Barcelona final day

Views of Barcelona harborViews of Barcelona harborViews of Barcelona harborViews of Barcelona harborViews of Barcelona harborViews of Barcelona harbor
Views of Barcelona harborDogs and bikes in a mall

Barcelona final day, a set on Flickr.



Check out was not until 12 pm so we decided we could fit in a swim before this time. After that huge meal the night before a croissant was all that was needed for breakfast. A lovely swim in the warm water was great but by the time we walked the 15 min back to the hotel a shower was definitely needed. This beach was quite wavy with a steep slope down to the water, so no chance of gradually getting in. We were surprised by the older women who looked like they were in their 70’s that were there topless.
After checking out & storing our bags we set of up the street to soak in the last of Barcelona & the warmth. Steven enjoyed the buffet meal at Fresco’s so much the other day that we ended back here for lunch.
While walking back to the hotel the guys on the wharf were trying to hawk of their wares. Steven couldn’t resist another pair of sunglasses which got bargained down from 20 to 5 euro. Back at the hotel a taxi was ordered & after about 30 min we arrived in plenty of time to check in so time to sit and write this up. We will arrive in London at 9-30pm & be at Andrews about an hour later via the tube. Adios Spain.
PS – Oh no Steven has gone wandering & left me here & time is getting on & we know what his time keeping is like !!!

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Barcelona day four

Santa Maria churchSanta Maria churchBarcelona CathedralBarcelona Cathedral
Barcelona CathedralBarcelona CathedralBarcelona CathedralBarcelona CathedralBarcelona Cathedral viewBarcelona Cathedral
Barcelona CathedralBarcelona CathedralFood marketBarcelona sts
WOW what a feedSheree being serenadedSanta Maria church

Barcelona day four, a set on Flickr.


We no longer have the tourist bus now as our 2 days are all used, so we will be on foot. We had planned to leave our visit to the Santa Maria church until today as it was in easy walking distance. This was a lovely old church and inside a lady was playing the large organ which really added to the experience. Inside this massive church it sounded awesome. We just sat and soaked it up for a while before moving on.(see video)
We had heard about a bar called Dunes Irish bar that served a true english breakfast so after seeing where it was from our bus we had decided to visit it today for brunch. It was nice and cool inside and it was great to get a real breakfast for a change. Croissants each day were starting to loose there charm. We explained to the Irish Manager at the bar that we had found out about his bar on Trip Advisor and he was very pleased to hear this.
Our next stop was also not far away and it was the Barcelona Cathedral. Two buskers were playing Spanish guitars outside and were very good.(see video) The Cathedral was one of the first churches that Gaudi had designed and was currently under renovation. Strangely as these renovations were going on there was scaffolding erected that gave access to the roof, so they were allowing tourists to visit the roof. It was interesting to view things from this perspective (see pics).
After a quick visit to a food market we thought we would head down to the beach for the afternoon and headed back to our Hotel via a street that Sheree though we should go down. We stumbled across an exhibition on the clothes of ‘Maria Brillas’ who was a big part of the privileged Barcelona elite during the 1900’s. It was free to get in and was very inspiring. Marias granddaughter had donated 341 pieces, 183 dresses and 158 accessories . All Marias clothes were designed and made by ‘Pedro Rodriguez’ a master Spanish Couture. Maria was married to a distingused business man from Girona, ‘Joaquim Ensesa’ so she was confronted with considerable social pressure to be the perfect host and praise worthy member of her family.
Maria had a very close relationship with Pedro Rodriguez and only ever wore his clothes which he personally made for her. Almost all of her wardrobe consisted of designs by Pedro.
They were exquisite to see and as Sheree said she looked about her size so most of the beautiful dresses and accessories may well have fitted Sheree. (see pics)
There was also an exhibition on the influence of technology and human integration but unfortunately several of the exhibits were not working. However those that did were fun.
The Picasso Museum was just a few doors down but there was a very long queue so we decided to give it a miss and head to the beach.
We spent what was left of the afternoon just lying on the beach even though it was overcast it was very very nice.
We did not get back home until quite late and decided to shower and go out for tea at around 10:00pm??? Yes we know it’s late but we are in Europe and even at the restaurant we choose, families with children were sitting down at the same time as us.
Sheree wanted to try the traditional Paella and I got a combined sea food dish. When they arrived to our table they were huge!! So big in fact that we just could not eat it all and as Sheree said ‘just one of these would have done’ (see video)
It was well after midnight when with very full bellies we wondered home on this lovely warm evening.

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Barcelona day three

Casa BatlloCasa BatlloCasa BatlloCasa BatlloCasa BatlloCasa Batllo
Casa BatlloThe back of the Casa BatlloCasa BatlloCasa BatlloCasa BatlloCasa Batllo
La PedreraLa PedreraLa PedreraLa PedreraLa PedreraLa Pedrera
La PedreraLa PedreraLa PedreraTheRambler StreetRambler food market

Barcelona day three, a set on Flickr.


Today can best be described as a ‘Antoni Gaudi’ day. We went inside two of his other works, firstly a home he designed called ‘Casa Batllo’ and secondly the ‘La Pedrera’ both on the street called Passeig de Gracia.
From the outside the façade of Casa Batlló looks like it has been made from skulls and bones. The “Skulls” are in fact balconies and the “bones” are supporting pillars.
Gaudi used colours and shapes found in marine life as inspiration for his creativity in this building e.g. the colours chosen for the façade are those found in natural coral.
The building was designed by Gaudi for Josep Batlló, a wealthy aristocrat, as an upmarket home. Señor Batlló lived in the lower two floors with his family and the upper floors were rented out as apartments.
This building is a stunning and original work. (see pics) again it is amazing to see how much attention to detail Gaudi spent on his designs. Thinking about such things as varying window size depending on how high the window was from the top of the building. In this way he could ensure uniform lighting conditions in each room of the house. Then there was the font used specifically for the apartment numbers on the door or the door handles all modeled in brass based on his own hands fit.
The other building was the ‘La Pedrera’ built between 1906 and 1910 for Milà family.
This is one of the main Gaudí residential buildings and a most imaginative house, this building is more an sculpture than a building.
The façade is an impressive, varied and harmonious mass of undulating stone without straight lines where also the forged iron is present in the shapes of balconies imitating vegetal forms.
The lofts are supported by the traditional Catalan “totxo” (brick) arching walls following the style developed by Gaudí.
The roof chimneys designing in vanguard shapes remember warriors in a forest of surprising figures.
The building was recognized by Unesco as “World Heritage” in 1984.
Both of these buildings would be a builders nightmare as there does not appear to be a straight line any where, but are amazing to see.
Then we looked for some where for lunch and found an authentic Braseria called Campechano that was obviously poplar with locals. After the waiter translated the menu in pigeon English we ended up with a nice 3 course lunch plus drinks for €20.
From here we bused around some more of the tourist spots without getting off until close to the ‘Museum Erotica’ the name says it all. It was a museum of sexual habits and excitements down through the ages and in different cultures.
Then we visited a food market and got some free freshly squeezed fruit juice and some fruit packs for later. By this time it was 9:00pm so we headed back to the Hotel.

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Barcelona day two

What a lovely coupleBasilica FamiliaMontjuic CastleCable car in BarcelonaPic a boo
The view from the Basilica Familia towerInside the Basilica Familia
Basilica FamiliaExterior of the Basilica FamiliaInside the Basilica FamiliaA school in BarcelonaSpot the touristExterior of the Inside the Basilica Familia
Sheree being serenaded in BarcelonaBasilica FamiliaExterior of the Basilica FamiliaInside the Basilica FamiliaA Stadium in BarcelonaCastle entrance

Day two Barcelona, a set on Flickr.

We started bit later than we intended today. After a disappointing breakfast at the Hotel Oasis we were on the ‘Barcelona Bus Turistic’ (hop on hop off bus) by 10:30am. The plan was to do the red line today which is a two hour round trip and if we had time to also cross to the Blue line and see the ‘Sagrada Familia’ which is Barcelona’s most iconic tourist stop. Along the journey you can not help but notice the ever changing layout of the city and also the changing and different architecture that has been bought about over the last few hundred years or so. One of the most renowned architects was Antoni Gaudi who’s love of nature is reflect in his designs and are easy to spot as they are so different. Gaudi spent a huge part of his life including the last 12 years working on the Sagrada Familiar until his death in a tram accident in 1920.(see pics)
However on the way round the red line we discovered the art museum, which was closed on Mondays, but offered and amazing view of Barcelona which is a city of 1.5 million people. (see pics)
After getting some pictures of the view we walked back to the bus stop. Along the way noticed an outside elevator going up towards a gondola, so we set off to investigate. This gondola ride which takes a right angle turn half way up took us even higher, to a very nice castle called the Castle Of Montjuic which was first built around 1640.
The view over the Harbor and the city from the top of the castle roof was stunning. It gives you an idea of just how big Barcelona harbor is (see pics).
Once back down we were on the bus again and carried on around the red line. It was getting later in the afternoon so we stopped off at restaurant that offered all you can eat salads and grill so we had a big feed here that only cost €22 for both of us and that was three courses and drinks.
Feeling very fill we climbed back on the bus and along the way switched to the blue line. We did not get off until we arrived at the ‘Sagrada Familia’.
This is one of the most amazing feats of mans brilliance and in particular that of Antoni Gaudi that we had ever seen. It was on par with any thing else we could think of or had seen. It is a huge modern church that is still under construction that started back in the late 18th century. It has to be seen to be believed. Every part of it tells a story. The attention to detail in the most little thinks from how light reflects on to a column to where the choir sit around the church to give the best acoustics is incredible. Gaudi died before it would be completed but left plans, designs and models about what he wanted but also wanted future architects to have the ability to reflect the changing centuries as time went on. It is well past the half way stage now and construction continues by donation and the contribution from tourist visits. We got an elevator ride up to the top of one of the huge towers. This was very very high and quite daunting inside. (see pics)
After this we headed home via a long walk down the long and busy Rambler St crowded with tourist and merchants plus all the normal shops.

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Leaving Calella arrive Barcelona

The Oasis Hotel BarcelonaBarcelona wax museum de CereBarcelona wax museum de CereBarcelona wax museum de CereBarcelona wax museum de Cere
Sheree thought this lady was very goodA monument to the fallen in BarcelonaTapas for lunchThe Costa BravoA beach on the Costa Bravo
Pension El Pekinaire in CalellaBarcelona wax museum de CereMonument to Christopher ColumbusBarcelona HarborBarcelona Harbor bridgePhotogenePhoto

We were up early and had our buffet breakfast and then packed up our stuff for the trip to Barcelona. Today we drop the car off at the Barcelona airport at Terminal 2.
We left Calella after getting the car out of the underground parking (that had a extremely steep drive) and set Jennifer the GPS on course. We had a little time on our side so we stopped and took some photos of the coastline Of Calella towards where we had stayed which included some of the Costa Bravo. When I took the photos from above the beach it was not hard to notice that this was not only topless but fully naked, so had to be a bit discreet with the camera. (see pics of the beach)
We arrived into Barcelona on time for the 11am drop off and looking for Terminal 2 which we thought we had found but soon realized we were getting lost. Thankfully the people we were supposed to meet had seen us and drove along beside us and advised that we were towards terminal 2 but for the train station and not the airport….oooops. We followed them to the drop off point at which stage they asked us for the red insurance folder for the car. Neither of us could remember this and could not find it. The man started telling us that it would cost €200 to replace them. Thankfully I remembered that I had but them in with the passports and with a large sigh of relief we took our last look at the Peugeot, that had been so good to us and taken us more than 2800km’s. I took a photo of the total Kms we had done, jumped in a waiting taxi and were off to the Hotel Oasis only 15 mins away in Barcelona.
We could not check in until 1pm so put our bags in storage and started getting our bearings from the map the Hotel gave us. We were soon at the beach and having a look around a much busier beach than we had seen so far (see pic). Back at the Hotel we got our room and set off again looking for information on the hop on hop off bus that we had heard was really good. There are two main companies and the one owned by the city bus service offered the most routes so have bought tickets for the following two days starting at 9am tomorrow. This will give us a good over view and look at the city similar to what we did in Florence.
Later in the day we bought tickets to a wax museum called Muse de Cere. This was a very well organized, themed museum with a lot of wax figures from throughout the ages until modern day. They had some interactive parts like being inside a launching space ship, under water sub & older sailing ship which was moving under your feet.
After this we booked a 1 hr, 30 coast & port cruise around the harbor and Barcelona coast line (see pics). Barcelonna has some very interesting city centre architecture in the tall buildings of different shapes & sizes than we have seen any where else.
Later that night we went out for tapas ( very much the done thing here) again at a restaurant just along the road before heading home feeling a little tired.

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