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

IMG_5054

“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 . . .

IMG_5023

IMG_5121