Edit Blog Post
Published: September 4th 2010
Tuesday, 24 August, 2010 - Barcelona
There's now only the four Russell-ites left, Stephen, Sue, Kathy and myself. Although we are up reasonably early we take our time, have breakfast and walk to the train station. It's a 30-40 minute train ride into Placa Catalunya in the city. Our plan is to get a two day pass on the tourist bus which we achieve immediately on leaving the Metro Station. It's about 30C and the sun is shining fiercely; we climb the stairs to the top deck and plug in our earphones.. These buses are great and I have taken them in many cities in the world and at 22 Euro I think that this is a bargain. In fact, there are three routes you can take and by the end of the two days we have only managed two of them.
You can't go anywhere in Barcelona without hearing about Antoni Gaudi and we are quickly viewing his apartment from the top of the bus. While the cathedral is his crowning glory there are several other buildings designed by this renegade architect. His designs are heavily reliant on nature and while traditional architect designs are angular, Gaudi is
all curves. Anyway, our cameras seek out anything that looks different and it's a continual click, click, click. The bus-ride takes about 2-3 hours and then my stomach tells me that it is time for lunch, so we take a walk down the Ramblas looking for a suitable restaurant. When I say suitable, I mean reasonably priced, and there are lots of these.
We have been warned about Barcelona and several people have told us to be careful of our belongings and to watch out for pick-pockets. Thankfully, we don't have any problems during our 3 days, but perhaps that is because we are “aware”. La Rambla runs from Placa Catalunya to the waterfront and is full of stalls, street artists, mimes and tourists. The sides have many restaurants, but our lonely planet guide suggests that we pick a restaurant in a side street to eat in. This we do, and have a very nice three course lunch for 10 Euro. We continue down the La Rambla to the Ocean and then take the lift to the top of the Christopher Columbus statue for a sweeping view of this wonderful city.
The time is around 6.00pm, so it's
back up the La Rambla towards Placa Catalunya, however we do a side-trip to Sants Estacio to plan our exit strategies from Barcelona. This done, it's back to Sant Cugat for a swim and dinner. Kathy has continued in her role as cook and for this, I must thank her. Wednesday, 25 August, 2010
We all rise at around 8.00 am, have breakfast and then take the 15 minute walk to the rail station. Today, we are taking the blue route bus and our main goal is to tour Gaudi's, Segrada Familia. This is Gaudi's cathedral which is still being built after being started over 70 years ago. Antoni Gaudi was killed in the 1926 by a tram and his crowning glory is still under construction today. There is a projected completion date of 2026, but my own personal feeling is that this will come and go. The construction is being funded by anonymous donations and the profits from the entry fees, which run around 10 Euro per person. I am totally blown away by the architecture; it's like something out of a science fantasy movie. Only photos can describe the building and I don't believe that
my photo's do it justice. We are in the Sagrada Familia for about 3 hours, 1 hour of which is spent queuing to go up one of the towers which allows great views of the construction project.
Time for lunch, which is very average, and then we board the blue bus once more. Kathy and I leap of the bus to see one of the poorer neighborhoods, unfortunately Stephen and Sue miss the cue and are whisked off to the next stop. We walk towards the next stop, they walk back and we meet somewhere in the middle. We stay on foot and walk to another Gaudi masterpiece at Parc Guell, Guell's house and gardens, designed by Gaudi. Again, it is mind blowing and my camera get's a good work-out.
After Parc Guell, we are back on the bus and jump of at the art museum which offers wonderful views over the city. It's getting late by now, so we have just over an hour to rush through the museum and see as much as we can. There are a couple of Picaso's and two very straight laced Dali's, the rest of the modern art is good and my
particular favorite is “two men on a bike”. In addition there is a very good exhibit of religious icons. OK, been there, done that, didn't buy the T shirt. We're out the door and then have a couple of beers on the terrace to take in the wonderful view of the city.
It's dinner time and I want Paella, you can't come to Spain and not have a Paella, so we hop back on the bus and get off at the ocean end of the La Rambla. It's around 8.00pm and we are lucky to find a wonderful square to the side of the La Rambla that has some nice restaurants and strolling entertainment, however we don't contribute to the musician and he snubs Kathy when she asks him a question. Paella and Sangria, are the order of the day and they are both very good.
We take the train back to Sant Cugat and by this time it's 11.00pm so its all too bed. Thursday, 27 August,2010
We're Barcelona'd out, so consensus is that we hang around the house, swim, pack and later go for a walk. Dinner at home and early to bed. How
boring is that???
Tot: 0.079s; Tpl: 0.041s; cc: 14; qc: 24; dbt: 0.0089s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.2mb