A Travellerspoint blog

Busy in Barça

Catalonia - Barcelona

all seasons in one day 23 °C
View Catalonia on kmmk17's travel map.


After almost a week by the beach in Salou, we took the train back up to Barcelona for the final weekend, in what felt like an entirely separate holiday.

After just over two hours, we arrived at our hotel around the corner from the Sagrada Familia. With much to see, we quickly dropped our bags off and headed into the city.

We began by walking over to the Hospital de Sant Pau, a UNESCO protected former hospital when the heavens opened. As we walked through the rain towards the Sagrada Familia, we ended up close to a flat where a fire has erupted on one of the roof top air conditioning units. With the road closed and many people standing watching we watched as the fire was put out before making it to the Gaudi Park outside the Nativity side of the cathedral.

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

Originally we had hoped to go inside the cathedral itself, however when we got there we realised that tickets for the whole weekend were not going to be available. As a special event was taking place, only morning slots were open, which had by now all sold out.

Catalan Parliament in Ciutadella Park

Catalan Parliament in Ciutadella Park

We therefore made our way over to the beach, before walking around the zoo site to the Ciutadella Park. Walking past the Catalan Parliament and the lake, we made it to the Arco de Triunfo, our last sight of the day, where a big protest movement towards the upcoming disputed independence referendum was being held. We could tell that this was about to kick off - with a week to go there was so much tension in the air.

Arco de Triunfo

Arco de Triunfo

Before heading back towards the hotel, we stopped for food, and then had a few hours to chill. We waited for it to get dark before heading back out to the Sagrada Familia for views of it lit up.

Sagrada Familia by night

Sagrada Familia by night

The following morning we got up for breakfast which felt like a step down. Having stayed in only a 3* after our week of 4*, we went down to find no pancakes, no chocolate syrup and no champagne! Nevertheless this was still a decent breakfast in a decent hotel. No worse than on any of other holidays this summer!

Plaça d'Espanya

Plaça d'Espanya

After having our fill, we made our way out for our full day of exploration in the city. Starting at Plaça d'Espanya, we went up to the roof of the bullring-turned-shopping centre for a view over the roundabout, Palau Nacional and Montjuïc before actually heading up there on foot.

Olympic Park

Olympic Park

After stopping at the Palau Nacional for views over Plaça d'Espanya, we then ended up at the site of the 1992 Olympic Games, before making our way across Montjuïc towards the eastern end with views over the port.

Barcelona Port

Barcelona Port

After a lot of uphill walking we then made our way down the cliffside path towards the city centre. After seeing the Columbus monument, we walked up Las Ramblas before entering the Old City and Plaça Sant Jaume. This was full of protesters for democracy, and after eventually making our way through the crowd, we continued towards the Barcelona cathedral.

Protesters in the Old City

Protesters in the Old City

By now we were feeling really achy, and so after a short walk we stopped for a break at the Plaça de Catalunya. Our final sights today were the Casa Batlló and Casa Milà, two fancy buildings designed by Gaudí.

Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló

Although still relatively early, after yet again walking around 10 miles, we headed back to the hotel for a long rest. Going back out for dinner later we decided not to view this evening's festival entertainment as we wanted to rest instead.

On our final day, we left our bags at the hotel and made our way out to Park Güell on the outskirts of the city centre. Full of Gaudi architecture it was unsurprisingly filled with tourists.

Park Güell

Park Güell

After having a look around the park, with views over the city, we made our way across the city towards Camp Nou, the FC Barcelona stadium filling up the remaining time before we needed to head to the airport for our early evening flight home after a busy but lovely week away.

Tips

Posted by kmmk17 13:44 Archived in Spain Tagged architecture park hotel city cathedral catalonia olympic

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