Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

We departed our ocean going transport early on Easter Sunday and made our way to our hotel in Barcelona. The hotel, located right on Las Ramblas, was in the heart of the tourist district. This proved to be a good base to wander the city. As our room was not ready, we left our bags and moseyed up Las Ramblas to see what was there. We came across the Hop on Hop off bus and bought a 2 day ticket. That way we could use day one to get the lay of the land and day two to see the major highlights.

One of many buildings designed by Barcelona’s favorite architect, Gaudy.
Just a really cool building!

The tour allowed us to figure out where various places were, what was walkable versus what wasn’t, and see what things were crowded by mid afternoon. One intriguing area, Montjuic, had a cable car, a castle, a park, the Olympic Stadium, and huge lines by 2 pm. So, we made a plan to be on the early bus and get off there, tomorrow! The plan worked, the cable car line had not really started, and the castle was not yet overrun when we got there the next morning.

The view from the cable car. It took a 90 degree turn half way to the top!
The view from the walls of the castle.
The port-cruise ships dock below us, the freight ships hang out. While shipping has been a major thing in Barcelona for hundreds of years, this port was built out in the last 200 years or so and is huge.

We enjoyed a variety of views from the castle and learned that it began as a look out station, but when the city was attacked the defenders were able to quickly fortify it from a land attack and it became a major player in up to, and including the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s and World War II.

Plazas along the center square of the fort.
Vaulted ceiling leading in to the central square.
Pretty flowers blooming near where the moat was.

We took the cable car back down to the station, which is about half way up the mountain, and started to walk the rest of the way down. We entered a park and meandered along various paths, mostly just making sure we were going more down than up.

Lovely blooms on a pergola along the path.
Neat embellishments on the roof of a building being renovated along the path. And, a view of the city.
A view of the museum building.

Our goal was to reach the bottom of the path near a plaza with a large fountain so we could hop in the bus to head back closer to our hotel. As we did that, it became apparent the fountain was really part of a series of water features we would see in our trek down.

The fountain near the museum.
The cascading water at the next plaza.
More water at another plaza. Catalonia celebrates Easter Monday, it was a beautiful day, and there were lots of people enjoying the sights.
And, the fountain at the bottom.

We went to see La Segruda Familia, which is the building Gaudy devoted decades of his life to designing, and which continues to be constructed over 100 years after his death. There is a lot going on at the site, both visually and physically. It is worth looking the place up, and I am not up to the task of really explaining. We didn’t take a tour as the crowds were more than we wanted to interact with.

Each side of the building has different scenes and embellishments.
Part of Gaudy’s style incorporates nature themes and a variety of textures.
In part due to the lengthy construction process you can see how the stone has aged compared to the matching design on the more recently completed area.
There are many spires and each has a different top. Like I said, there is a lot going on on this building.

The beautiful weather of the first few days gave way to more cloudy skies and some rain, but we were able to see a fair amount on foot and took a morning to visit the Maritime museum. The museum is housed in a building that had been the Naval ship yard and in continuous use for 600 years. The displays were amazing and the building itself definitely worth the visit.

We walked through a large park in town and came across this impressive monument.
These sculptures were at every gate. I found the snails to be a nice feature.
The Arch de Triomp-we never did find out which triumph was being celebrated.
When we first saw this from the Hop on Hop off I wondered if it was a Roy Lichtenstein. When we were able to walk over and check it out we confirmed it was! We will now need to revisit the Lichtenstein at John Glenn International Airport when we get back to Columbus.
A replica of a Royal Galley at the Maritime Museum, but mostly the building.
Another angle of the Royal Galley and the building.

3 thoughts on “Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain”

  1. Ah, the joy of traveling with you, Lisa and Dan! Thanks for many a reason – but mainly for the utter pleasure of sharing all these unaccessible-to-me (and unchosen by lots of others) sites. You do have an absolutely splendid habit of expressing\reacting to, freshly, just what I wanted to know. Travel on!

    Liked by 1 person

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