Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Barcelona, Spain

In the Christmas holidays I visited the beautiful city of Barcelona. It is famous for its interesting, beautiful and rather strange architecture, mostly from Antoni Gaudí. He had a very creative style and all his works are very different to other buildings, they really stand out, because of its colours or its curves. We went for just four full days, as we wanted to be back for New Year's Eve. It might have been a short visit, but I think we saw quite a bit of Barcelona! We walked around so much every day, my legs and feet were dead when we came back. Also, a few days being in the sun felt really good! Looking out of my window now, I only see a gray sky and it seems like it could start pouring any second. 2 more months till Spring...



It is now nearly a month ago that we went to Barcelona, so it is quite hard to write everything in great detail now, but I will try my best. (and apologies for the delay (knowing me, that shouldn't be too big of a surprise...) I was waiting for my sister to bring the camera back to Luxembourg and last weekend she came here).
We arrived in Barcelona Thursday evening, it was a really short flight which was quite nice for once! We immediately went to the hotel we had booked for one night, which was close to the airport.
The next morning we went to the apartment we booked for the following 3 nights. It was quite a nice apartment, with two rooms, a kitchen and a bathroom - basically everything you need. The walk from the apartment to the center of Barcelona was just 15 minutes, so that was not too bad either. After having dropped off our baggage, we starting exploring the city. With our cameras we walked through lots of small streets taking about a million photographs. We walked to the famous Sagrada Família, the first work of Gaudí we saw. The Roman Catholic church is yet to be finished. Gaudí passed away in the middle of the construction and the Spanish Civil War broke out, so the construction was interrupted. It was open to the public, however we did not go inside, as the queue was way too long. (Which seemed to be the case for basically every monument/attraction...).


The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia

La Sagrada Família



The next day we went to the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia. This is probably one of the only monuments which we also saw from the inside, and it was veryvery busy so we didn't stay long. Afterwards we tried to find our way to the sea and the harbour. We sat down on a sort of pier, and let the sun soak in. Near the harbour and also on Pla de la Seu (where there Cathedral is situated), were these really nice antique markets. I'm usually not the biggest fan of antiques but on these markets they were selling really nice things, for example vintage cameras. (Talking about cameras - my loveliest friends gave me a camera for my birthday, it's definitely one of the sweetest and most generous presents I have ever received, thank you all so much again!!!)













The third day my sister met up with some friends who live in Barcelona. Meanwhile, my mom and I went to Casa Batlló. Again, the queue was way too long, so we did not enter the spectacular house. I thought the outside of it looked really nice, I love how there it has no square corners, just curves. Also the colors of the building are so nice! So after having photographed the building like the tourists that we were, we went to Park Güell. This is probably the only place we entered, despite the long queue. As it was quite a walk to go there, we thought it would be a shame not to enter. Plus, we had some time as my sister was with friends and we would meet up later again, to go to the Picasso museum - which also had a way too long queue and *surprise surprise* we didn't go inside. One of my sister's Spanish friends said that she had never seen it this crazy before. You would have waited 2 to 3 hours in the queue, an employee had said. If you ever decide to visit Barcelona (which I really do recommend if you like city trips), I would not recommend going during the Christmas holidays. Anyway, after having queued some time in Park Güell, we could enter the park and then, to enter the part with the historical monuments, you have to queue again. At least it was sunny?
One thing what was really notable in the park - besides the beautiful view and pretty colored buildings - was that there were so many Pakistani and other Middle Easterners, trying to illegally sell little souvenirs. They sit on the ground and have a blanket with all their souvenirs to sell presented on them, and when the police is nearby, they quickly grab the blanket and hide in the bushes. There are so many of them, and there's not a lot the police can do about it.

In the evening we went to a show: Opera Y Flamenco. I must admit that I am not the biggest opera fan and I wasn't sure what to expect. I thought the music for the Flamenco dancers was really nice and happy and the dancers were really good! But let's just say, that even after the show, I still am not a big fan of opera... :) (click here for a video of something very similar to the show we saw).


Casa Batlló

Park Güell

Gaudí's multicolored mosaic salamander, also known as 'el drac'

The last day consisted of, once again, walking around. We were headed to the cable cars which go to the harbour. On our way there we stopped at the museum of Joan Miró. If you have read my post about my trip to Copenhagen, you may know that modern art is not my favorite type of art. There were some, rather interesting, works in the museum, such as a massive colourful rug on which a dog was illustrated. (Photography was not allowed, but I found a photo on google, click here).
After our brief visit to the museum, we walked on to the cable cars. As we got in the the cabin, I started to get this, how should I call it, "wanderlust" to go skiing, haha. I haven't gone skiing in such a long time, and I miss it! Anyway, we were in the cabin and the view from up there was so beautiful! You could basically see the whole of Barcelona :). When we had to get out of the cabin, we realized we actually took the wrong cable cars. While sitting in the cabin, we had already found it a bit suspicious how we went uphill in stead of downhill, so yes... We ended up visiting Montjuic castle, haha. We then had to walk down again, and while walking, we came across the cable cars we had planned on taking first. So we hopped in, and in the end we did end up at the place we wanted to be haha! 


View from cable car


I tried recalling as much as I could about my trip to Barcelona - wow it seems like I have a really bad memory if I say it like that, haha - it's just that a lot happened in those four days and it's hard to write down everything, and the fact that it is a month ago does not really help... :D It is also always hard to decide what to write in these posts, as there is soo much to say. I could write so much more, but I think I should put a limit somewhere. Anyway, Barcelona is definitely worth a visit once, especially if you're a fan of city trips!