Published: May 30th 2011May 11th 2011
Well, what to say about Barcelona? Our first impressions were "Wow" and it just got better from there on in!
We stayed at the Catalonia Albeniz
hotel near to Clot metro station. Although it was a short distance out of town, it suited our needs perfectly.
Our first evening in the city was spent with friends on their rooftop terrace near the Ramblas part of town. It was a great evening which ended up in a tapas bar with delicious chorizo and wonderful Rioja wine!! Thanks to Jean and Kelly for your hospitality.
The next day we set out to explore the city on foot. Barcelona is a great place for walking and we exhausted ourselves by wandering all day. We began with the closest attraction to our hotel, Gaudi's Sagrada Familia
. This weird collection of surreal architecture is still not finished, even 85 years after the architect's death! It is a must-see even if you don't particularly like his style!! The crowds were awful though, and we didn't even think about going inside. It must be wonderful to live in the city and be able to choose your times when the tourists are not there.
then wandered aimlessly around but going in the vague direction of the marina. That took us past the "Arc de Triumph" and down to the gardens surrounding the zoo. The weather was fantastic! Next up was the modern Estacion Franca train station. Ok, so we only nipped in for the toilets but it was worth the visit!!!
The marina area of Barcelona was unbelievably busy, but that seemed to be the city in general. We loved the old customs house and the statue of Christopher Columbus, but the modern shopping centre was equally impressive. See how easily impressed we are!! Then it was time to hold on to our wallets and make our way up the Ramblas avoiding the pickpockets along the way. Actually, we had no problems, nor did we ever feel threatened.
That evening we were back in the centre joining in the huge street party around Plaza Catalunya to celebrate Barcelona winning the Spanish football league championship. It was amazing to see half the city out rejoicing and we really felt part of the festivities. Trish has a souvenier too, a scar on her leg after being hit by a firecracker!! She's ok though!!!
There are more photos below