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Published: January 17th 2011
So our cruise has come to an end and we've arrived in our final port of Barcelona... although our sea days are behind us (at least for now), the vacation is not yet over. We still have one final day in Barcelona before our flight home. If you've been following our blog, then you might remember our earlier visit here when we took the hop on hop off bus tour; that was a cold day in Barcelona, but we were much luckier on this visit. The temperature was about 18C and it was bright and sunny. Since we knew a little about the city we bought a full day metro (sub-way) pass and started meandering our way around.
Our first stop was Parc Guell. The park is a public park (yay! Free), and it encompasses 15 hectares of land in the middle of the city. This park is famous for it's design and artistic flair. The land was originally purchased by a rich aristocrat named Eusebi Guell, who wanted to build homes on the land, and hired his close friend Gaudi to design the landscape, but alas it was an economic depression and there wasn't much interest in the homes.
The city of Barcelona ended up purchasing the land and continued with Gaudi's work. The park is spectacular, and it's so fun to walk through it's winding paths and unique landscape. The park is home to Guadi's famous tiled dragon which is one of the icons used to represent Barcelona worldwide. We probably spent too much time here but we don't regret the hours we took walking through the park.
Our next stop was Placa d'Espanya, Magic Fountain and the Museu National d' Art Catalunya, which are all along one strip of road. Placa d'Espanya is a giant traffic circle with a huge monument in the middle, It stands as the entrance to the road that leads to the Magic Fountain and the Museum. We didn't go in the Museum but did take in the view of the city from its hilltop location. The Magic Fountain likely rivals the fountains at the Bellagio. It has a constantly changing water design - it was pretty cool - but we'd hate to see the water bill. We then made our way to the Poble Espanyol (Spanish Village) which is a village created for Expo 1929 (which Barcelona hosted). The idea behind
the village was to bring all the architecture from various regional towns throughout Spain into one tiny village that would act as a village museum. The buildings now are home to numerous restaurants, and artisan shops. It was neat but not worth the admission price. We didn't stay there long.
The day was coming to a close so we made our way back to La Ramblas (the market street we mentioned in the last blog and where our hotel was located); we had dinner in a Tapas restaurant and then wondered through the Gothic Quarter for the remaining hours of our evening. The Gothic Quarter was fun to wander through with lots of cool little shops and surprises down each of the tiny cobble-stoned streets... next stop... Winter in Ottawa... and we lived happily ever after...
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