Benvinguts a Barcelona!
Benvinguts a Barcelona!
My flight baptism was to Barcelona in 2008. Now almost 10 years later I decided to return!
I remembered that Barcelona was a "young" city, not in the sense of a recent one, but because vibrates with life and blended tradition with new trends.
We left Lisbon early on the first morning flight, with TAP and when the sun was born we were already "on" Madrid.
Quickly we were in the Catalonia square with our backpacks! Ready to action!
With the help of the city map, we already knew what we wanted to visit so we strarted to went up to 43 Passeig de Gracia, where we find the first building that is part of the Unesco world heritage list by Antoni Gaudí, one of the most famous Catalan architects and an icon of this city, the famous Casa Batlló.
Here we saw an amazing ans singular game of lights that creats at an unreal atmosphere.
After some photos we went at the same avenue the Casa Milá, also known as La Pedrera. It's located in the same area but at number 92. It is one of several Gaudí buildings that impresses by its beauty. Its lines contrast with the buildings around it. It looks like a house carved on a large stone and there are people who lives there ....
Then, we quitly went down to the Catalonia Rambla (parallel to the Passeig de Gràcia) to Plaza de Catalonia enjoying the city on a Saturday sunny morning. We crossed the square and entered at the Ramblas proper, towards to the sea.
Mercado La Boqueria
Shortly afterwards, the famous La Boqueria Market opened in 1840. This is the oldest municipal market in Barcelona! Now its almost for turists but walking through its crowded aisles is like enjoying a game where colors, smells and sounds blend seamlessly and the chaotic organization of the venue invites you to try out their products where fruits, spices, gums and juices stand out by the way they are judiciously arranged.
Already with a juice, we continue walking in the Ramblas, until we find our hotel where we took advantage to make the check in, and left some weight in our rooms.
We did not spend
much time in the hotel so we continued our walk down the rambla to the
Columbus Monument (Colón as it is called here), opened for
Expo 1888, its very close to Porto Velho.
Take the lift to the viewing gallery at the top, where you can enjoy the panoramic views of the city and
Then we just cross the road and we followed our walk through Port Vell (Porto Velho), the port of Barcelona that has as a backdrop the Mediterranean. If in the city we feel the permanent presence of South American and Indian people, here this area has a lot of Africans who use this space to sell their replicas, like glasses, tennis, luggage, handicrafts, or Barça equipment with Leo Messi in the spotlight :)
This is one of the oldest areas of the city and owes its name to the predominant architectural style in the buildings and monuments of that area, the Gothic style. I confess that it is one of the top places that attracts me particularly and where we can enjoy the true essence of this great city.
In the end we still saw the Cathedral of Barcelona, but it was late to visit, and we leave our visit for another day.
After this brief passage through this popular monument, we follow our walk through the narrow alleys of the Gothic quarter, where we saw the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya, the seat of the presidency of Catalonia.
Along the Ramblas
Barcelona's most famous Street
The main Rambla of the city usually called as "Las Ramblas" actually owes its name to the fact that it is made up of 5 Ramblas .... which start at the Cataloni Plaza and ends at Colon monument ... namely:
Rambla de Canaletes - Here in the middle of the tourists we find lots of old people who come together and discuss football and politics.
Rambla dels Estudis Also known as Rambla dels Ocells (birds) because of the banquinas selling animals.
Rambla de Sant Josep - The stalls with flowers give it the second name by which it is known (Rambla de les Flors), going down, to the right, we find the Mercat de la Boqueria.
Rambla dels Caputxins - Street artists and human statues are usually there. Going down, at the right side we find the Palau Guell (palace) and to the left side the Plaça Reial (Royal Square).
Rambla de Santa Mónica - Street artists, such as portraitists and painters, make authentic works of art for all tastes, already with the sea on the horizon.
Agbar Tower and Mapfre Tower
Inaugurated in 2005, the Agbar Tour is 35 floors and 142 meters high. It's the third tallest building in Barcelona, after the Hotel Arts and Mapfre Tower, respectively. The Mapfre Tower, its sister, is located next to the beach at Olympic port of Barcelona, in the first line of the sea. The two towers are part of the Poblenou Olympic Village, built for the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992 ...
It's official, it's not finished! I confirmed, but the expected date of its conclusion is not innocent: 2026 the year that celebrats the centenary of Antoni Gaudí's death.
You will not find any park like this one in the world and it's one of the most famous park in Barcelona. It was built between 1900 and 1914 and one of the main features of the Park Güell is the contrast between the colors of the different building materials.
The view of the city of Barcelona is beautiful and gives an accurate picture of the location of some places such as the Ramblas, Sagrada Familia or Montjuic.
Something that also surprised me was the fact that all over the city there are authentic gardens suspended on the balconies and terraces. The effect is fantastic! Maybe a good example to follow.
The Arco do Triunfo at Parque da Cidadela, is a place full of life that invites you to relax.
The Parc of Montjuïc is located on the mountain with the same name: Montjuïc "hill of the Jews" in ancient Catalan, and is the green lung of Barcelona. Montjuic is filled with a lot off spots such the Olympic stadium, or the Botanical Garden, The Joan Miró Foundation, or the National Palace (home of the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC)). In this mountain we have a privileged view to the city from the sea till Tibidabo. It's a privileged place to take some photos!
Praça de Espanha
Praça de Espanha is a fantastic place and in its center has a replic of the fountain that mimic the square of San Marcos in Venice. Here the old bullring of the city has been converted into a shopping center, the Arenas of Barcelona, where you can get some excellent panoramic photos.
Christmas lights& illuminations
O Terceiro e último dia acordou mais cinzento e frio, o que nos fez desistir de visitar Tibidabo pois lá no alto não estaria mais quente e optamos por ficar pela cidade e visitar em pormenor alguns locais agora com tempo.
It worth to go round the Cathedral of Barcelona to appreciate all the details. The square in front of the main entrance (Plaça de la Seu) is also very pleasant.
If inside the cathedral the detais are amazing and magnificent with its incredible stained glass and crypt, from its roof we obtain a magnificent perspective from the city.