I’ve written previously that I can’t really say that I’ve been to Barcelona. In that post I mentioned that I did manage a four hour walking tour of the city.
It was pleasant and unexpected and we were not prepared for it. So we made the best of it.
Even though it was only four hours I did take loads of photos. Like I am wont to do. Because that’s just what I do. Take loads of photos.
Firstly though I want to introduce the intrepid walkers, my companions on this excursion. I enjoyed the company of my colleagues Ebru and Amy. Here is a photo of our feet. And our faces 🙂
But I am getting ahead of myself. Having spent the whole week 30kms away in a small hill town, we arrived in Barcelona in STYLE! On a yatch. After winning a regatta. See medals below to prove it.
I was surprised to find, among all the trendy hotels ringing Port Olympia, the stainless steel sculpture of El Peix, dominating its entry and exit. It changes shape depending on which angle you see it. We didn’t spend any time looking at it because we had other priorities.
First stop had to be the Sagrada Familia, so we found a taxi who took us right there. I’ve posted a whole lot of pics of the outside of this beautiful structure in another post. We so wanted to have a tour of the inside of it. I went online to find some tickets but none were available for that day. That experience is in itself a subject for a different post.
With a tour of the Sagrada Familia off the table, we debated whether to take one of the open topped busses. This was scrapped when we saw the queues for tickets. Time was ticking and by this time we had three hours left before having to make our way back to the Port.
Plaza Catalunya became our next target. We stopped a few locals for directions and started walking.
Without a travel guide street signs became something we looked for but they have a tendency of not being consistent. We followed this sign, came to the Arc de Triomf and got half-way to the Parc Cuitadella when we got the feeling that we were not going in the right direction. And not a street sign to be found at this point. So we backtracked to this sign and found another local to ask directions of.
But not before coming across this beautiful church.
And coming across this inviting facade to restaurant Sant Joan. It was closed, alas.
It was at this time that a taste for coffee and patatas bravas called and we stopped at a sidewalk tapas bar for some sustenance. It’s hard work walking, looking for elusive tourist landmarks. And food and coffee is a priority in my book.
I love the symmetry and balance of this monument. I wonder why the water wasn’t running.
Look carefully…can you see the bicycle precariously balanced on the balcony in the photo below?
Walking to the Arc de Triomf...
…with coconut ice-cream in hand after the coffee because walking is hard work.
The Arc de Triomf. The Barcelona one. I don’t know the people in the photo but it adds to the fun of it don’t you think?
It was built as the main access gate for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair by architect Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas. The arch presides over Passeig de Lluís Companys, a wide promenade leading to the Ciutadella Park. It is located at the top of the promenade, where it meets Passeig de Sant Joan. Hence the restaurant named Sant Joan along the same boulevard (wikipedia).
Such a gorgeous walk.
Soap bubble blower at Parque Lluís Companys entertaining the kids and other passerbys.
Beautiful mosaic’d dome of a church, don’t know which, but it makes a nice photo doesn’t it?
And finally, after a few twists, turns and a shopping spree for swimsuits at Women’s Secret, we arrived at the Plaza Catalunya, the city centre. Some of the city’s main streets meet here.
And after a wonderful day and all that went with it, the day capped off with a beach braai on the shores of the Mediterranean.
This was a rather long post. I hope you’ve enjoyed the photos and thanks for reading.