July 16, 2012

Barcelona Wrap-up

Here’s a smattering of photos from Barcelona that haven’t been posted yet. Don’t worry, this will be the end of Spain for now!

Most of these were taken from around the Hotel ARTS, but I threw in a few from the empty airport in Barcelona. We got there around four in the morning and there was hardly a soul in sight. It wasn’t until nearly an hour later that the first travelers started trickling in.Read More

July 13, 2012

L’Aquàrium de Barcelona

L’Aquàrium de Barcelona was our last stop on the great Spain trip. It took about 30 seconds to fully explain to the cab driver where we wanted to go. Apparently, aquarium is pronounced ah-KWAR-ee-oom in Catalonian (though, it seems like uh-kware-e-yum would be close enough). And after all that, it was pretty much around the corner from where we were (but it was nice to get out of the sun for awhile after walking around Montjuïc Castell.Read More

July 12, 2012

Cable Car from Montjuïc

After checking out Montjuïc Castell, we needed to high-tail it back down to la Barceloneta area if we wanted to have time to visit the aquarium. Traveling down from Montjuïc by cable car was the quickest way down the hill back to the seaside, so we packed in and held on! It was pretty wild and definitely afforded us some unique views of the harbor.Read More

July 10, 2012

Montjuïc Castell

The castle atop Montjuïc was one of the last destinations we visited on our trip to Barcelona, Spain. Though Montjuïc Castell was only a small taste of what the Montjuïc area had to offer (there are supposedly some amazing gardens, the magic fountain, and the national palace, as well), we also wanted to fit in a trip to the aquarium (pronounced ah-kwer-ee-oom; we had a hell of a time trying to explain to the cab driver where we wanted to go).Read More

July 9, 2012

La Catedral Barcelona

Second only in its fame to Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, the Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia is the most impressive Gothic church in Barcelona (and an attraction no Spain trip should go without!). Though small compared to Gaudi’s masterpiece, la Catedral is not without its own magnificence. The vaulted ceilings, the gargoyles adorning the outside, the choir stalls, chapels, and cloister. The whole scene is lent an ethereal quality by the light flowing down from the stained glass windows.Read More

July 5, 2012

Sunrise Over La Barceloneta

Things were pretty jam-packed with work and sight-seeing taking up 98% of my time, but I still managed to get up with the birds one morning to capture the Barcelona sunrise. The area right outside my hotel is called La Barceloneta and it’s comprised mainly of beaches, restaurants, and clubs.

The beaches were nice and clean, and there were always people out playing volleyball or just laying on the sands. Sadly, I wasn’t one of them. By the time I was done with work, the sun was setting and the water drastically cooling.Read More

July 3, 2012

Arc de Triomf

I didn’t expect to run into the Arc de Triomf while walking through Spain (shows how worldly I am), as I always thought the one in Paris was the Arc de Triomphe. Oh well, we live and learn. The Barcelona Arc was built more than 80 years after construction began on the Paris Arc, and is a completely unique piece of architecture.Read More

June 28, 2012

Spiraling Descent

After braving the towers of La Sagrada Familia, it was on to the spiral staircase that was the only way down. It’s a good thing I’m not claustrophobic. The staircase looked like the inside of a seashell, one person wide and spiraling down around an opening about a foot wide. Looking straight down, it’s impossible to tell how many floors up you are. It didn’t help that I didn’t pass a single person on the way down (which was enough to make me wonder if I was actually going the right direction). Crazy stuff. My knees were pretty shaky after climbing all the way back down.Read More

June 27, 2012

Towers Above Barcelona

I’m not usually one to be scared of heights, and the majority of the towers at La Sagrada Familia were totally doable, but there was one point in particular that even got me a bit nervous. The five-person lift that takes you up would be enough to rattle some (and one British chick actually was freaking out a bit as the stories flew by outside), but the view alone was worth it. Stepping right out of the lift, you walk across from one tower to the next by a narrow walkway. The walkways and stairways were probably the worst part, as they were all pretty much one-person wide. There were numerous times I found myself going down a stairwell at the same time another person (or people!) were going up (and vice a versa). Aside from that, however, the views from the towers were breathtaking.Read More

June 26, 2012

Reaching Towards the Divine

As awe-inspring as the exterior of La Sagrada Basilica may be, the inside blows that all out of the water. Or maybe into the water would be a better choice of words?

My uncle commented that the interior looked like the inside of a giant sea creature, and I don’t disagree. The whole thing looks like a Giger/Seuss-inspired amalgam and it’s absolutely amazing. The columns reach towards the ceiling like organic tendrils. Said ceiling is festooned with flowering star-shaped objects.Read More

June 25, 2012

La Sagrada Familia

Though it’s been a work in progress for over a hundred years, La Sagrada Familia has long been one of the most iconic buildings in Barcelona, and was definitely the high point (no pun intended) of the Spain trip. The basilica is a phenomenal experience to behold, and for a few extra euros you can ride an incredibly claustrophobic lift up to the top of the church.

All in all, though, it was all completely worth it to get the views of the city. The inside is spectacular enough and well worth the wait.Read More