Saturday, 27 August 2011

barcelona baby

What a city !

If you've never been then put it on your list.
It always sucks coming back from any holiday, even if coming home hadn't involved saying bye to Son I would've felt shit leaving. The place has everything . . . . and it's hot.

And while there is a bit of me that misses my boy every day I can totally see why he loves living there so much and I really hope he does stay, at least for a couple of years - if only so I can go back again and again for cheap holidays.
I loved everything I saw but there is so much more that I didn't have time for.

So I promised pictures, best let them tell the story then.

This was the first real view of Barcelona I saw.

This is Sagrada Familia.
Son lives about 10mins walk from this, so after he picked me up at the airport this is where we got out the taxi. The building was designed by the architect Gaudi. It was not finished before he died but work continues on it.
It as apparently the most visited tourist attraction in Barcelona.

All the windows are stained glass - but my camera didn't capture it.

We also visited Casa Battlo, another of Gaudis creations.This was a building that he was asked to redesign and made into apartments.

To me his work has an organic feel. They don't look as if they were built - more like they just grew.

The ceiling of the main lounge, it's like being inside a giant shell.
Dunno who the ugly bloke is though - can you just fuck off out of my picture you're spoiling the view.
You can have a dictaphone thing to walk around with if you want that tells you about the building, we didn't bother, but it looked as if everyone was talking on the phone.

One of the hallways in the top of the Casa Battlo

My impression of Barcelona is a city that has everything, but I was amazed at the architecture. Even in the city centre all the shops have apartments above them, each one is different but equally impressive. The contrast is quite bizarre at times - on the ground floor is a sports shop or a cafe but above it is a grand old building. I guess at one time some of them were huge houses.

My favourite part of the city was the Gothic Quarter.
There are endless little cobbled streets, most of the ground floors are little shops and tiny bars but they also all have apartments above them, which makes the streets feel narrower then they are, although every once in a while you come across an open square usually around a grander building or church. Much older in style, Barcelona has influences from many cultures, the city walls for instance are Roman, but to me the Gothic Quarter is what I imagined older Spain to be like. We spent a lot of time wandering around here at night.

This is where I would want to live if I was there.

There are these little lanes running in between the slightly wider ones with shops.

One of the old churches in the Gothic Quarter - clearly been repaired, but totally made to look how it did originally. Shame about the parking sign.

We also went for a very posh meal on a roof terrace of a huge old house in the Gothic quarter. 
My meal was saute potatoes in the most delicious sauce I have tasted, on the top was a fish steak which was coated in herbs and then had cheese melted on the top.

It was pretty expensive but well worth it. However I took a picture and when I looked at it later . . . 

 . . . . . .is it just me or does that look like I ate a frog ?

Roman drinking fountain. It still works, but I wasn't that thirsty.

Even the Metro is impressive . . . . 

This is the entrance to one of the Metro stations - check out the chandelier, some of them are more like art galleries then train stations, nothing like the London underground. And that woman looked at me like I was an idiot for taking a picture. Yeah well it's alright for her she probably sees it every day.

And the beggars are a bit more creative too. . . . 

How could we not give them a couple of Euros ?
Love the fact that the money goes in the dogs bowl. We even saw two different beggars - both women - with cats. But these guys win.

La Rambla is the well known night-time spot in Barcelona, there are street entertainers, market stalls and artists every night. We did go there a couple of times, but really on our way elsewhere - along with the entertainment comes people hassling you to buy stuff you really don't want and neither Son nor I have much patience for that.
The thing that struck me as odd is the number of Indian men trying to get you to buy cans of beer.
Why ? When there are shops all around that sell it cheaper. Apparently they have no other motive, I thought it might be like the Africans in Ibiza who appear to be selling sunglasses but are really selling drugs but Son says that is not the case. It's just beer, and crap beer at that.

At the bottom of La Rambla, which is adjacent to the waterfront is this . . .

That's Christopher Columbus on top - pointing out to sea.
(I think he's showing the beer selling Indians the way home).

And finally, one of the highlights of the week for me was this fella.

I love Lizards. And thanks to Barcelona Zoo I got this close to a Kimodo.
With a pane of glass between us.

I took about 300 photos altogether. Obviously not going to post them all here - my picassa would probably explode.
If you really want to see more then you can. Don't worry it's not all of them, just a selection, I don't expect you want to see five different views of the same tree.
Sagrada Familia and Casa Battlo.
Random stuff.
Barcelona Zoo.
They are on Skydrive so full size images, you should be able to comment if you want.
(links to albums have been deactivated, if anyone wants to see these pics just ask in the comments)

I hope you liked the guest post, and went and checked out Drones hilarious sarcastic blog, there was supposed to be two but the other person didn't get his finished on time.

Looks like you lot have all been busy too - just checked my post feed and it looks like I have about a months worth of catch-up reading to do.

I love it - another excuse to put off doing the after holiday washing.


  1. DCG, I love this post! I have added Barcelona to my travel list. Thanks so much, your photos are awesome! Wow, what an amazing place; nothing at all like I expected. Brilliant. :)

  2. Glad you had a good holiday. My blogger friend Mia Dickinson lives in Barcelona and says there's quite a few English over there. I hope they didn't spoil it for you!

  3. What utterly fantastic photos!!!!! You have an excellent it. I had friends out there last week and they told me the whole of Spain was going through a heatwave. I went to Barcelona as a kid and can't remember it. Would love to go back one day. Sounds like you had a wonderful time.

  4. Glad you had a nice vacation, Spain is someplace I've always wanted to see. Welcome back.

  5. Sooo glad you're back, I gotta admit, my week was less fun without a few DCG updates. LOVE the pics! Stunning, really. Thanks for sharing.

    American beggars need to take a hint from the folks in Barcelona. Festive begging is where it's at!

  6. Looks like it was a great trip. The pictures were too cool. It really does look like the buildings are growing and not just pretty cosmetic exteriors. I will have to add Barcelona to the List. Thanks for the tour!

  7. Cowgirl - What a KICK ASS trip!!!!!! Didn't you want to stay???? Thanx for a great post!!!!

  8. Welcome back DCG! Those pics are stunning! You've got a great eye for the camera.
    Is that you're son in a couple of the photos, because if so, a couple of my friends have just uttered the sentence,'hubba hubba,' whilst drooling at the mouth.

  9. wow this is so beautiful dirty!!!


  10. I've been to Barcelona twice, there is a bar in the gothic quater in a small enclosed square with a tree in it that does the best Mojitos in the whole world.

  11. Welcome back DCG! Great pictures! I'm going to have to add Barcelona to my list of place I need to visit.

  12. Thanks guys, I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures. I plan to go back later in the year . . . sounds like I might see a few of you there !

    @Tony, I think I might've found it.

    And yeah Lily - that's my boy.

  13. Fabulous shots DCG!
    I knew you would just love the place. I am glad you enjoyed it, You have to put Madrid in your must list too.
    And su hijo es tan caliente!!!

  14. Thank you so much for sharing all those pictures of Gaudi's buildings... His architecture is just so distinctive and I've always loved all those curves he worked into his designs. Brilliant! I feel like I've just gone to Barcelona because of you! Thank you!!

    Did you have any tortillas des papas (Sp?)? mmmm... my favorite Spanish dish. I make it for breakfast sometimes.

    So many awesome pictures!! I love the kimodo dragon! I love lizards, turtles, snakes and frogs... to me they're just adorable. Thank you for sharing!!

  15. Jealous!!!!
    Gaudi is one of the reasons I am an artist. My uncle had a NatGeo mag featuring Gaudi that I would read over and over when I was young. I am so inspired by his glass and cement sculptures, and really look forward to spending time in Barcelona @ the sculpture park. Sigh...

  16. @Psycho, I will - I have told son he needs to learn to drive so we can go further next time lol.
    @Bella, I don't think I did but I will remember for future reference. Had a lot of Tapas though.
    @Vi, The park was one of the places we didn't get round to seeing and is on the list for next time, along with the Dali museum in Figueres.


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