Spain Short Break to Barcelona Barcelona

17th - 22nd July 2013

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Angie and I had a long weekend in Barcelona. This was our first city break together since we went to Krakˇw in 2006. It must be well over 30 years since I was last in Barcelona. The weather was fab and the city well worth a visit. I managed to acquire two blisters on day one, which is two more than I had during the whole of the four months of the world cruise! The World Swimming Championships were taking place during our visit and some or all of the US team were staying in our hotel.

17 July. We arrived early afternoon and after checking in, we set off for a quick exploration. We saw the outside of the Sagrada Familia, which had changed unrecognisably since my last visit. Before, there were just a few towers, now it has a functional worship space. After this, we visited the Casa Batllˇ, which is another Gaudi project. There didn't appear to be a straight line in the house. We had a not very good meal in a hotel off the Ramblas in the evening. I also managed a drink in Hard Rock number 25!

18 July. First thing we did was to take the funicular to Montju´c and the cable car to the castle. There were some good views from the top, especially of the port where a couple of large cruise liners were moored. We then saw the Olympic Stadium from the 1992 Olympics and tried to visit the gardens of the Palau Nacional, but for some strange reason they were closed. It was only after we strolled back to the hotel to get ready for the evening, that we realised that the Palau Nacional was a 10 minute stroll from our hotel! Then we went down to the sea front, past the Colombus statue and strolled around. In the evening, we had a tapas tour in the Barri Gotic. It was a lot of and I had too much to drink, hard to believe I know!

19 July. Today, after a late start (well they were all late starts, I don't think we ever got up much earlier than 9!), we went down to the end of the Ramblas, by the sea and looked around there again. Then we went back to the Sagrada Familia and this time we went inside. It was quite something inside. Some of the windows had their stained glass fitted, others were still plain. Then after lunch, we visited another Gaudi designed place Parc GŘell. This was up a very steep hill, and apart from the weird architecture, there were green parakeets living in the palm trees. On our way back to the hotel we passed the Magic Fountain of Montju´c. Again this was just a short stoll from the hotel and we passed it every day on our way to the Metro. We had been planning a night tour to see it, but we didn't need to! This evening, after a struggle locating it, we ate in one of the restaurants from last night's tour. It was Catalan food and very good.

20 July. Today we just rode two of the three circuits of the Hop On Hop Off bus and with lunch, this took most of the day. We passed many of the sights we'd already seen, plus Port Olimpic and Camp Nou. We never actually hopped on or off, other than at the beginning and end! In the evening we went back to the Barri Gotic for a meal. It was very good, but tiny, so we ended up on the Rambla getting ripped off for food!

21 July. We strolled about a little and then we took a harbour cruise to Port Forum. On the way we passed more cruise liners, including the Norwegian Epic, on which I'll be sailing in January. After a struggle finding our way out of the port, because there was a Colombian Fiesta taking place, we went back into Barcleona where Angie visited the Casa MilÓ (La Pedrera) and I had a pint in a bar! In the evening we ate in a restaurant in a large square off the Ramblas. Again good food and again quite cheap.

I enjoyed Barcelona, but I'm not sure I'd visit in high summer again. The food was almost always good and much to my surprise, most things were cheaper than I expected. The hotel was very good and excellently located for us.

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Sagrada Familia
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Sagrada Familia
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Casa Batllˇ
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House
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Fire place
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Decoration
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Light well
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Chimneys
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Light well
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Stadium
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Montju´c
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View
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Statue
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Square
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Cheese
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Town Hall
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Angie
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Cathedral
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Statue
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Facade
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Roof
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Window
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Window
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Altar
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Facade
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Park GŘell
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Park GŘell
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Park GŘell
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Plaša d'Espanya
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Statue
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Norwegian Epic
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Port Olimpic
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Page created 24th July 2013