Interesting Facts about La Sagrada Familia Church

La Sagrada Familia Church or Cathedral in Barcelona Spain is such an amazing place to visit, and as I have been fortunate enough to do so, I would like to share some interesting facts about this World Heritage Site. I hope it inspires you to one day want to visit, La Sagrada Familia of Barcelona.

la Sagrada Familia Church
la Sagrada Familia Church

My visit to the Sagrada Familia was such an experience, that I was eager to learn about the magnificent structure. I have since discovered more about the history of the Cathedral including why it was built and what Gaudi was trying to achieve. The tireless dedication that Gaudi gave to the project would eventually lead to his unfortunate death, which is a sad story in itself.

I found out about the incredible skills that Gaudi had for the design and construction of the Cathedral. Now I am not usually so interested in architecture but in this case, I think you will be surprised and intrigued. I found out a little about how this Cathedral has been constructed over the course of three centuries. Are you curious about how Gaudi managed to design and build it as far as he did without the technology that we have at our disposal today.? There are some interesting techniques that he used that are so basic that it may surprise you.

The building of the Cathedral and use of interesting construction methods is one thing but seeing how Gaudi had managed to display the spirit and soul of La Sagrada Familia is astonishing. Gaudi has been able to incorporate so many features into the project and still keep the integrity and the purpose of the church, which is to display his love of nature and his love of God.

La Sagrada Familia History

The construction of the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia was started on 18 March 1982 by architect Francisco de Paula del Villar, but after only 1 year he resigned. Gaudi then took over and he was able to make the project his own. He continued to work not stop on the Roman Catholic Cathedral until his untimely death at aged 73 yrs in 1926. At this time, not even a quarter of the building had been completed. This demonstrates the generations of builders and architects that have been involved in bringing this Cathedral together, and it’s not over yet

la Sagrad Familia Church nativity facade
la Sagrada Familia Church nativity facade

The construction continues to this day with the aim of completing the project, by 2026, the 100-year anniversary of the death of Gaudi. Unfortunately during the Spanish Civil War in 1936 there was such unrest, that dissidents caused damage to the Cathedral and even worse, was the destruction of Gaudi’s plans and designs. The project was delayed until the 1950s when the designs were able to be re created and the project was restarted.

The funding was initially covered by donations alone which meant that the construction did not go smoothly, but now the funding comes from the constant stream of 4.5 million tourists who flow through the Basilica each year. This will also help to pay the outstanding amount of 41 million Euros that is owed to the City of Barcelona, for building permits that were never paid for during construction.

This money will also help the transport and roading systems around the Cathedral to be upgraded to carry the never ending throngs of people who come to see the Sagrada Familia. It is good to see that the tourists that flock to see the Sagrada Familia are not only enjoying the experience of seeing and learning about the cathedral but they are paying for the completion so it is the perfect arrangement.

La Sagrada Familia will consist of 18 spires when completed. There will be 12 dedicated to the Apostles, 4 to the Evangelists, one to the Virgin Mary and the highest center spire at 170 meters will be dedicated to Jesus.

On 7th November 2010 Pope Benedict XVI consecrated the church and the alter of the Sagrada Familia.

If you would like to learn more about La Sagrada Familia then you can check it out here. 

La Sagrada Familia Facts

If you don’t want to wait until 2026 to see what the Sagrada Familia will look like when finished. you can watch this very clever computer visualization of the completion of the Sagrada Familia



You may wonder how Gaudi managed to create such an amazing designs and how he constructed the Cathedral without all the computer technology that we have today. Gaudi used basic concepts such as the strength of arches. Gaudi used string to get exact perpendicular lines, and also built the arches’ and curves by hanging string or ropes that he then turned the dimensions up side down. Gaudi was able to create perfect arches’ which are strong enough to hold the vast amounts of weight in the sand stone that is still used today, to complete the build.

la Sagrada Familia Interior roof
la Sagrada Familia Interior roof

Gaudi had a famous quote, that was, “If you want originality then you have to go back to the origin” Gaudi used his great vision to create pillars that resembled palm trees and rib cages. He used the perfect dimensions of nature in his architecture to not only create strength but unbelievable beauty in his designs.

Gaudi did not create very many plans fr his work but preferred to make 3D models and then building on them as things progressed. That is why it was such a tragedy when his models were smashed during the Spanish Civil War.

Antoni Gaudi Facts

Gaudi was born in 1852 and spent a lot of his time in the country side enjoying nature, and this is evident in his works. Gaudi did not enjoy good health and after seeking advice from his Doctor he became a strict vegetarian and followed fasting for long periods of time, sometimes to the detriment of his health.

When Gaudi finally finished his studies and was presented with his Certification as an Architect, he was told by the director of the Barcelona Architect school, ” We have given this academic title either to a fool or to a genius” As it

Park Guell Gaudi House
Park Guell Gaudi House

turned out, it was the latter.

While Gaudi was working on his early projects he was commissioned by a wealthy industrialist, Eusebi Guell, and completed various projects including, the Guell Wine Cellars, the Guell Pavilions, the church of the Colonia Guell, and the well-known and popular attraction Park Guell.

Park Guell was to be an upmarket subdivision for the rich and famous of Barcelona. It is set among park like grounds and has individually designed houses displaying the unique architecture that Gaudi is well-known for. Unfortunately this new subdivision within Barcelona failed to sell any more than one or two houses. The reason for this is that the wealthy families of Barcelona wanted to display their exorbitant wealth and the Park Guell was too far out of town for this ostentatious display to have the desired effect.

Gaudi was badly affected by the death of family members, friends and colleagues and Gaudi stated, “All my good friends are dead; I have no Family and no clients, no fortune, nor anything. Now I can dedicate myself entirely to the Church.”

Gaudi was intensely devoted to God and did not veer away from the project. He did not seem to worry that it would not be completed in his lifetime and when it was pointed out to him that the project would be ongoing for so long, he said, “My client is not in a hurry”

Gaudi was so dedicated to the design and build of the Cathedral that he eventually moved into the workshop a few months before his death in 1926. Gaudi was hit by a tram whilst crossing the road, and the story goes that he decided that the tram should give way to him but this was not to be the case. Because he had been working tirelessly on the cathedral his appearance was a bit disheveled and unkempt. Gaudi was not recognized at the time of the accident, so he was taken to the poor person’s hospital where he did not receive the full care that he might have if he had been recognized. He therefore did not survive the incident and passed away much to the distress of his beloved fans. Gaudi was honored with a large funeral service.

The buildings and creations that were designed and inspired by Gaudi are enjoyed by many visitors to Barcelona each year, including the amazing Sagrada Familia. I hope you can go and enjoy the experience of wandering around inside the Cathedral and seeing the brilliant creations on this iconic, World Heritage Building.

la Sagrada Familia Cathedral Church interior
la Sagrada Familia Church Cathedral


If you are interested in Barcelona, then you will almost certainly enjoy what San Sebastian has to offer. You can get there by taking an enjoyable train ride across to the West Coast of Spain into the Basque Country. You can go straight to my post about my visit here.


Solo Travel Tours Women over 50 Can Enjoy

As we get older our situations and therefore our options in life change. We may have more time and money whilst at the same time be held back by some physical limitations. Travel can broaden your horizons and  open up new opportunities to visit exciting places and meet interesting people.

If you like the idea if some adventure or just want to experience something different then you are at the right place, because I have some good ideas and advice for solo travel tours women over 50 can enjoy.

I will outline a few tips and ideas that will help in your planning some travel single senior women can enjoy.

I am also going to give you some ideas for travel packages seniors can go on.

I will also give you some specific ideas on Adventure travel, Solo travel groups women can join,  and ideas on solo traveling for senior women.

Planning solo travel for senior women.

Now being over 50 does not necessarily put you in the senior category and it has been said that 50 is the new 40, or is it that 50 is the new 30 and 60 is the new 40. Anyway that is just a subjective point of view and as long as the end result is that you can experience as much as you can in life because you only have one, and none of us are getting out of this life, alive.

Your age may just be a number and you perhaps you still feel as fit and agile as you did when you were younger. Maybe you are starting to get a bit creaky and slower moving and have to remind yourself to take care as you move around, especially when you are away from your normal environment and your home base.

I appreciate you taking the time reading this and I want to give you some travel ideas that will suit all of you as senior women traveling solo. Although I like the ideas of minimilistic travel ideas to reduce stress, you do need to do a certain amout of planning to make the best of your itinerary and travel activities. If you fail to plan then you plan to fail – so they say.

  How to plan for Travel as an Older Solo Women

When you are planning your travel this may reflect your everyday situation. You may just be traveling alone, but not necessarily be alone on a daily basis. Maybe you have someone supporting and helping you on a daily basis,  so the thought of traveling alone might be daunting. I have written about ways to help with this  If this is the case then you might be slightly out of your comfort zone but there is no reason to stress about this. Just methodically go through and plan your trip and your itinerary. Based on this you will then know where to start.

Do some research on where you are going and what the weather and season will be there. That will give you a basis on what to start packing. Even if your destination is a hot desert Island in the middle of summer I suggest that you pack a layered item or two. Even if you don’t need it at your destination you may need it on the plane as they can get very cold sometimes. You might like to check out my post on Tips for Woman’s Travel Clothing for some more ideas.

If you plan and pack your items in categories, such as, clothing and shoes, documents, electronics and phone, and then your money. Don’t forget your compression socks. Lastly plan any accessories and random items that you may need, such as healthy snacks and a water bottle. This may save you a lot of money and help you to avoid eating too much airport food.

Try and think about your usual routines and plan your packing around them. You will feel more comfortable eating your normal foods especially if you have a particular diet such as gluten free.

Medication is an important component of course but you also need to think about taking extra incase your trip is delayed. Another useful document to have is a letter from your doctor outlining your medication. This can be helpful at airline check in but also if you need it to double as a prescription which is what happened to me in Spain. I was surprised but I was able to buy medication over the counter at a pharmacy just by using my doctor’s letter.

Write out your list of items to pack based on the categories that I have mentioned. This will help you not to forget items

Senior Solo Travel Tours for you

Traveling as a solo women does not by any means being alone. There is a plethora of Solo Travel groups for solo women and even older solo women. You choices can be based on the type of travel that you choose to do. If you are fit and want to maybe climb Mount Kinabalu or hike Machu Picchu.   

If Machu Picchu is one of your bucket list for travel then you will need to do some extensive research before you go.The logistics of getting to Machu Picchu are quite callenging but not impossible. You will just need to allow adequate time and plan quite a long time ahead. Here are some things that you will need to consider

  • Book as far ahead as you can due to the popularity of the site and therefore the requirement to book ahead to avoid missing out.
  •  Take into account the time of the year. The rainy season is from October to April, although the weather can be unpredicable at any time.
  • The peak season is July to August so don’t expect to beat any crowds during this time.
  • Allow sufficient time to acclimatize to the altitude. This is not a trip that you can just arrive and visit and then leave again, especially if you want to get the most out of it.

You might like the idea of just traveling without too much of a set itinerary and then join short tours for the day or a couple of days. This is a good way to see local areas and get some insight and history from a local expert.

Some of the organised or guided tour options are:

  • Fully guided tour with tour guide and accommodation and meals organised and included in the whole deal.
  • Self Guided tours may include the transport and accommodation and are usually less structured and allow for more flexibility.
  • Adventure tours are usuall specific types of sports or activities such as cycling, motorcycling, skiing, or kayaking. They organise the activities and usually the transport and accommodation.
  • Walking tours can be anything from a guided tour of the el Camino de Santiago in Spain for days or weeks, to a 2 hour walking history tour in your favorite city
  • Bus tours can take you across countries and continents or across town on a hop on hop off bus tour.
  • Special interest such and cooking or art classes are a good way to meet new friends.

You will need to do your research for each type of tour that you want to participate in. Make sure you book well ahead because the orgaised tours are often booked out well ahead of time.This lead in time will also give you a chance to plan and save which will be helpful especially if you are on a tight budget.

Solo Travel Tours Women can Join

When you travel solo then you get the chance to make it all about you. How about you go on a retreat where you are taken care of and pampered a little bit. This doesnt have to be expensive and in fact there are some excellent retreat tours that you can join.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Wholelistic retreat in Mexico or India
  • Hire a Canal boat in the Uk or Europe.
  • Cycle tour in New Zealand
  • Hiking in New Zealand
  • Go trecking in Moroccco
  • Take a train tour through Italy and Switzerland

Once you focus on a theme based on your interests then it gives you a base to start planning you next travel adventure. Just go and enjoy. 



About Me.

Hello and welcome to my Go you girl website I am Karen and I live in New Zealand.

Over the last 30 or so years I have been fortunate enough to have experienced travelling to various countries whenever I have had the chance to go.

Because New Zealand is such a long way away from most places in the world we are known for our passion for travelling, and a lot of young Kiwi’s have done the big OE (Overseas Experience) I was lucky enough to spend time with my daughter several years ago when she worked in London which opened up the gateway to Europe.

I managed to get to the Grand Canyon and although it was shielded by for it lifted long enough to have an amazing view of the Canyon.

View of Grand Canyon
View of Grand Canyon

A little about my Travel Experience

During my many years of travel I have been to more than a dozen countries. I  recently had some amazing trips to the USA and Europe and met some wonderful people and have seen some magnificent places. Some of this was by myself and sometimes I was with a friend.

Most of my travel has been not of the intrepid kind, although several years ago I climbed Mount Kinabalu, which was a mission in itself.I have been tramping and looking for elephants, in the Malaysian Jungle and been eaten by leaches. I love travelling without too much of a plan and like to arrange accommodation spontaneously – on the day. Sometimes this is not possible but during a trip through Spain and Portugal a few years ago it made it fun and exciting, and a little like a mystery tour.

As a keen motorcyclist, a lot of my travel incorporates or includes motorcycles. I recently attended a record-breaking Women’s motorcycle ride in Topeka Kansas, USA. Along with 761 other women motorcyclists we broke the USA record for the most women motorcyclists in one place. It was fun to include an interest like this in my travels as it was a great way to meet other like-minded people.

Visiting New Orleans would be one of the highlights and if you get a chance to go there it is a wonderful experience. Try to make it to the Mardi Gras.  You won’t be disappointed.

Church in New Orleans with shadow of Christ
Solo Women Travel New Orleans

How can I help?

I have  recently had a few experiences and made a few mistakes which left me thinking that I could have planned things better.I  had things stolen and lost things due to not being in tune with what I was doing and by being distracted by other people.I have seen other travelers getting stressed with things that happen that could have been planned and dealt with better.  

I have previously been in an occupation that cares for people and helps them deal with problems and issues in their lives. It seems to be a natural transition to carry on and help people with problems, and to give advice to help them on a day to day basis. I seem to have a problem solving mentality and without being a know -it-all I like to help people.

As I go through life, I don’t profess to know it all but I am keen to help people from repeating mistakes that either I have  made or seen other people make. Whilst I have been travelling I have been in situations that could have caused me a lot of stress, but by stopping and thinking about it I realize that, I am OK. I am not bleeding. I am still standing upright. So therefore I am a lot better off than a lot of people and I just work through the issue – like the time the taxi driver drove off with my laptop in the car at the Delhi Airport. That story can wait for another time.

Mount Cook New Zealand through a lead light window
Mount Cook New Zealand

Sometimes we need to state the obvious.

I just wanted to give you some information that might help you to plan things better and to be aware of things that might help you with your travel plans. Sometimes it might be like telling you how to “suck eggs” (but really how many people know how to do that).

It is interesting as you go through life, how many times you know things that you just assume that other people know as well. I noticed this on my last trip. There were things that I didn’t know that I found out, like new technology ideas, and also things that I was able to help and advise other people with.

Even just having access to reminders and ideas to check over before we venture out there on the next trip is useful. I am sure I don’t know it all so hopefully there can be comments and ideas added to this website, that will then benefit everyone.

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,


Palm trees with sunrise behind
LA Sunrise