Published: July 29th 2012July 12th 2012
Barcelona's copy of the Big gherkin (called the Big Dick here). Sagrada Familia to the right of that.
When we arrived in Barcelona, we were met by Monica who is an old friend from Lismore. She took us up to a great lookout to look over the city and surprised us by having some cold beers waiting in the back of the car! We sat and chatted for a couple of hours, admiring the view (and Chris checking out all the mountain bikes going past), and then she dropped us at the train station so we could make our way to our next host. Our host (Mark an ex pat Aussie) and his partner (Marlene) and son (Lucas) live in the hills behind Barcelona. It's a great location - quiet, next to a lot of forest, and not that far from the city (reminded us of our place back in Hobart).
The next morning we caught a train into the city, and went to check out Sagrada Familia which is a huge church originally designed by Gaudi and so far taking over 100 years to complete. It’s quite amazing – huge, colourful and awe inspiring. It’s designed to fit 13000 people and will have a 130m high tower in the centre when it’s done. There is the most
Nena and Monica
Chilling with a brew and admiring the view (yeay it rhymes!)
beautiful stained-glass windows inside which are done in a symbolic style rather than the stock standard pics of old guys with halos. When we got there there was a queue to get in which went almost the entire way around the (huge) block. We decided to leave it for another time and went to check out the La Pedrera which is another Gaudi design. It’s a very curvy building that reminded Chris of the old Magic Mountain in Glenelg in Adelaide. It was very expensive to get in so instead we had a look at the shop which had lots of books on his works and an inside view of what you could see inside. We were pretty hungry so we found a Japanese buffet restaurant a few blocks away and pigged out there (possibly getting mild food-poisoning in the process – ah the buffet!).
After lunch we spent the afternoon wandering vaguely around the old town of Barcelona including the cathedral (?) before meeting up with Monica and a few of her friends for an introduction to wining and dining Barcelona style (tapas, sangria, churos and small dodgy bars).
On our second day in Barcelona we went
to Park Guell which features a lot of features designed by Gaudi and is a pleasant garden to spend a few hours walking around. We went downtown again, ate some lunch, and then went to the Palau de la Musica Catalana which is yet another Gaudi creation (yeah, he’s pretty popular here!). Unfortunately we were too late for the last tour, so only got to appreciate the outside and the Foyer. We grabbed a bottle of wine and some cheese and went back to Mark’s house where he was hosting a farewell party (him and his family are moving to Australia in a few days!). We met an interesting mix of people and had fun tasting some different foods and drinks.
The next day we were due to leave but we wanted to see Sagrada Familia before we left. We realied you could buy tickets online and thereby completely skip the queue. Mark let us print them out and after saying our goodbyes we caught the train in to check out the church. Yeah.. it was worth the hassle (and the expense). A stunning building to say the least. Check the photos.
There are more photos below