Monday, 7 November 2016

Barcelona Photo Diary

As regular readers of this blog will know, I've got a bit of a love/hate relationship with Barcelona, having had a couple of disastrous trips there in the past (hospitalised with blood poisoning, severe flight cancellations anyone?)
Having said that, I'm always open to giving a place another chance and so off I headed back to Barcelona last week for a few days, and thankfully this time it was love, love, love.
We flew from Liverpool and landed to find sun and blue skies, which is definitely not to be sniffed at considering it's November. The temperature stayed the same for the duration of our trip which made a welcome change from the dreary grey weather at home!
Having now been to the city five times, there's definitely a few things I'd recommend if you're planning a trip there. Whether it's a whistlestop visit or a week long holiday, there's absolutely loads to see and do.

This huge open air market is jam packed full of local vendors selling fresh produce including fruit, veg, chocolates, juices, fish and huge joints of meat. It's located in the Liceu district and easily accessible by metro. It's easy to while away the time wandering the aisles looking at all the colourful and tasty treats on offer, and if you're feeling brave why not barter for a bargain?!



This majestic archway stands at the end of Passeig de Lluis Companies, and historically was built as a gateway between the old and new Barcelona, with agriculture and industry on one side, and art and commerce on the other. 
If you walk down the tree-lined avenue past the archway, you'll reach Parc de la Cuitadella which is a vibrant park containing all sorts of weird and wonderful things like a zoo, a statue of a giant mammoth, a bandstand and a beautiful central waterfall. 
This beautifully ornate music hall dates back to the early 19th century and is still open to this day. It's intricate Art Nouveau design resembles a musical box and includes stained glass, mosaic and sculptures. We didn't have a guided tour as it was quite expensive, and instead just marvelled at the outside of the building, but from researching it it seems to be a must-see.
On our way back from the winding streets surrounding the music hall, it was time to stop for lunch and we decided to try La Central Hamburgueseria Artesanal - a modern and cool industrial designed burger joint where you can pick your burger, bap and meat by ticking boxes on a piece of paper rather than having to order at the counter. This place was such a find and the burger was incredible.
Otherwise known as the Gothic Quarter, this is the old town of Barcelona and is where you'll find the Cathedral, City Hall, a few small churches and the remains of the synagogue from the old Jewish Quarter. This area is steeped in history and there's so much to see; it's the perfect place to relax with a coffee and people watch.
This area is synonymous with visiting Barcelona and is where you'll find a bustling street filled with market stalls and local crafts. There are countless cafes along La Ramblas, but we stopped in at Cafe de l'Opera -  described as a Barcelona institution. The cafe has an olde-worlde feel to it, with high art deco ceilings and waiters dressed in an old fashioned style. We sampled two Spanish specialities, Crema Catalana and Churros and both were delicious. 

It wouldn't be a trip to Barcelona without witnessing the wonder of the Gaudi architecture. I'm a huge fan of his work and during our trip we were lucky enough to have time to see all of it.

This was the only place we didn't go inside, but the architecture is undeniably Gaudi and this is said to look breathtaking lit up at night. The unique design perfectly demonstrate Gaudi's ethic of having no straight lines or sharp corners as there are none in nature.
This modernist building is instantly recognisable for its curved windows and skull-like balconies. We paid to go inside and while expensive, its a sight to behold, filled with unique colours, decor and winding staircases. The price includes an audio tour which provides a fascinating insight into the history behind the building.
The views of the city from the roof are also amazing!



This (there's no other word for it) bonkers basilica in the centre of the city has been a project in the making since 1886, with Gaudi having worked on it for 43 years until his death in 1926. It's due to be completed in 2026 and in the five years since I first visited there has been loads of work done. It's a must-see when visiting Barcelona, as it is one of the greatest pieces of architecture ever seen, and is truly breathtaking.
Last but not least, this public park filled with gingerbread-esque houses is also designed by Gaudi. It's a bit of a trek out of the centre of town, and since my last visit has been chargeable which seems a bit cheeky! Only the area of the park containing the 'monumentals' is chargeable though, and the rest of the park can be walked around for free. 


Have you visited Barcelona?
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2 comments

  1. Glad to read this article, love your blog so much!

    arron
    NREC

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