Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Thursday Nov 22 Valencia to Barcelona

Nov 12-13 Toronto to London to Madrid
Nov 14 Madrid on our own
Nov 15 Madrid on our own
Nov 16 Madrid on our own until Welcome Dinner
Monday Mural some murals in La Latina
Thursday Doors Madrid
Pull Up a Seat Madrid
Nov 17 Part 1 Madrid City tour
Nov 17 Part 2 Toledo and Madrid dinner
Nov 18 Madrid to Cordoba to Seville
inSPIREd Sunday Puerto Lapice
Nov 19 Seville
Nov 20 Seville to Granada
Nov 21 Granada to Valencia

Tuesday Photo Challenge Tranquil
Week 1 Recap  Nov 12 - 16
Week 2 Recap Nov 17 - 23
Week 3 Recap Nov 24 - 26

Thursday Nov 22 DAY 8 - Drive to Barcelona, Barcelona City Tour
Meals: Breakfast
Breakfast opens 7 AM Bags out 7:45 Depart 8:45

Depart Valencia and drive along the coast of Catalunya to sensational Barcelona. 

Our morning stop.

Again this schedule was switched around. We went to the hotel first and some of the rooms were ready, ours wasn't but they took our bags.

Upon arrival, drive along the Old Harbor to the Plaza Catalunya, the city's bustling main square. 

Pass the famous works of Gaudi, the master architect, including the Casa Batllo, seemingly constructed from skulls and bones. 

Then, continue on to view the iconic symbol of Barcelona, Gaudi's masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia, a colossal church that is legendary and still unfinished. Ascend Montjuic Hill, home to the Olympic complex, a number of sports facilities built for the 1992 Summer Olympics with the Olympic Stadium at its center. 

Lunch on your own. City Tour begins 3:30.

There was an Indian restaurant that appealed to the four of us across the street.

3:30 is late to start a city tour in November when it gets dark so early. 

We boarded the bus for a very short drive and started La Sagrada Familia is one of Gaudí's most famous works in Barcelona. It's a giant Basilica that has been under construction since 1882 (that's not a typing error) and it's not expected to be completed for some time yet.
Beautiful? Not in our opinion, interesting yes.

Bullfighting in Catalonia is now history, after a regional ban, but the beautiful old bullrings have been put to good use by architects and developers.
Las Arenas was an ample bullring on Barcelona's Plaça d'Espanya that fell into  disrepair in the 1990s. In 2000 the neo-Mudéjar facade – a modernist, ornate style typical for Spanish bullrings – was entirely preserved and lifted above street level to create additional space. A dish 100m in diameter was added on top of the arena to form a public roof terrace, which has become popular with locals and tourists, offering 360-degree views of the city.

Standing on a vantage point 173 metres above the port, Montjuïc Castle commands stunning views of the city. Now a peaceable place, the memory of this fortress endures in Barcelona as a symbol of repression but also of the city's struggles during different periods in its history.

Many of these attractions were constructed in order to celebrate the 1929 International Exhibition, however it is believed that before it was turned into the big park of today, there was a jewish cemetery somewhere around the mountain, therefore earning the name of Montjuic, meaning “jew mountain” in catalan.

The magic fountain of Montjuïc's (Font màgica de Montjuïc in Catalan) first performance was on May 19, 1929 during the Great Universal Exhibition.

You can see Las Arenas bullring/shopping mall.

Clowning around.

Port Vell literally in English 'Old Harbor') is a waterfront harbor and part of the Port of Barcelona. It was built as part of an urban renewal program prior to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Before this, it was a run-down area of empty warehouses, railroad yards, and factories. 16 million people visit the complex each year

Cruise ships, pictures are from the bus, we'll be back for better photos.

Christopher Columbus.

Frank Gehry’s Golden Fish Sculpture
The 52m long golden fish sculpture El Peix is one of the best known and most striking landmarks on Barcelona’s seafront. It’s gold coloured stainless steel surface shines under the Mediterranean sun and changes appearance depending on the angle of the sun and the current weather conditions.

Back on the bus we drive down Gran Via. It's too dark to get decent photos of Gaudi's other masterpieces.

The rest of the day is at leisure for individual pursuits. Again, no free time left.

Ayre Hotel Caspe
C/Caspe 103
Barcelona, SPAIN 08013
P: +(34)-93-246-7000

Located in the heart of Barcelona, is a short distance from Plaza Catalunya and Las Ramblas, close to Passeig de Gràcia. This avenue, considered one of the principle arteries of the city, houses famous modernist buildings, such as the Casa Milà, Casa Batlló, Casa Lleó Morera and the Casa Amatller, as well as works by the Catalan architects Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner.

Just a few minutes' walk and you will discover the city's historic centre, fall in love with Gaudí's Sagrada Familia, immerse yourself in the Gothic quarter, and visit the Born and the Olympic Port.

Tonight, enjoy your first taste of Barcelona's rousing nightlife and fabulous cuisine 

We finally get our rooms and head out to dinner with Anne and Bob, and Bob and Jane.

Roasted pig trotters for me.

Typical Catalonian sausage.

Overnight: Barcelona

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