After leaving Madrid we took a train to Barcelona. Again, the train ride was fabulous! Spacious seating, drinks, food, movies. Nick and I both agreed we could travel like that all the time. The train ride was only 2 1/2 hours. Really not bad at all. We had to take a taxi to our hotel - - you always wonder if they take you the long way. Like maybe their thinking....these Americans have no idea where they are going - - let's take the scenic route! Most important, though, we got their in one piece. Once there we started our sightseeing!
Here's a picture of the train hitting 300kph - - Nick was pretty impressed with that!
Barcelona definitely has a different feel to it. It's more upbeat, younger, and vibrant. And a lot more people. A lot. It's a great mix of the locals with the tourist. We saw and experienced so much in Barcelona and still didn't see it all. Again, lots of walking and tired feet! I think that might be the theme for the trip :)!
One of the first major sites we saw was Casa Batllo. This was a creation by Gaudi - - very interesting. The house was based on the ocean and everything that encompasses the ocean (sea turtles, fish, waves, etc.). Gaudi = eccentric. A really neat place to visit first. I would say it prepared us for all that is Gaudi. Gaudi's creations are displayed throughout Barcelona and it is very evident he had an impact on the city.
Outside view of the house
Inside view of the house
Picture on the patio with decorative art behind us.
Next on the sightseeing adventure -- multiple places. We saw La Sagrada Familia. Let's just say this is the most MASSIVE church I have ever seen. I might see bigger churches further along in this trip but so far this is by far the largest. It's just plan BIG! The process first started in 1882 and is still continuing to this day. You could only see a little of the inside due to the construction but you definitley got the feel of the enormity of it. It will be quite the site to see once it's fully completed.
Outside view - massive!
We took a stroll down one of the most well known streets - - La Rambla. Extremley busy and tons of people. We also went into Pla de la Boqueria. It's the locals grocery store, really. It had everything you could need or want. And of course Nick found the large candy section! I just had to take a picture...
Doesn't he look happy :)!
We then took a VERY long walk to the Mediterranean Sea. I was pretty excited - - I had to have a picture of our feet in the water. So the long walk was worth it. The beach was beautiful but very crowded. It was crowded with people in their clothes/swimsuits and then the people with nothing at all, hah! It definitely takes your breath away when you turn a corner and there is an 80 year old man just walking away in his birthday suit having the time of his life!
That night we walked to Anella Olimpica - - where the 1992 Olympics were held. We were at the Palau Nacional de Montjuic and had the most amazing view of the city. Quite breathtaking. We also were able to see the Olympic torch and park. It was pretty cool to be at the spot where the Olympics were held. Barcelona has done a really nice job of maintaining the area. As the sun set we were treated to a show at the Font Magica de Montjuic. Similar to the water show at Bellagio in Las Vegas (I still think Bellagio has the best fountain show).
View from the top of Palau Nacional de Montjuic
Fountain show from atop Palau Nacional de Montjuic
As you can see we had a great time in Barcelona and we only showed you a glimpse. We took almost 250 pictures in just the 2 1/2 days we were here. We have thoroughly enjoyed our time in Spain and have made some wonderful lifetime memories!
Here are a few pictures from the street performers on La Rambla....
Bumble bee from Transformers in action...
Nick with some kind of dragon (according to Nick - not sure if I agree though, hah!)
Nick says hello - he took a break from this post!
Next stop Rome......!
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