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Nooks and Crannies!

15 May

We are currently sat in the beautifully quaint courtyard at the Museum of the History of Barcelona, surrounded by orange trees and the faint sound of the bustling city below us.

I wonder if this is where my freshly squeezed orange juice came from?

Exploring the nooks and crannies of the city is one of the most interesting ways of seeing the real Barcelona. The Gothic Quarter is home to a stunning collection of buildings and side streets…

Delicious!

I always wanted to be called Clara!

Barcelona Cathedral

Cheap tat!

Pretty!

Eclectic window display!

Eclectic window display!

Must dash! A tour bus has just pulled up and we want to bag ourselves some top deck seats!

Parc de la Ciutadella

15 May

A more conventional park thank Parc Guell, the Ciutadella is located in the city centre of Barcelona. We visited the park this morning and now feel thoroughly relaxed

There is a very calm atmosphere; although the park is busy with families, runners, sunbathers and musicians alike, everyone is relaxing on the grass, strolling round the footpaths or rowing a boat on the gentle lake.

The park is also home to the zoo, botanical gardens and parliament.

The focal point of the park is the Cascades Fountain; a stunning structure of archways, golden statues and water. However, when the fountain was first built it did not have any of the beautiful details we saw this morning. After being slated in the press for this, a further 6 years were spent on making it into the magnificent sight seen by hundreds of people everyday, including us…

barcelona park

Barcelona Park

I love how there is no actual function or need for this fountain, it was built purely for the sake of creating something beautiful.

Park Güell and Back!

14 May

This morning we took the metro to the nearest stop to Park Güell.

I have been to this beautiful site a number of times in the past but every time am even more awe-struck by its beauty and uniqueness!

Park Güell was designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and built in the years 1900 to 1914. From 1906 to 1926 Gaudí  lived in one of the houses in park himself, but not one that he had designed!

Park Güell’s complex design means paths can take you off route and you end up discovering a different part than you had planned! This is all part of the beauty of the park and although it’s very busy with tourists, there is a very peaceful and calm atmosphere.

The two buildings at the entrance, though very original and remarkable with fantastically shaped roofs with unusual pinnacles, fit in well with the use of the park as pleasure gardens and seem relatively inconspicuous in the landscape when you compare them to other buildings designed by Gaudí.


We eventually made our way to the large cross at the Park’s highest point, which offers the most complete view of Barcelona and the bay.


We got a fabulous panorama of the city, with the Sagrada Família and the Montjuïc area visible in the distance.


Finally, we made our way to the central focal point of Park Güell; the main terrace which is surrounded by a long bench in the form of a sea serpent. This is covered in broken ceramic pieces, to form a wonderful mosaic effect.


Apparently, to design the curvature of the bench surface Gaudí used the shape of buttocks left by a naked workman sitting in wet clay!

Underneath the terrace a small orchestra play music, which is amplified by the fantastic acoustics supplied by the shape and height of the terrace above! This added further ambience to the park and I actually took a moment to sit there with my eyes closed to take in the beautiful music; Bach, Air

… which was quickly interrupted by all the illegitimate souvenir merchants being chased off by the police!!

Here they are playing Pachelbel’s Canon…

After leaving the park we casually walked into the surrounding neighbourhood in the direction of the city. After stumbling upon a number of quaint, tree-lined streets the famous Sagrada Família appeared at the end! So we sat outside a cafe directly opposite and ate some paella while taking in the magnificent site!

Not sure what we’ll do tomorrow (take it as it comes) so check back and see!

Barcelona by Night…

12 May

I just want to acknowledge how beautiful this city is at night as well as during the day!

Here are a few pictures I just took whilst walking around aimlessly after dinner…

 

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