Spain/Morocco 2011:
Day 2 - Barcelona, Spain


Bundlings.com: [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Rett Syndrome] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

Spain/Morocco 2011: [Day 1 - Barcelona, Spain] [Day 2 - Barcelona, Spain] [Day 3 - At Sea] [Day 4 - Gibraltar] [Day 5 - At Sea] [Day 6 - Funchal, Portugal] [Day 7 - Tenerife, Canary Islands] [Day 8 - Arrecife, Canary Islands] [Day 9 - Agadir, Morocco] [Day 10 - Marrakech, Morocco] [Day 11 - Seville, Spain] [Day 12 - At Sea] [Day 13 - Barcelona, Spain] [Day 14 - Andorra]

Sunday, October 23, 2011: We awoke nice and early and watched Barcelona wake up as well.

Looking out from the back of the hotel, we could see the ocean, ...
... and the cruise ships that were in port that morning, including the one that would be ours (the tiny one on the right).
La Rambla (or Las Ramblas) was right next door to our hotel, and was very nearly deserted due to the early hour.
First order of business: breakfast at McDonald's!
Hmmmm, it turns out that this McDonald's does not serve breakfast foods, so we had a snack wrap, fries, and a McIbérica, which is a beef patty on a square bun with tomato, lettuce, Manchego cheese, olive oil, and Iberico ham. It was an odd combination, but worth trying.
On the poster at the entrance, Debbie spotted something she had to try before leaving Europe: the Milka donut. Was she successful? At this point, we don't know.
We boarded the Barcelona Bus Turístic, a hop-on, hop-off bus with several routes of the city. We started with the blue route, which passed Casa Batlló, ...

... and Madrid-Barcelona Restaurant, which was closed, of course. Some day, we will return and actually eat there.

Here's some interesting architecture. Pretty from the outside, but probably very limited views from the windows.
Our first hop off the bus was at La Sagrada Família. It was our second visit, but we still aren't interested enough in the interior to spend valuable time on a tour, ...
... especially when there always seems to be a line to get in.
We were here for a purpose: to get an updated version of our 2004 photograph, shown here on the right. You can see that the left side of the church is slowly filling in, and that there is a brand new section just to the right of the four large spires. The trees in front have gotten a little taller in the last seven years. We'll be back again someday to tour the interior and get an updated shot of the ongoing progress.
Until then, let's admire some of the interesting details, including these fruit-like tops of some of the peaks of the church, ...
... and these carvings on the main spires.
Less than 10 minutes later, we were ready to hop back on the bus.
This route took us past this lovely circle, ...
... to this Subway shop, which is the hop off point for visiting Park Güell.
The walk up to the park took us exactly eight minutes, ...
... even though we paused to photograph a souvenir shop's window, ...
... the street as we got closer to the park, ...
... and this adorable cat, enjoying a bowl of freshly served cat food.
At the end of the four- or five-block walk, we were there ...
... Park Güell, another distinctly Gaudí destination.
The first glimpse of the park as you pass the front gates is impressive.
Of course, everyone wants their photo taken with the lizard.
What lizard? This one.
We waited not-so-patiently to have the lizard to ourselves so we could photograph Orchy in his mouth, which gives you a sense of scale of this beauty.
Next, we admired the large columns holding up the terrace above.
The ceilings were completely tiled in white, ...
... with the occasional beautiful exceptions.
From there, we walked around the side and up to the terrace, passing this corridor along the way.
Behold! The amazing terrace.
One of us was too obsessed with the amazing tile work to get a large shot of the full terrace, so Google it if you're interested. But seriously! Look at this cool shot of tile shining in the sun!
You'll have to agree that this was the perfect place to photograph Orchy up here -- tucked in his little drain hole, with the city of Barcelona in the distance.
Here's a view over the terrace edge of the adorable buildings at the entrance of the park.
The park also consists of a series of gardens and trails to spend hours exploring if one actually has more than a half hour to spend.
But look at those mosaics! Squee!!
There's a cafe overlooking the terrace and the city. Looks like a nice place to spend some time, but blah blah blah gotta run blah blah.
We headed out of the park, ...
... pausing to photograph more cool tile work, ...
... and one of the cute little gingerbread buildings at the entrance.
Back down the hill, a five-minute wait for the next bus, and we were off again on the blue route. Hey, we're about to drop down into a tunnel!
Here's a cool old building.
Here's a tree-lined street.
We would have loved to see this ornate gate up close, but with the closest hop-off point a fair distance away, we had to settle for this blurry shot of the Dragon Gate, another one of Gaudí's works.
We passed Barcelona's soccer stadium, the first of many we'd see on the trip.
Fall -- or what passes for it in the south of Spain -- was starting to affect the leaves on the trees, making these leaves look especially striking.
These glossy black buildings caught our eye. We assume that the balconies on each floor are for the endless smoking that Spaniards do.
The coolest feature of all was this rotating business logo for Caixa Bank.
We switched from the blue route to the red route at Av. Diagonal and Av. Josep Tarradellas (tip: the red route stop is around the corner from the blue route stop) ...
... and stayed on it past Barcelona-Sants (train station), ...
... hopping off at Plaça d'Espanya when we could no longer stand the loud family on the first level of the bus next to us.
We walked along the boulevard, and hopped on the next bus at the next stop near Palau Nacional, which houses the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya.
We drove up Montjuïc hill, ...
... passing this very cool communications tower, ...
... and the Olympic Stadium, ...
... where something kid-related was going on, ...
... explaining the endless stream of people everywhere walking up the hill to attend.
We passed the Joan Miró Foundation, ...
... and the Montjuïc cable car (Telefèric de Montjuïc), ...
... and the outdoor diving stadium used in the Olympics featuring the greatest view.
We saw the cruise ships in the distance and panicked a little bit when we didn't see ours.
We passed this cool sculpture just outside of the harbor area ...
... and the Monument a Colom, dedicated to Christopher Columbus, ...
... last seen on a sunny day in 2004.
We passed this giant sculpture of a lobster, ...
... and this sculpture by Roy Liechtenstein, ...
... and this playland where children were jumping in harnesses (genius!), ...
... and Hotel Arts, where we almost stayed and will certainly aim for next time we visit.
Here's a beach at the start of the Olympic Village for the 1992 Olympics, ...
... and the world's strangest (and least effective) shelters, made from the train tracks pulled up to build this area into the Olympic Village, ...
... and a cool building that appears to have inadequate means of support.
Here's the glimpse at the Gothic Quarter, ...
... and a cool old building, ...
... and Plaça de Catalunya, the center of all things touristy and convenient. We picked up our luggage from the bell station at Hotel Olivia, and caught a taxi from the line of taxis waiting right outside.
On our way to the cruise ship, we passed these folks on a Segway city tour and Debbie was jealous.
Our ship ... is it there? Yes, we had spotted it earlier on our tour, but we already knew that we had to drive past two larger ones, ...
... to get to our smaller one, the Holland America Ryndam, shown here. Also, Maersk!
We checked into our excellent cabin on the Verandah deck, got our suitcases unpacked, grabbed some lunch, and took a look at our surroundings.
The mighty Celebrity Solstice passed us, flaunting her subtle but spectacular giant shiny X as she went by. Look closely, it's there in the balconies in the center of this photo.
When it was our turn to depart, we admired the Maersk-rich environment in front of us.
That's the back of Montjuïc hill in the background, with a large cemetery on the hill. Also, Maersk again! An extra point was won by noting that the incognito ship had a Maersk logo on the top.
Despite Expedia's best efforts to deny us a table for two, we got one for the 5:45 seating, because we get grouchy if we have to wait until after 7:00 to eat.
A Royal Caribbean ship passed us with her colorful water park. This sort of thing would have made us green with envy in the past, but no longer. We love smaller ships and will choose them every time over the megaships.
We made our first trip to the library to use some of the wireless goodness that didn't quite reach to our cabin, ...

... and we returned to the first towel animal of the trip, courtesy of our cabin stewards, Deni and Adrian. We've featured endless towel animals on this site before, so this is the last you'll see on this trip even though there was a new one every night.

Day 3 >


Spain/Morocco 2011: [Day 1 - Barcelona, Spain] [Day 2 - Barcelona, Spain] [Day 3 - At Sea] [Day 4 - Gibraltar] [Day 5 - At Sea] [Day 6 - Funchal, Portugal] [Day 7 - Tenerife, Canary Islands] [Day 8 - Arrecife, Canary Islands] [Day 9 - Agadir, Morocco] [Day 10 - Marrakech, Morocco] [Day 11 - Seville, Spain] [Day 12 - At Sea] [Day 13 - Barcelona, Spain] [Day 14 - Andorra]

Bundlings.com: [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Rett Syndrome] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy