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Wednesday, 13 May 2015


After a lovely stay in Tossa we caught the bus to Barcelona for a few days of sight seeing and urban culture. I find Barcelona to be an incredibly noisy and busy city and this impression was enhanced by the location of our hotel on the Gran Via.
But this makes it super easy to get around. Some small change, a ten-trip metro ticket and a good map held the right way up are all you need. No! not quite true...comfy shoes, a walking tour marked out, a secure bag and a sense of direction are all very helpful.

The Palace of Music of Catalonia is one of the most highly decorated Art Nouveau style buildings...

...with exquisite decorations and ornaments. All signs and notices are written firstly in Catalan, followed by Spanish and then any other. I find the Catalan written form to show a strong relationship with French and DJ says that its spoken pattern is quite Spanish but the words aren't quite as his ear expects.

Bullfighting is now banned in Catalonia but continues in the rest of Spain. The Arenas has been transformed into an amazing shopping centre but...

La Monumental still stands as a museum of bullfighting and is mostly unspoiled and splendid artifacts are simply displayed.

So much more expensive to sit in the shade!

The last time the bulls would be in the shade!

We ate Spanish, Italian and Chinese food while we were there and forsook the expensive hotel breakfast for the fresh juice and stuffed croissants of the cafe on the corner. They also welcomed us back to watch the second half of the football (Barcelona v Juventus) with coffee and brandy for less than 5euros.

We found the Santa Caterina Market and bought tomatoes and grapes for far more than 5euros !

And we left the hams in the shop.

Last but not least we went on a tour of the Sagrada Familia. We had a wonderful guide and were shown around the best bits. Unfortunately the lifts were not operating that afternoon and nor was my camera. A particular shame because the sensibly pragmatic Spanish allow all people to take photos of everything and use flash whenever necessary. In many ways it was better because I was able to listen and look and so learned much more.

The weather was great for ambling around town and mild enough to eat out on the pavement in the evening.

But there is so much more to see and the cable cars to ride and the musical fountains to enjoy so we shall return. The fountains played to pop music and were not as majestic as they had been before.

Plenty more to see and do and interiors of buildings and galleries to experience.

Cheers for now


helen tilston said...

Hello Gillian
Your delightful post brought back fond memories of Barcelona. There is just so much to see and do here.
The scale of the city makes it so enjoyable and not having towering skyscrapers is a welcome relief.
Thanks for sharing "your Barcelona"

Gillian said...

It was Real Madrid not Barcelona...getting my Spanish football teams confused!

trish said...

Feeling the need to return to Barcelona. Will definitely consider Tossa de Mar for the accommodation.