First Days of the Trip:     The Cathedral, Kokua

Friday May 8th, The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia

The best known church in Barcelona is undoubtedly Gaudi's Sagrada Familia. But the oldest church is Barcelona's Gothic Catherdral, The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia also know as La Seu. The Catherdral was built in the 13th to 15th centuries with a new facade added in the 1800's. "The Cathedral is dedicated to Eulalia of Barcelona, co-patron saint of Barcelona, a young virgin who, according to Catholic tradition, suffered martyrdom during Roman times in the city. One story says that she was exposed naked in the public square and a miraculous snowfall in mid-spring covered her nudity. The enraged Romans put her into a barrel with knives stuck into it and rolled it down a street (according to tradition, the one now called Baixada de Santa EulÓlia). The body of Saint Eulalia is entombed in the cathedral's crypt"* (*Wikipedia).

From the inside, I found the Cathedral not much to look at. However a cloister of the Cathedral is said to be one of the most peaceful places in the city. And in that cloister is an area where 13 geese are always kept, one for each year in the life of Eulalia.

The crypt of St. Eulalia

Thirteen Geese for Eulalia

We paid two euros to ride the Cathedral's elevator to the roof. Where the euro used to be worth about $1.40, it is now only $1.13. Not only is the exchange rate lovely for us, but prices here in Barcelona seems quite low. Sueann and I are in euro heaven.

We left the Cathedral and strolled along the narrow streets of the Barri Gotic, the old city of Barcelona. As we walked we casually looked into the shop windows that we passed. Suddenly I was taken by a beautiful display of ... of shoes.

The whole shop was exquisite! The shoes, their shape and colors and their arrangment on the tables and walls.

Once I saw the name, Kokua, I was sure this was an Asian company. But no, the company is Barcelonian, the shoes are made in Barcelona and the leather is Spanish.

Sueann looked up Kokua in a Spanish-English dictionary. The number of Spanish words beginning with "K" was incredibly small. The K's took up a small fraction of a single dictionary page. "Kokua" was not there. Even though there aren't many Spanish words beginning with K, we have noticed many shops and products that do so. Maybe just to stand out?

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