The line to visit the interior stretched around the block to the opposite side of the building and it was 9 :30 in the morning. I couldn't find a place to stand without a tour bus or a traffic light in the foregroound.
The older portions of the Familia Sagrada have a darker patina compared to the new stone and you can easily see the newer construction. In reality, it's unfair to compare my recent visit with the visit in 1972, it being enveloped in a cloud of haze, but I don't remember the crowds or the scaffolding as being objectionable.
We wandered along the Las Ramblas where performance art was going on. This lady I first mistook for a sculpture, but her blinking eyes gave her away. I took her picture just as some comedians were putting the devil's horns over her head. I missed the photo by barely a second.
The immense and bustling Mercat de la Boqueria along the Las Ramblas had a fish stall and a dish of fresh octopus was sitting on the counter. I took this photograph for Madeleine, who was squeamish about eating snails a few weeks ago. What about eating this, Mimi? Does it set your tastebuds on fire?
Speaking of seafood, last night at dinner we went to a nearby Neapolitan restaurant. I ordered "pasta with fruits of the sea". I was expecting a plate of pasta with some clams, mussels and a shrimp or two. I recieved this fabulous surprise; delicious pasta with a flavorful sauce, two of the largest shrimp I've ever seen, clams, mussels and a whole crab. I have to confess, being a boy from the landlocked Rocky Mountains, I never learned how to eat crab unless it comes in a plastic package. It was a struggle and I'm sure most of the delicacies were still on the plate when the waiter took it away, but "OH MY" was it good.
The "fruits of the sea" almost made me forget that I had been pickpocketed the day before on the Metro. We were aware it is a serious problem in Barcelona, and I unloaded almost everything I could from my wallet and left it in Leran. I lost two credit cards, ten euros, my driver's license and a filthy fifteen year old wallet. In what I thought was a smart move, I had shifted my wallet from my back pocket to front pocket. I guess they were smarter. It's a small price to pay for the freedom of being able to walk around Barcelona knowing that there is nothing further they can take from me. While filling out the police report later that day, we talked with some Brits who had also been victimized by thieves. On their first day in Barcelona on a three-week vacation, their motor home was broken into and driven off. They lost not only their money and credit cards but inside the vehicle was their precious dog. I felt lucky.