Spain in Pictures
We left for Spain at the end of March and returned on Easter, so I am a little behind. 😛 To make it up, this post will be laden with photos (moreso than usual). We flew into Barcelona, took the high speed train to Madrid (the train had baggage security!), and flew back from Madrid.
Day 1: Barcelona
After an hour looking for our B&B the night before, we walked the few blocks to the Sagrada Familia. What a sight! It isn’t done (been under construction for over a century), but it will be in less than a decade. We will have to go back.
We trekked to another Gaudi creation, Parque Guell. Beautiful, although very busy. Live music in every corner. We walked most of it and toured Gaudi’s house.
Near the coastline we found Parc Ciutadella. It wasn’t as snazzy as Guell, but it houses a very lovely fountain. You can also find a zoo, a few museums, and the Catalan Parliament there.
Just in the north corner of the park was Barcelona’s Arc De Triomf. It was more pleasant than Paris’ because of the long promenade with some lovely architecture on either side whereas the Parisian arch is in the middle of a roundabout. 😛
We ended the day with a walk down the pier and a quick step into the Mediterranean. Our dinner was at the 7 Portes, a very old Catalan restaurant highly recommended.
Day 2: Barcelona
First stop: Casa Batllo. The house architecture was inspired by the sea. I would love to have something more organic like this whenever we get a house. 😀 We made a quick swing by Casa Mila, but the line was too long to go up and enjoy the sea of chimneys.
Instead we ate at the Hard Rock Cafe and walked down La Rambla, the most well-known street in Barcelona. After passing many booths, we arrived at the Colom (Christopher Columbus) monument. We took the elevator up to see a grand view of Barcelona then walked around the pier a bit more.
With some time left, we went back north to the Cathedral that has a spectacular courtyard with duck pond and an old drinking fountain. By this point, I was feeling the beginnings of the miserable cold Herr had for several days, so it was soup and flan for me while Herr had black paella.
Day 3: Barcelona
Our last day in Barcelona we spent hanging around La Rambla area, which has great shopping, and toured the Palau de la Musicaa Catalana . Because the building is privately owned, we weren’t allowed to take photos, but it is a very lovely building with a beautiful interior. It would have been terrific to see a performance!
Unfortunately, we caught the train before that evening’s show. The AVE high speed train requires a baggage security check because of terrorist bombs a while back, but on the train they showed a movie! Like an airplane would! Okay, I thought it was awesome, even if it was an American movie dubbed in Spanish. 😛
In Madrid, we found our room was upgraded to a suite. Even though the rooms needed serious updating, I found it very nice nonetheless.
Day 4: Madrid
Our busy day in Madrid was a dreary one. We went to the Temple of Debod, a gift from Egypt to Spain for helping rescue temples in the flooding plain of a dam.
We backtracked to the Renia Sophia to admire some artwork including several Picassos including the Guernica, although I found some line drawings a few rooms down to be much more interesting.
We made it to the National Library in time to run through their Paper in History exhibit (several of their most priceless books on display!), and then ran around the block to the Archaeological Museum (it literally abuts the library) before the museums closed.
It was nearly 3 p.m. when we ate at the Hard Rock. With nearly replenished energy and happier feet, we found the entrance to Parque Retiro just as it started to rain. In the middle of the park is the Crystal Palace, a large open floor glass building.
We were soaked when we made it to the hotel (which may have been why our colds lingered for some time…), then we caught our flight the next morning. I would like to return to Spain when the weather is warmer to see Valencia. 😀