36 hours in the city by the sea
My husband Dirk and I arrive in Barcelona on Sunday evening and we will go aboard the Harmony of the Seas onTuesday afternoon, (zum deutschen Blog) the largest cruise ship in the world (Click here to my blog about this ship).
So we do not have a lot of time to explore the city. Some time ago we have already been here for 2 days and got an overview with the red hop-on hop-off buses. Therefore, we know what we want to look at.
In the evening we walk a little through the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. We stroll slowly to Placa de San Jaume, again and again we walkm into one of the small shops and get inspired by the wide variety of goods in these small shops. We walk by the Catedral de Barcelona and shoot a few photos, unfortunately we can`t get into it. We cross the square and stroll along Carrer de l’Argenteria, where we admire the handmade things of different artists in their booths. We circle the Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar and end up on Passeig del Born.
Despite the quite late hour lots of people are everywhere. Who’s an icecream lover, will come fully at his expenses in one of the countless ice cream parlors.
The Mercat del Born we leave on our right hand side and soon we stand in front of the Parc de la Ciutadella.
People picnic, artists play music or juggle, young lovers enjoy the last sunrays, that let the figures on the Cascada Monumental shine in purest gold.
From the adjoining zoo we hear some animals, over us squeal parrots that have their nests in the trees of the park. But now we’re really hungry! We turn around and follow the Avenida del Marqués de l’Argentera back towards Plaza Real.
Somewhere in the narrow streets we find the restaurant Momo at Carrer d`Avinyó. It’s not cheap, but we like the tapas, paella and the wine and the paintings in the restaurant are also interesting. Late we come back to our AirBnB where we enjoy the warm summer night on the terrace for a while.
Buildings by Gaudí
A bit of Gaudí should it be the next day. Anyway, it is probably not possible to roam around Barcelona without encountering buildings that have been designed by this highly individual style of this gifted architect.
To avoid the long queues in front of the buildings, I have already acquired tickets in advance.
But first we have a quiet breakfast in our AirBnB, which is located above the rooftops of Barcelona, right on the Plaza Real. That is a central as it gets. In the evening we can watch the hustle and bustle in the restaurants and various musicians from above, in the morning we have a fantastic view over the city’s rooftops.
We put on comfortable shoes, because although we buy a day pass for public transportation, we will do a lot of walking.
At 11 am is our time of entrance to Park Guell. We reach one of the gateways on the hill, where the park is situated. Actually this area should have been a park with some houses for the wealthier Barcelonan people, but much could not be realized.
It is worthwhile to visit the park and admire the buildings. The queues of those waiting are long, but we c
an skip the line. From the metro it is about a 20 minutes’ walk to the park and it is partly steep uphill with escalators on the road . If that is too strenuous, you possibly should take a taxi or choose the bus from one of the other metro stations.
I enjoy the view of Barcelona from the top free area of the park. The oscan glistens in the background, which will be the next destination for the day, a snack at the Olympic area of Barcelona!
We make a lot more photos of these special buildings, also from the small gatehouse that can be visited inside. No room has only 4 corners, usually there are many more, but how could you get furniture through this narrow staircase in the upper rooms? Perhaps there was a kind of predecessor of IKEA …?
A street vendor outside the park offers unique jewelry made from old silverware. A ring particularly excites me, it even fits; which is my personal gift of this holiday in Barcelona!
By bus and metro, we go to the sea, at the former Olympic area. Here the air is fresh, a little wind blows. We take a few pictures from the beach and the Olympic buildings before we sit down for a coffee break in a cafe at the waterfront.
“People watching” and drinking delicious coffee is always possible. We do not have too much time, because we have tickets for the Sagrada Familia, the still unfinished church planned by Gaudì. It dominates almost every building in the city and can be seen from almost everywhere.
La Sagrada Familia
Again, we circle the waiting queues with our ticket and walk on in, an audio guide is included in the price.
Outside the church are many mobile cranes, because the facade and the towers are not yet completed. Just when we enter the church, the sun comes out again and shines through the stained glass windows in the church.
That looks beautifully! In one side of the church the windows have got predominantly cold colors like blue and green, the other side the warm colors like red, yellow, orange.
An incredible array of colors is offered to us! Unfortunately, the altar area is closed due to the inside ongoing construction work. In ten years, when the centenary year of Gaudì `s death will be, the church should be completed.
Since we still have a little time until our time slot to go on one of the towers, we look at the major exhibition of the history of the Church. It is located in the basement.
I have chosen to visit the towers especially late, at 18.30, as the sun stands a bit lower then and the light for photography is particularly soft. Unfortunately a lot of clouds block the sun. But the view of the city is still fantastic!
We finish the evening with good food, great cocktails and loud music. Who guesses where we are? Of course, at the Hard Rock Café, which is centrally located on Plaza Catalunya, and only 10 minutes walk from our room.
A great day with a lot of running around, more than 20 km on foot we have walked, is over. Barcelona we will be back!