Blogs from Catalonia, Spain, Europe


Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona February 20th 2021 20th February - Highlight Drive Barcelona A first for virtual tour guide Josep, with his daughter Eva at the wheel we took a drive taking in the highlights of Barcelona. Josep had obviously done a lot of planning to organise the trip so that in the allotted time of 45-50 minutes he could share the passion he has for the city of Barcelona. During that time Josep was out if the car several times so that we could enjoy the historic building and magnificent views if the city. Here’s what we saw Columbus monument, Old Harbor, Medieval Shipyards, Cruise Ship Port, Panoramic view of Barcelona from Miramar spectacular Viewpoint; Cable Car Station, Miro Museum , Olympic Stadium, Spanish Village, Caixa Forum, The Magic Fountain location, Barcelona’s 1929 World Expo, Plaça the Espanya with its Venetian ... read more

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona February 19th 2021 19th February Boqueria (St. Josep) market La Rambla's history is the Boqueria Market's history. The evolution from a past of peddlers to a modern and charming present, full of colour and life. The market is a metaphor for Barcelona's life, a human river that is the delight for those who like watching. The first of Barcelona's local markets was opened on Saint Joseph's day, on the 19th of March 1840, after four years of work on the land that was up until then occupied by Saint Joseph's convent. However, the history goes back a good few years before, because on the site on Rambla where the market is today, there were already peddlers selling meat in the thirteenth century. Marquis Campo Sagrado, Catalonia's general captain, started to establish the rules for this travelling market in ... read more

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona February 16th 2021 16th February - Gaudi’s Park Güell Gaudi planned and directed the construction of the park from 1900 to 1914 for Eusebi Güell as a residential park intended for sixty single family residences for the wealthy residents of Barcelona. The reason why it is spelt Park and nit Parc is that the architect was inspired by the British garden city movement of the 19th century, Gaudí’s plan was to create a modern housing estate far from the smog and chaos of the city down below. His plans called for houses with modern conveniences such as running water as well as facilities such as a market, a laundry room, a church and a public square. The plan was unsuccessful and ultimately the project had to be abandoned. Work on the project terminated in 1914 and in 1926 ... read more

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona January 24th 2021

17th January Barcelona - A walk with Josep The Amazing Houses of Gaudí: Casa Batlló & Casa Milà / La Pedrera Passeig de Gracia (Walk of Grace). An elegant, majestic boulevard with so many wonderful architectural buildings. On either side of the avenue the jewels of Catalonia's home-grown art nouveau, modernisme, and the later movement, noucentisme, by architects Gaudí, Puig i Cadafalch, & Domènech i Muntaner to name just three. Casa Batlló. This building by Gaudi has a fantastical theme, with a pastel coloured mosaic front, mask-like balconies and a roof in the shape of a dragon's tail. La Pedrera. The 2nd largest building by Gaudi. The complex wrought-iron grilles of the 32 balconies were made using scrap iron sheets, bars and chains in an unusual way. On the pavement we saw the organic paving stones. ... read more

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona January 20th 2021

25th November 2020 La Sagrada Família Basilica by Antonio Gaudi. We visited Barcelona a few years ago but the queues to enter the Basilica were so long we only saw it from the outside. Today it is closed due to Covid so I guess still no chance to see inside. Today’s tour with Josep started in the same spot that we stood all those years ago. La Sagrada Família has been under construction since 1882. Who knows when it will be completed. As we walked around this magnificent building we could only view from the tour guides camera but he had photographic close up images & a small model which he was able to show and explain everything in much detail. The four Eastern towers in the front of Sagrada Família make up the Nativity Facade. ... read more

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Barcelona November 16th 2020

NOVEMBER 3, 2019 All good things must come to an end. It was finally time to say “goodbye Barcelona”. Goodbye to everything Gaudi, the Barri Gotic, Sobremeso (sit and relax, order some Pipas (sunflower seeds) with a nice glass of Rioja and watch the world go by). Farewell to my favorite Boquerones (White Anchovies cured in OVO & vinegar), and the amazing Crema Catalonia. Muchas Gracias! It was wonderful to walk in the footsteps of Fermin and Daniel (from The Shadow of the Wind) in the historic areas, including the wonderful Cathedral of the Sea, and to revisit this city, now transformed from its smokey and dirty caterpillar stage into the beautiful butterfly it is today, competing with Paris for Europe’s best city. Port Vell, with its harbor full of yachts and tourists, has become a ... read more
Dave climbing the stairs at the Palau de Musica
Porter's Lodge and entrance to Park Guell
Barri Gotic, Cathedral of the Sea

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Barcelona November 12th 2020

NOVEMBER, 2, 2019 Sadly, we came to our last full day in Barcelona. We were no longer living in the charming neighborhood of Barri Gotic and since there was nothing of interest to keep us where we were, we had breakfast at the hotel (of far less quality than anywhere else in Spain) and quickly left to begin our day. We walked down to the Metro stop to find the Red Route Tour Bus for the Hop On Hop Off City Tour run by the Barcelona Transport Company - TMB. Not an easy task. We were approached by a few other confused tourists looking for the same bus and since we had scoped it out the night before, we were able to help. We wanted to cover more ground in Barcelona before we left, and since ... read more
Charm found on Avenue Diagonal
Columbus points the way
Dave dwarfed by the Royal Gallery, Maritime Museum, Barcelona

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Girona » Girona November 10th 2020

NOVEMBER 1, 2019 Today we were booked for our move out of our BCNGotic apartment to the Abba Sants Hotel which was included in our upcoming cruise to return home. I called the hotel and asked if we could check in late in the day, they assured me it was no problem. I then checked with BCNGotic who said if we collected our bags before we left for the day, they would store them in their office where we could retrieve them when we returned. So far so good. Having packed our bags, gobbled down food from the fridge and Teresa’s dessert for breakfast, we were off to the Palau de la Musica to meet our Viator guide Sergio for our Game of Thrones day tour to Girona. We knew the group would be small but ... read more
St Feliu church
Halls of the Monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants
El Call, Girona's Jewish Quarter

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Monistrol de Montserrat November 7th 2020

OCTOBER 30, 2019 Since we hadn’t bought coffee for our coffee maker we decided to go for an early morning walk before today’s tour to look for a nice cafe. Cafe Zurich must have been calling us. We sat outside at a little table near Plaza Catalonia watching the city come alive, feeling very European and tres chic all while enjoying great coffees and to die for pastries. A little Switzerland in Spain? You bet. It was later in the morning so we did not suffer the lines of the Coffee Rush. Our waiter brought our Trenza and Muffin Xocolata pastries and coffees to the table. Yes, it took a little time, but nothing to complain about, we were on vacation soaking up the atmosphere, the reason we came here! At 10am we met our van ... read more
Our Lady at the Montserrat Cathedral
Montserrat Cathedral with the serrated mountains behind
Black Madonna

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Barcelona November 5th 2020

OCTOBER 29, 2019 Our Gate 1 tour was over and we needed to check out of our the NH Collection Constanza hotel to get to our new digs by 9am. Before we left for our trip to Spain, I had made reservations for us to stay in a charming 3 bedroom apartment through Bcngotic on 6 Carrer de l’Argenteria, Ciutat Vella (Old City) in historic Barri Gotic. We had a quick breakfast at our hotel, said our goodbyes to Vera and our new friends then grabbed a cab to the other side of the city to check into our apartment. We quickly got our key, settled our bags, then ran to make our 11am tour of the Palau de la Musica (about 10 a minute walk from our apartment). We were panting but grateful we had ... read more
Lluis Millet Hall
Palau de Musica balcony, Lluis Millet Hall
Balcony view of the concert hall

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