30 Apr 2019

Final day in Barcelona and a hint of Canada

Today Wendy and I went to the Barcelona Cathedral (only about 150 m away) and took a look inside after going through a long line and some perfunctory security. Huge cathedral with beautiful stained glass. We paid 3 euro each to take elevator up to the tower for a great view of the city. 

Next stop was the Museum of the History of Barcelona (essentially an archaeological dig under the cathedral showing the old Roman ruins). Surprisingly quite interesting. We thought this would be a good rainy day event - weather reports suggested it was supposed to pour all day. Sunny and hot was what greeted us this afternoon!

We later went to the old Roman temple inside a small enclosed area (to preserve it). Interesting, and luckily free. This was also less that 150 m from our hotel. 

Trying to get some mileage out of the metro passes we bought, we headed to Placa Espanya and went to the Las Arenas - a modern shopping mall built inside an old bull fighting arena. After lunch and shopping, we walked over to the Magic fountain before heading back on the crowded subway to the hotel. All in all, a nice quiet day for our last in Barcelona. 

Wendy acting like the typical tourists we see. She is in front of a moving Ferris wheel of bras... we have seen many of these on this trip...

Magic Fountain... too hot to watch it for more than a few minutes

We even found out that they have a Tim Hortons here in Barcelona! I guess this is our clue that it is time to head home.

Tomorrow - Lisbon! Unfortunately, just the airport in Lisbon...

29 Apr 2019

Chocolate, Sagrada Familia, Chocolate, and a market

Our second last full day in Barcelona started (after hot chocolate/coffee and pastries!) with a long walk to the Sagrada Familia - subways were on minimal service all day due to protests/strikes. So much for buying a 4 day metro pass, as Wendy and I have only used it once so far.
Like drinking a chocolate bar
Gaudi's still in construction church was absolutely spectacular.   We took the elevator up the Nativity facade but walked down all 480 spiral staircase steps.

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Getting ready to become dizzy

Nice views on the way down
On the way back, we went to the chocolate museum (with a Game of Thrones dragon in chocolate) then had a siesta.

Later in the day we went to the Boqueria Market and wandered around before coming back for a quiet dinner in our room.

28 Apr 2019

Gaudi, sex machines, and Picasso

We went to Casa Mila (La Pedrera) today and toured the Gaudi designed apartment building. Unbelievable architecture and lots of things to look at.

View from inside Casa Mila

Casa Mila main gate (where cars could go to underground parking.

Walked back to La Rambla and window shopped, although most things are closed on Sundays. Also visited the Erotic museum, but didn't get any photos... sorry.  ;-()

After an afternoon siesta, Wendy and I went back out into the city and did some shopping along the waterfront (the Mediterranean). After checking out the "baby drop off" - where unwanted babies were left to be given away - we went into an interesting church on the way to the Picasso museum, then headed to a bakery to buy some pastries for dinner (...still on vacation, remember?).

Yes, it is here, too!

They have a very complicated political life in Barcelona. Flags for everything!

The Barcelona Baby Drop-Off (where unwanted children were left)

At the Picasso Museum (not as good as the entry fee suggested)

Dinner in Barcelona, on our terrace.

Tomorrow is a tour up the Nativity facade of the Sagrada Familia, another Gaudi construction.

27 Apr 2019

To Barcelona we go!

Just a travel day today. We checked out of the AirBnB - was a great place to stay in Prenzlauer berg and very convenient to most everything we wanted to see. Off to the airport in the morning (a bit early). Well, actually... very early. We waited a very long time for the Vueling airline counter to open, checked in, then had to walk to a different terminal to pay for our one bag (50 euro, cash only). Had lunch then went through security and waited again for a very long time.

We made it to Barcelona! Flight was an hour late, but arrived in daylight. Took the Aero express bus right to Placa de Catalunya and walked to the hotel via the narrow cobble stone streets. Our hotel gave us a room on the top floor with our own private balcony (15'x15') overlooking the area. The hotel also gave us a small fruit basket for booking directly with them (rather than Expedia). A four star hotel in the Gothic quarter at a cheaper price than in Munich. Can't beat that!
The balcony even comes with a built in step to look over the wall

Interesting evening views from our terrace/patio. A bit noisy too. Crowds here are unbelievable - hotel says there is a football (soccer) game tonight. We'll see if there are fewer people out on the streets tomorrow when we go to Gaudi's Casa Mila (La Padrera).