Tag Archives: Barcelona

Barcelona: Casa Battlo

Browsing through photos, I realized that Ross had taken many wonderful shots in Barceona, but I only used a handful in my travelogue/video of that trip. So I’ll publish the whole collection, starting with her pictures from Gaudi’s Casa Battlo. You might also like: Jenolan Caves Montepulciano Thirty Years On

Browsing through photos, I realized that Ross had taken many wonderful shots in Barceona, but I only used a handful in my travelogue/video of that trip. So I’ll publish the whole collection, starting with her pictures from Gaudi’s Casa Battlo.

Barcelona: Parc Guell

Part 6, continued from part 5 We hopped back on the tourist bus and rode to the other Gaudí house that we hadn’t yet seen, only to find a long line for it. So we rode the other bus line to Parc Guell, the “English-style” park that Gaudi’­ had designed for his patrons, the Guells. Read More…

Part 6, continued from part 5

We hopped back on the tourist bus and rode to the other Gaudí house that we hadn’t yet seen, only to find a long line for it. So we rode the other bus line to Parc Guell, the “English-style” park that Gaudi’­ had designed for his patrons, the Guells. We walked around there, photographing and filming, until we were hungry, then got back on the bus (rush hour – we had to wait in line and the first two buses were full before we could board, but they were running every 5-10 minutes) to go to another part of town in search of lunch.

We dismounted in Sarria’¡ and walked until we found, on a side street, a small restaurant full of local people – not a tourist in sight, and no one spoke English. But we managed to communicate well enough to obtain appetizers of fried artichokes (greasy, but yummy), followed by a cheeseburger with no bun (for Ross) and a small tuna steak (for me). Total cost: 20 euros.

Travel Tip: For a cheap, decent meal, follow your nose to where the local people are eating.

Back on the bus for a leisurely ride, with explanations of the sights we were seeing, until we got back to the university area and went to meet Enrico. I checked my email on his office computer while he sat outside on a bench helping Ross with her math homework, then we all headed back to Sant Cugat to pick up our luggage, and Enrico drove us to Gerona airport and our Ryanair flight back home. Nothing much to say about that except that, unusually in my experience with Ryanair, the flight was late. I had arranged a ride from my taxi driver friend Antonello since the flight, even when on time, gets in too late to catch the last train from Bergamo to Lecco. We also had to wait a while for the luggage – luggage delivery seems to always be slow in Italian airports, and I distinctly saw a man running along behind the luggage train with my suitcase in hand – I guess it had fallen off on the last curve (no breakables in it, fortunately). With one thing and another, it was 1 am by the time we got home and to bed. Getting up again at 6:45 for school and work was hard…

Unfortunately, the cold I had throughout the trip has developed into bronchitis. I worked the Thursday and Friday after our return, but will probably be home all this week, coughing, feverish, and not able to sleep properly… At least today (April 25th) is a national holiday and Friday I would have been working from home anyway due to a transport strike.

gallery of Ross’ photos of Parc Guell

To Barcelona, Part 5

Part 5, continued from part 4 After the disappointment of lunch, for dinner Enrico had armed himself with recommendations from our friends. We had a hard time finding the place – the street number he had was somehow wrong, and after we finally found it we had to kill an hour and a half because Read More…

Part 5, continued from part 4

After the disappointment of lunch, for dinner Enrico had armed himself with recommendations from our friends. We had a hard time finding the place – the street number he had was somehow wrong, and after we finally found it we had to kill an hour and a half because they would not actually open for dinner til 9 pm. We went to a nearby wine bar, where we tried three different Spanish wines (by the glass), all of them excellent.

Travel Tip: Ask the locals (anyone NOT connected with the hospitality industry) where to eat.

La Provenza, when we finally got to eat there, turned out to be worth all the trouble. The cuisine was somewhere between Provence and Catalunya, so we had more foie gras in our various starters – mine was a crisp flatbread with grilled vegetables and foie gras. My main course was duck breast with a sweet wine sauce and a fig-stuffed raviolo. I also had dessert, but don’t at present remember what it was, nor what Enrico and Ross ate. We each had a starter and a main course, and shared a bottle of wine, for a total price of 110 euros. I highly recommend La Provenza.

We tottered home to Sant Cugat after midnight, so Ross and I slept in the next morning while Enrico went off to the university. We had coffee and doughnuts (“doh-noots,” as the lady pronounced them) at a coffee shop near the train station, then ran into trouble trying to buy train tickets. For cash, the ticket machine would only take coins, of which I didn’t have any. It “couldn’t connect to network” for my US bank card, rejected my Italian bank card as “unauthorized for this transaction” (I’d seen that the day before at several attempts to withdraw cash at ATMs as well), and for my Visa cards wanted a PIN code which I don’t have. We had to ask for change at a nearby bar before we could finally get tickets and board a train.

Travel Tip: Carry coins to use in the ticket machines of the Barcelona train/metro system.

continues in Part 6

To Barcelona, Part 4

Part 4, continued from part 3 Enrico left us to go back to the university for a meeting, and Ross and I struck out on foot for the Barri Gotico, seeing many beautiful buildings along the “Modernist Route”, including what is probably the world’s most beautiful Starbucks. We wandered for a while, eventually ending up Read More…

Part 4, continued from part 3

Enrico left us to go back to the university for a meeting, and Ross and I struck out on foot for the Barri Gotico, seeing many beautiful buildings along the “Modernist Route”, including what is probably the world’s most beautiful Starbucks. We wandered for a while, eventually ending up back at another Bus Turistica stop. So we rode the bus to Casa Batlló, one of Gaudí’s wonderful creations. The full collection of Ross’ photos is here.

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We had agreed to meet Enrico in the evening at Sagrada Familia, the cathedral designed by Gaudí and still under construction – they expect to finish in another 25-30 years. Judging from the drawings in the museum underneath the church, I will actually like it less when it’s finished – a fat central spire towering over the others, topped by a clunky five-pointed cross, may finally push the design over the top. Still, what’s there now is wonderful, and I need to go back and look more closely at the myriad exterior details. The forest-like interior reminded me of some of the design in “The Lord of the Rings;” I wonder if some of the film designers’ inspiration came from Sagrada Familia.

go on to part 5