Posted by: lindsaygoes | October 5, 2009

Adventures in Barcelona

So my trip to Barcelona did start off with a little trouble! I waited on the wrong side of the road for the bus, so then had to spend £30 catching a taxi to the airport after watching it drive past. Then once I got to my hostel I looked in my bag for the money I thought I had in my backpack but couldn’t find it. Oh no! Luckily it turned out that I’d left it in the UK!

So that evening I had a bit of a wander up La Rambla, a long pedestrian street, it was really interesting with lots of buskers and stalls and loads of people wandering along. I also went into the Mercet de la Boquena which was an amazing market with gorgeous presentation in the fruit and vegetable stalls and with loads of dried produce hanging up. I saw the fountains at the Placa da Catalunya. Apparently if you drink from them it means you will return to Barcelona. I decided to pass on that one though! I also went to the Barcelona Cathedral, which had just closed, but the outside was lovely. Not bad for having arrived in the afternoon.

Placa de Catalunya

Placa da Catalunya

The next day I had fun visiting a load of Gaudi’s creations. First I went to Palau Guell. Unfortunately I couldn’t go onto the roof to see the mosaic chimneys, but the basement was pretty cool. Then I caught the train to Park Guell (the metro was so easy to use!), although then I had to follow some tourists from Denmark in order to find the park! The park was gorgeous, with such an amazing sculptural feel.

Park Guell

Park Guell

Then it was on to the Casa Mila La Pedrera. The roof was my favourite spot, with its sculptural heads and curving lines.

Casa Mila

Casa Mila La Pedrera

Then I went to Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s unfinished church. Photographs really don’t capture the details and textures of it. Then I went to the gothic quarter and did some shopping (which meant that I could no longer manage with just hand luggage on the way back!). I saw the outside of the Palau de la Musica, which had some great sculptures and colours and went into the Museu D’ Historica de la Cuitat which had some amazing Roman ruins. It was fascinating how I could just go into the basement of a normal looking building and walk around all this history! After that I treated myself to some churros dipped in melted chocolate. Mmmm! Then I went to the St Maria del Mar church which was so open and simple inside. That night I went out for tapas with a girl from Scotland as well. The Spanish omelette was very tasty!

The next day I went to Montserrat. On the train I met a girl from the Czech republic which meant I had someone to sightsee with. We did however manage to get off at the wrong station, with another train due in an hour…so our only option was to take the cable car up to the top of the mountain, rather than the cremallerra (more like a train). Ended up having some fantastic views from the cable car, so it all worked out well!

Cable Car at Montserrat

Cable Car at Montserrat

We went into the Basilica, which was amazingly ornate and saw a boys choir performing. After that we did some walks on the mountain. The first path we tried to take was blocked off (although we snuck past the barrier and had a walk for about 10 minutes) so then we walked to Santa Cova which had some spectacular views. Santa Cova, a small church was lovely, built into the mountainside and had a lovely garden out the back.

The next day I did some more sightseeing in the morning, saw the outside of Casa Battlo, a market outside the Cathedral and went to the Picasso museum. Very interesting with the early part of his work, but it was a shame that not much of the later stuff was represented. Then I wandered along the coast and to the Ramba del Mer, which had some lovely views over the water and lots of hawkers, with all their counterfiet bags laid out on sheets with ropes on the corners so they could be quickly hidden away! I caught a lift to the top of the Columbus monument, which had spectacular views over the city and the sea.

View of Barcelona from Columbus Monument

View of Barcelona from Columbus Monument

Then it was off to Montjuic park where I got registered for my veterinary conference and then wandered around the park for a bit. Really lovely, but I do think I accidentally wandered into a ‘glamour’ photo shoot which was a little strange. Then I started lectures, pretty interesting.

The following day was pretty much just lectures, although it was lovely to eat lunch sitting on the grass in the sun! Again the next day was mainly lectures. The sitting in the sun was a bit stranger as in the morning coffee break I decided to read my book and this old (by old I mean this guy would have been drawing a pension) Spanish guy came up to me and started talking to my in Catalan, which obviously I couldn’t understand. Throughout the conversation I was wishing I knew Catalan for ‘Get your hand off my leg’ and also ‘Can you not kiss me…even if it is on the cheek’. At that point I ran (yes, literally ran) off. Luckily they had donuts coated in chocolate in the conference which made me feel better. After the afternoon lectures I met up with another Australian girl and we saw the magic fountains, which were lovely and then I had the conference fiesta, which had some great tapas!

Magic Fountains

Magic Fountains

Yesterday it was definitely a struggle to get up at 7am for more lectures, but I made it! The lectures just went until lunchtime and then I decided that I would see the beach. I was lucky enough that the Red Bull Air Races were on. The beach was packed, but I did manage to find a good spot on the sand to watch some of the acrobatic displays and the races. Fantastic!

Red Bull Air Race

Red Bull Air Race

That night I went out with a group of other backpackers for dinner. We ended up waiting for an hour for some paella which came out with some cockroaches, so we decided to leave and go to KFC instead. So no Spanish food poisoning for me!

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