Barcelona is all about Antoni Gaudi

December 19 – The Antoni Gaudi Tour

La Rambla Street Performer by Justin KornDuring past trips, I’ve typically taken the time to take a step back and look at the places I visit. I haven’t done much of that yet, so I thought I would do that before jumping into what I did today.

First off, I am extremely impressed with Spain’s metro system. The subway here is clean, accurate and on time, useful, and seems to go everywhere. There are resemblances of the New York subway system that I’ve noticed, one of them being pay one price to go anywhere you want.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that all the cities we’ve been to so far have all been very clean. There is little trash in the streets, the air doesn’t seem smoggy, and there are few beggars on the corners. That isn’t to say there are no beggars, but most of those that are asking for a handout are typically posing for pictures in weird costumes or playing an instrument of some sort.

Not to say this is a Spanish thing, but since I’ve noticed it, I thought I’d share. I’ve noticed a few times now that washing hands after using the restroom seems to not be common practice. Once, while eating lunch, I notice the host (not the guy cooking the food, but the guy cleaning the tables and serving the food) went to the restroom and came out zipping up. On another occasion, a guy came out of the stall in the restroom as I was entering and didn’t even glance at the sink. I really hope this was just two incidents that were unrelated, but I thought I’d share.

Anywho, on to what today held for me…

Parc Guell by Justin KornWe were up at 9:00am and took our time getting out the door. Once out, we had a mission to find ourselves the infamous Chocolate Churros found in Spain. We found a place and ordered three plates (about 6 small pieces of churro per plate) of churros with one cup of chocolate. I’m starting to wonder if sweets and chocolate is a big thing in Spain. I haven’t read anything supporting this, but there are bakeries and places selling pastries everywhere. In fact, I think I have had chocolate for breakfast in one form or another everyday since arriving.

After breakfast, we headed to the Metro for a trip to Parc Guell (Park Guell). Park Guell is a 15 hectares park overlooking the city of Barcelona. The architecture is from a different world and nothing like anything I have ever seen. I read somewhere that all of the rock structures created within the Park are built with rocks from the original foundation. The park was being built by Eusebi Guell’s friend, Antone Guadi, from 1900 to 1914. In 1914, apparently construction was brought to a halt due to “commercial failure” of the project.

Temple de la Sagrada Familia by Justin KornFrom there, we headed down hill on foot toward Temple de la Sagrada Familia. We stopped for lunch at a random Italian place on the way which was nothing special. As we approached the Temple, our mouths dropped. The structure is still under construction, yet the size of the what is already built is huge and quite spectacular. There are sculptures in every corner from top to bottom. It is amazing to think that construction of the Temple de la Sagrada Familia began over 100 years ago in 1882. Antoni Gaudi was the Project Director from 1883 till 1926 when he died. There are currently 8 completed bell towers with 4 left to be built. Of those 4, the central dome, which will be the largest standing at 170 meters, is still yet to start construction. Before we left, we took the lift up to the top of one of the bell towers and walked the spiraling steps back down to the bottom. Though they charge an extra 2.50 EUROS to take the lift up, I thought it was worth it and was glad we did it.

Exhausted, we jumped back on the Metro and headed back to Catalunya Plaza and walked down La Rambla again stopping in a few shops as we made our way back to the hotel for an hour or so of down time. At about 8:30pm we headed out for dinner. This time, we headed toward the El Born area and found a nice restaurant by the name of Taller de Tapas. on Calle de l’Argenteria. The majority of the menu seemed to be seafood and neither Jeff or I like seafood, so I can’t comment on how good their seafood is, but we ended up with a steak and chicken tapas plate which turned out to be very good.

After dinner, we attempted to find a good place to mingle with the crowds and have a drink. After walking around quite a bit, we ended up back at the El Born area and seattle in a crowded place. Luckily, we snagged a table after being there for about 20 minutes or so. We had a few drinks till about 2:00am and then decided we had enough of that place. Since we didn’t have a destination for the rest of the evening, we decided to head in and call it a night.

Till next time…

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Categorized: Travel Diaries