristic despite being designed over a hundred years ago. We stared in awe at the sleek columns, almost alien in style and scale, that fly up to the stunning ceiling. The sun glowed through the stain glass windows, no bible scenes here, the windows are filled with geometric pieces of multicolored glass, starting one side with reds and yellows gradually running to greens and blue. In fact to me it didn’t have the feel of a religious space, even with its beautiful alter and cathedral like proportions, it felt more like We were standing in a glorious work of art. 


That evening we had a very different but equally enjoyable moment when exploring around the Gothic Quarter, just minutes from our hotel. We walked into a small courtyard on the edge of Barcelona’s other, more traditional, Cathedral, to find a busker playing hauntingly on his Spanish guitar. The high walls that completely surrounded us seemed to enhance the acoustics and we sat on a wall seat captivated by the magical sound and the atmosphere it created.

We are now on the train back to Marina Sant Carles, with tired feet but culturally topped up, hoping that the work on the hull has gone well in our absence and we can put Raya back into the water tomorrow.

5 thoughts on “Escape to Barcelona

  1. Obviously your first time in Barca – it is stunning , did you get to Parc De Guell, equally as great as the cathedral . I loved the old cathedral too, did you see the ducks ) or was it geese ) that live there ?
    Although Barca is great I preferred Madrid but don’t think Raya would get there! ⛵️

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  2. Well done Roz..your description is ALMOST as good as having gone there! I remember you and I looked at the q s of people snaking 180 degrees around the building when we were in Barcelona for the day and shaking our heads to it, preferring instead to visit the house he designed….so many treasures, so little time to view! I m sure you ll get back to boat routine over the next day or so and will continue experiencing a treasure trove of anchorages…must say I miss them and you guys. Take care xx

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