Sunday, July 15, 2012

Barcelona Part 2

After a restful night of sleep, we donned our uniforms (thank heaven I wore comfy stretch crop pants, since I was now living in them), gathered our few belongings, and went for breakfast.  Now, I could get on a rant about how much healthier, and better tasting, a European continental breakfast is, but that can come later.  Delicious fresh fruit, meats, cheeses, eggs, brioche....what, no Danish or doughnuts, or boxed cereal?  Oops, I digressed...
We checked out, and boarded a tour bus for a 5 hour trek around Barcelona, then to our ship.  We drove down The Rambla, the tree lined street with a pedestrian walking area/park in the middle, that Robert and I had walked the night before
Google Image
more beautiful buildings...some of these photos are shot through the tinted bus windows, thus the bluish green overcast.

We drove by Casa Batlo, a Gaudi restoration.  There are lots of good pictures on google images.

Next stop, Sagrada Familia, a church started by Gaudi in the late 1800s, and still under construction.  It was 1/4 complete by his death...the Catalans think it might be complete in another 100 years.  It's size and structure are is not elevator music. 
 The completed front of the church is about the birth of Christ, the spires represent the apostles, the fruit is for bounty, there is plenty of allegory.

The detail is is could stare at a 20 foot wide section and keep seeing new sculptures.

An under construction front section with fruit!

The back depicts the death of Christ.  Very modern, minimalist.

 The square of numbers...the numbers add up to 33, however you go...our guide wasn't sure why it was there.  It's just there.

Some pretty buildings with stenciled relief work...the poor folk.

Barcelona has a bike program...for a monthly fee, you have access to bikes around town.  The program was so successful, they had to triple the number of bikes for use!

Next stop, the old city, the Gothic section.  Roman walls, cathedral.

 Again, the size and grandeur.  

They used the cathedral for political meetings...there were rows of these wooden seats, with the largest, most elaborate for the king and the bishop.

 The geese were the state of the art security system.

Just some sights walking through the old city...

St. George, the patron saint of Barcelona.

 Gargoyles everywhere!  Some scary.

Just a Roman temple that was discovered when they were building apartments, so they built the apartments around the remaining columns.

The next stop was the main political square...the steps lead to a door where Christopher Columbus reported to the Queen about his New World exploration.

 Inside the government house, the ceiling is original.

Back on the bus, driving by a huge fountain dedicated to whomever (brain has started to fail at this point, too many monuments, ruins, our guide was very good),

again with the incredible detail,

and one of Barcelona's two bull fighting rings, where they recently stopped the fights, because Catalans say that bull fighting is a Spanish tradition, not Catalan.  And our guide did tell us that the Catalans would love to succeed from Spain.

Next stop, Montjuic, a hill overlooking the harbor.  This is the site of some Olympic stadia, museums, public areas.  

Very peaceful, and the site of my first gelato!

Sagrada Familia, towering above the city.

 Woo hoo!  Our ship, the Regatta, being prepared.

Next stop, embarkation!  Just as we were walking toward the gangway, our luggage was being delivered!  Talk about happy.  We were told our room wouldn't be ready for another hour, so we went to the Terrace restaurant, hoping to find Bob and Chris - and we did.  Don't you love it when a plan comes together?  We had a nice lunch, and went out on the deck for sailing out of port.  A jazz combo played some music...ahhhh.

 Good bye Barcelona.  Next stop, Marseille. 

1 comment:

  1. Another terrific post! I love hearing about your trip.