Travels in Spain: Barcelona

November 12, 2015

“To travel across Spain and finally to reach Barcelona is like drinking a respectable red wine and finishing up with a bottle of champagne.”
— James Michner, Iberia

“It was a magnificent day; the skies were electric blue, and a crystal breeze carried the cool scent of autumn and the sea.  I will always prefer Barcelona in October.  It is when the spirit of the city seems to stroll most proudly through the streets.”
— Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Shadow of the Wind

View of Barcelona from the terrace at Parque Guell

View of Barcelona from the terrace at Parque Guell

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“The city is a sorceress . . . It gets under your skin and steals your soul without you knowing it.”
— Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Shadow of the Wind

Carol and I spent the final days of our Spain trip in Barcelona.  We traveled via bullet train from Seville to Barcelona, a 5-1/2 hour journey, remarkably smooth considering we were speeding along at up to 300 km/hour (over 180 mph)!  We passed lots more orange and olive trees on the journey.

So many motor scooters in Barcelona

So many motor scooters in Barcelona

Building with balconies, Barcelona

Building with balconies, Barcelona

Some of these balconies were glassed in.

Some of these balconies were glassed in.

Once in Barcelona, we resumed our habits of walking and eating tapas.  We noticed the prevalence of motor scooters as a popular mode of transportation here.  The citizens seemed industrious; there was construction going on, deliveries to the many shops and bars, lots of hustle and bustle.

Like all Spanish cities, the buildings sported lovely balconies.

“Ornate balconies, sometimes entirely boxed in with glass, hung like family jewels on the faces of the old buildings.”
— Miranda Franca, Don Quixote’s Delusions: Travels in Castilian Spain

Barcelona's Gothic Quarter

Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter

Barcelona’s old town, the Gothic Quarter, had its share of narrow streets.  But the city’s architecture also reflected the influence of Moderniste architects and designers, like Gaudi.

La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's bascilica

La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s bascilica

Casa Batllo, designed by Gaudi

Casa Batllo, designed by Gaudi

Reflection in scooter mirror

Reflection in scooter mirror

Lovely Moderniste lamp post, Barcelona

Lovely Moderniste lamp post, Barcelona

The terrace of Parque Guell

The terrace of Parque Guell

Parque Guell, terrace overlooking the city

Parque Guell, terrace overlooking the city

Parrot in Parque Guell

Parrot in Parque Guell

We were back being independent travelers in Spain.  Which meant that we were entirely dependent on maps.  Maybe we were tired, but we seemed to get lost repeatedly.  It didn’t help that the street signs pointed in directions at odds with the map!  Aah.  The joys of travel . . .

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7 Responses to “Travels in Spain: Barcelona”

  1. Rose Johnson Says:

    Thank you Rosemary for sharing your travel to Spain with me. If I never get there myself, I have a price of the beauty and culture to reflect upon because you shared the experience. It is beautiful.

    • Rosemary Says:

      Thank YOU for your interest, and for taking the time to comment. These posts hold so many of my memories. I will look back on them to recall the many wonders of this trip.


  2. if you enjoyed it as much as I did then you had a lot of fun, we were there last year in May but we certainly go back !!!

  3. mzuritam Says:

    Nice, Sweeet, Excellent…and more.

  4. shoreacres Says:

    I’ve always had a desire to go to Barcelona. I have no idea why, but I’m jumping back on the tour bus to see what pleasures you experienced during the last stages of your journey.

    It certainly looks as though your parrot is a monk parakeet. We have them here, and they look like that, and build such a nest. If they are a smallish bird, and chatter incessantly — that’s them!

    • Rosemary Says:

      Thanks for the info about the bird identification. I’ve nver been clear on the differences between parrots and parakeets.


      • Bon dia. Linda suggested I come over to have a look at your posts on Barcelona, where I spent half the summer of 1985. Your pictures certainly bring back memories, including my many rambles on Les Rambles. The Sagrada Família has had lots of work done on it in the three decades since my visit, and many new structures also went up shortly after my stay in preparation for the Olympics a few years later. It could well be time for a return visit.

        I like your frequent use of apt quotations.


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