Gothic Quarters

 

As I mentioned before, we stayed right by the edge of Gothic Quarters in La Rambla. Almost everyday, we passed by Pont del Bisbe and the Barcelona Cathedral. It’s one my favorite spots in Barcelona. Lots of things to see and lots of places to eat.

On early mornings, farmer’s markets would sprout out in random squares. Afternoons would bring street performers by Plaza de la Seu. And very late at night, you can hear opera singers belting out next to the cathedral.

Then one day, we happened upon an ancient looking door by the buildings behind the cathedral. It led to what appeared to be an old building converted in an office space. Nothing interesting. But within that building in the patio area were four unearthed, ancient columns from the Roman times. Pretty spiffy!

Wish my office building could have something like that. The closest thing we can get in Cali is an ancient Native American Burial ground (or any form of cemetery for that matter) and that’s not a good thing.

1T2A8443 copy

1T2A8450 copy

1T2A8469 copy

Advertisements

Tibidabo

When I said there were a ton of places to get a good view of Barcelona, I wasn’t kidding. Tibidabo was one of those places, and most definitely the one with the highest viewpoint. This is, after all, the tallest mountain in the area.

At the top of the mountain is the Sagrat Cor Church next to the 100 plus year old Tibidabo Amusement Park (Europe’s third-oldest). Most of the rides in the park were still original. It was closed for the most part, unfortunately. But still, we got to climb to the very top of the Sagrat Cor church.

So funny story… transportation to the top was kind of a hit or miss. You’d have to take the metro, then a tram and then a bus to get there. The first time we got there, it was a little late, but I wanted to get a nice night shot of Barcelona. Unfortunately, it was so late that by the time I finished, the church had already closed.

So what do we do? We head back there on our last day in Barcelona. We had left over time, so why not?

And let me tell you, that peak point right by that statue of Jesus at the very top? Extremely windy! But so worth it!

So this was our last stop in Barcelona. It was a fitting place as we got to see the best view of the city that I came to love with the most gorgeous sunset.

No, this isn’t my last of my Barcelona shots. I got more. So ha!

1T2A79891T2A7487 copy1T2A74761T2A7512 copy1T2A91181T2A91281T2A9138

Basilica de Santa Maria Del Mar

Here’s another one of those unplanned stops.

At the end of La Rambla is a sea port heading off to the Mediterranean Sea. And around that edge is the Basilica de Santa Maria Del Mar or the Santa Maria of the Sea Basilica. Our driver (a Polish fellow who married a Venezuelan and are both now living in Barcelona) dropped us off there.

It was hard to see how it looked on the outside as it was already dark when we got there, plus the street it was on was very narrow. But inside, it was just as grand and beautiful as the Barcelona Cathedral.

Props to our driver.

Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

So this was another unplanned excursion.

Barcelona had a lot of scenic viewpoints. Like, a ton. From the rooftops of Barcelona Cathedral, Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló and Palau Güell to the peaks of Tibidabo, Montjuïc Castle and Park Güell, it was everywhere. One recurring sight we often saw whenever we reached one of those viewpoint peaks was this art museum. So naturally, our curiosity took us there. It wasn’t in our itinerary, but I made it fit.

The architecture and the gardens were beautiful, of course. The domes from the inside were amazing and the artworks were intriguing. There were a couple of paintings, in particular, that I couldn’t stop staring at: “Woman in Evening Gown” by Romà Ribera and “Winter 1882” by Francesc Masriera. Sure, they may look like every ordinary painting to most people, but they captured my attention. There was just something dreamy, photographic and enchanting about Ribera’s piece. As for Masriera’s? I just loved the fur. So amazed by the fur.

Anyway, majority of the artworks we came across were by Catalan artists. Pretty spiffy.

Yay, art.

1T2A8477 copy1T2A8551 copy1T2A85071T2A8521 copy1T2A8545 copy1T2A8553 copy1T2A8594-2 copy1T2A8598 copy1T2A8612-3 copy1T2A9086 copy

Arc de Triomf: The Barcelona Version of Arc de Triomphe

This was more of an accidental stumble. We had a choice of either taking the metro to Sagrada Familia from La Rambla, which would’ve taken about 10 minutes or less, or take a 45 minute walk around Barcelona.

We, being the overly curious tourists that we were, of course, chose the latter.

So aside from seeing the quiet, non-touristy parts of Barcelona and tried some of their local diners and cafes where I had another one of their amazing, fudgy hot chocolate, we came across this: the Arc de Triomf of Barcelona. In case this you didn’t know (like me for the longest of time) triumphal arches are a common monument in most major cities, Paris being the most famous one. Even North Korea has one (bigger than the Paris one, according to North Korea).

It’s a neat stop. Took a buncha pictures. It’s one of those times when I’m glad I didn’t take the shortcut.

1T2A6642 copy1T2A6646 copy1T2A6657 copy1T2A6670 copy1T2A6699 copy1T2A6705 copy

1T2A6635 copy.jpg

Park Güell

This isn’t quite the last of Antoni Gaudí’s that I’ve seen. There’s at least one more.

Anyway, situated at the near top of Carmel Hill, the freakin’ steep ass hill that took forever to climb with that humongous amount of stair cases, Park Güell was originally meant to be a high-end housing development by Eusebi Güell, Gaudí’s wealthy patron and good friend. Five of Gaudí’s structures actually bears the name of Güell and this and Palau Güell are two of them. It was meant to resemble an English garden, hence the use of the English word “park” in its name instead of its Spanish equivalent.

In this particular project of his, Gaudí went crazy with the tiles and mosaic. It almost looks like some sort of candy land with two gingerbread houses. It’s a very interesting place to visit, but very difficult to photograph, considering where the sun shines and the ridiculous amount of crowd. But hey, I got some very hipster looking shots. Some people actually like sun glares. And I am definitely not one of them. I like my shots clean, gosh darn’t!

1T2A80071T2A8094 copy1T2A8136 copy1T2A8139 copy1T2A8156 copy1T2A8158 copy1T2A8170 copy1T2A8186 copy1T2A8227 copy1T2A8273 copy1T2A8279 copy1T2A8281 copy1T2A8290 copy1T2A8294 copy1T2A8296 copy1T2A8308 copy

The City of Girona

Welcome to the lovely, medieval city of Girona, the capital of the northeastern Catalan province of Girona and a region historically inhabited by Iberians, my ancestors.

Surrounding the old town of the city is an ancient, Roman wall that once protected the area, recently reconstructed in some parts. In another part of the old town is the Girona Cathedral (the Cathedral of Saint Mary of Girona), restored in 1015 and redesigned around the renaissance era. Next to the Onyar river are houses reconstructed to resemble houses by the Arno river in  Florence, Italy (I like the Italian ones better. More authentic. Peh).

Though it is a very picturesque town with a lot to offer, it is more famous being one of the locations filmed for scenes in Game of Thrones, episode 10 from season 6. Look it up because I won’t. I haven’t seen it. Don’t kill me.

1T2A76711T2A7794 copy1T2A7792 copy1T2A7780 copy1T2A7778 copy1T2A7754 copy1T2A7744 copy1T2A7736 copy1T2A7730 copy1T2A7711 copy1T2A7707 copy1T2A7704 copy1T2A7693 copy1T2A7787 copy1T2A7768 copy1T2A7795