Barcelona (& Shauna)

Great week in a great city, with some added Shauna.
Late October, and a spell of warmer weather when we visited Barcelona.

Got in late on Saturday, so Sunday morning we went for a cycling tour with Dickens.  And very good it was too. We revisited (or passed again) most of the things we saw, but it was a great introduction.

The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, or Barcelona Cathedral to you and me.  It is dedicated to Eulalia of Barcelona, co-patron saint of Barcelona, a young virgin who, according to Catholic tradition, suffered martyrdom during Roman times in the city. The nice Romans put her into a barrel with knives stuck into it and rolled it down a street.

Our posse of bikes, outside the Palau de la M˙sica, a pretty non-Gaudi building

Cascada in the Parc de la Ciutadella

Cycling around the city

One of the two ex-bullrings in Barcelona.   Local government banned bull-fighting at it was cruel and Spanish.

No tour would be complete without a stop at the Sagrada Familia.  Started in 1882, now scheduled for completion in 2026.  Good luck with that.  More pictures later when we return here.

After all that cycling, a well deserved refreshment (and nice lunch).

After that a quick visit to the Castle courtyard, then onto the Roman exhibition (well it was free on a Sunday afternoon).

Roman things.

Scottish things.

And then a quick refreshment in placa reial.  Good first full day in town.

Day two we had a wander round the Mercado de La Boqueria - I missed the sheep heads out of the picture.

A pretty little square. Actually the Historical Archive of the City of Barcelona

View of the cathedral from the Archive building

Some of the 13 white geese kept in the cathedral's secluded Gothic cloister.  Number of geese based on the assertion that Eulalia (see above) was 13 when she was martyred.

Slightly quirky carvings on some building

Building with the quirky stonework

Then we took a walk up Passeig de Gracia, and saw Casa Batllo (a Gaudi designed building).

Building next to it was rather pretty too.

Second Gaudi of the day  - La Pedrera (more of that later).

And final Gaudi site for today, Parc Guell.  Yes you guessed it was designed by Gaudi.  Too mean to pay to get into that bit, but it was free to take a picture.

From a high point of Parc Guell - when I thought the camera had gone on the blink, but still managed to get a pic!

Met this charming Spanish girl who brought us much needed provisions.

Parrots, just flying around (or in this case sitting in the tree).


Posh front bit we didn't pay to go into either.

Then we paid a visit to Shauna's gaff.

Did I mention it had a posh hall?

The next day the weather wasn't quite so kind.  Outside the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (National Art Museum of Catalonia).

And looking back to Placa d'Espanya and the city.

A famous painting in the MNAC - Pablo Picasso's "Woman in Hat and Fur Collar"  

By the time we came out the rain had gone - hurray.

The Olympic Stadium

After a bit of a walk around we found ourselves back here.

From the top of the other ex-bull ring in Barcelona, again looking to the MNAC, over the Placa d'Espanya

Dodgy selfie on top of a bull ring.

Another day, another walk past the Cathedral.

Some street in the Barri G˛tic district.

And inside the BasÝlica de Santa Maria del Pi.  Possibly where Eulalia was buried in pre-Christian Roman times, before being moved.

And on the beach.  Didn't quite make it in swimming.

Rather nice little square(Placa de la Barceloneta) off the main drag.  Good spot for a quick bite before we visited Museu d'Hist˛ria de Catalunya which was excellent.

And later that same day we found time for a rendezvous with Shauna, and choc ices, before visiting La Pedrera.

Impressive inner courtyard.

Most impressive roof

Didn't quite manage a tourist free picture through the arch, but never mind.

Before or after the fall?

Couldn't get these tourists to move either.

At last, an arch shot with hardly any tourists.

Massive roof space - make an exhibition about the building and My Gaudi.

Design tools.

An interior - how the other half lived.

Escaped at last.  No, to be fair it was very good.

On the way home we passed Casa Batllo all lit up.

Don't think I got a pic of the lovely breakfast room, but here is a nicely made up bed.

Is this now Thursday?  Trip out to Montserrat.  No not the island, the multi-peaked rocky range located near the city of Barcelona, in Catalonia, Spain.  It is well known as the site of the
Benedictine abbey, Santa Maria de Montserrat, which hosts the Virgin of Montserrat sanctuary and which is identified by some as the location of the Holy Grail in Arthurian myth.

Had to get a cable car as well as a train to get there

After a long wait we got in to see  La Moreneta ("the little dark-skinned one"). Believed by some to have been carved in Jerusalem in the early
days of the Church, it is more likely a Romanesque sculpture in wood from the late 12th century.  Had to stand in a long queue to see her anyway.
Rather sumptuous setting too.
The Virgin's view of the Abbey.

And the Abbey's view of the Virgin.

I preferred the hills.

Thanks for taking the picture, mister.

And now a funicular railway to the top.

La Trompa de l'Elefant, side on, in the middle

Are you sure this is the right way - lost in the mist atop the hills

Just been up there - gallus or what?

And on the Friday, we revisited the Sagrada Familia.  This is the Nativity Fašade was built before work was interrupted in 1935 and bears the most direct GaudÝ influence.

The lizard and snake facade (also known as the North facade which is nothing special).

The Passion fašade, construction began in 1954, and finished in 1976. It is especially striking for its spare, gaunt,
tormented characters, including emaciated figures of Christ being scourged at the pillar; and Christ on the Cross..   the debt owed by George Lucas!

Don't remember the bit where the storm troopers attended the crucifixion!

Inside is pretty spectacular too -as the natuarl light filters in through the stained glass.  Good Job somone.

Then we headed off to the Mercat dels Encants (I think that is what it was called), and Shauna got a nice new coat.

Then time to relax back in Ciutadella Park, and enjoy the dancing (not pictured).

Sadly Saturday came too soon, but we still had Montju´c to enjoy.  Another cable car, and views of the city.

I don't think he was really taking pictures of them, was he?

Time for the big guns

Sunny and hot.

Enjoying the view

Where is that Columbus statue?

Original city walls (all that remains).

Found the pointing statue.

And to finish, a scene from a Catalonian (or Spanish) pride type film, we think!
And there you have our first Barcelona adventure.  We may be back !

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