Barcelona Part II

Friday, May 23, 2014

Well rested, we woke up the next morning to beautiful blue skies; the sun most definitely had his hat on. We headed out for a quick croissant and coffee before hitting the Parc de la Ciutadella which was a 10 min walk from the studio and which I remember being completely gorgeous from my trip 4 years ago. 

It didn't disappoint second time round.

This little love bird's got the right idea... view of the park!

There's much more besides the fountain to see in the park, although it's also a great place to have a lie down and sunbathe after a long day sight seeing. We did our day the wrong way round and probably should have ended up here when our limbs could carry us no further.

But we were (or at least Craig was) unwitting about the amount of walking we had ahead of us and left the park happily in the direction of the Arc de Triomf. Much like the Paris one, except instead of being surrounded by 8 lanes of whizzing high speed European traffic, the pathway is lined with sway palm trees. Much nicer!

That didn't really work very well at all.

The arch is definitely worth a visit if you're in the area and you're likely to stumble upon it by accident at some point in your trip anyway (like us).

About 20 minutes walk away though, we found the real thing, Barcelona's bread and butter, it's crowning glory: La Sagrada Familia.

Oh bloody hell they're still building it.

The estimated finish date is in 2026, 100 years after Gaudi's death, so put that in your diary. I've seen it three times and every time it has been covered in scaffolding but it does seem particularly like a work in progress at the moment. Nonetheless, it is still beautiful, and I can't wait to see the finished product!

Our next stop on the tour was Parc Guell but we thought we deserved some liquid refreshment first.

Ice cold Estrella in ice cold glasses. Is there anything better in this world? I think not.

Oh wait...this restaurant also has a dog. Called Boo Boo.

This cheeky little chappy surveyed over the scene as we tucked into some delicious burgers off their lunch menu. I only took rubbish photos so check out the La Neura, Barcelona tripadvisor . I had the goats cheese burger which was out of this world (although I am still loyal to my burger sweetheart SanWich in Madrid) and we shared a plate of chips which were like great fish and chip shop chips. Would definitely recommend to anyone and we just walked right in off the street! Our lucky Barcelona streak continues.

Another round later we were just about ready to give up our seats to the locals stopping by for their lunch at 3pm. That was something I could never quite get used to about living in Spain so I generally ended up having two lunches - one at 12 and one at 3. Not really quite the idea I don't think.

We set off walking again, this time in the direction of Parc Guell. I had conveniently forgotten that the last 15 minutes was up hill so an hour later, when we arrived at the conveniently placed escalators, we were just about ready to drop.

All made worth it of course by these stunning views.

The park is obviously famous for its viewing point which is encircled by beautiful mosaicked chairs and lots of people taking selfies. The area itself is known for being filled with buskers, street sellers and general weird and wonderful characters. It is featured in one of my favourite films, l'Auberge Espanol , and I've been before and it was one of the best places I visited in Barcelona.

Some photos I took in 2011.

Unfortunately and really quite inexplicably, you now have to buy tickets to go onto the viewing platform. This didn't seem to make much sense at all as the platform was 80% empty with people queuing to get in. When I realised that furrowing my brow at the situation wasn't going to solve anything, we resolved to take in the view from a distance anyway which is still spectacular. But I do think it's a shame and the atmosphere has been completely lost!

This post is becoming pretty long, too many activities! So I will just close it with the bar we went to in the evening, El Bosc de las Fades (The fairy tale forest). This was recommended to both of us seperately and is pretty spectacular and not over priced. It's hard to get a good photo in the atmospheric gloom but it's essentially been transferred into a fairy tale forest with twinkling fairy lights and water features scattered all around. Everything is wooden and sculpted to  fit in perfectly. It's really beautiful and definitely worth a visit - even after a loooong day.

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