In the midst of all the touristy shots I have taken of Barcelona, I had also shot a few street photographs of inconspicuous spots within the city. Usually places deemed ordinary by Spaniards and tourists alike. I’m no street photographer, but finding spots like these are great for practice.
Some are just normal streets or roadways around the residential areas.
Others are quiet spaces seen from the loud, commercialized tourist hot spots, like this messy neighborhood from the rooftops of Palau Güell…
Or this seemingly pissy graffiti a quarter mile down from Park Güell.
There’s also this workshop around Poble Espanyol…
The tram heading to Tibidabo…
And the view of the shipping port from the top of Montjuic Castle.
When I tell some people that I would love to someday move to Barcelona, that this is one city I can see myself living in, the response had always been the same: that I have only seen the touristy parts of the city and that I haven’t seen the actual, real side of Barcelona. In a way, they are correct. One week in Barcelona is not enough to see everything. But what they fail to realize is that I am a very observant person. And I love to explore. When I travel, I see so many things that people don’t often pay attention to, whether I’m in a tourist spot or I purposely ventured outside of those tourist spots. And from what I’ve seen of Barcelona so far, I likes.
Casa Milà, aka La Pedrera, is one of the most popular hot spots in Barcelona. Too bad it was closed for the entire, freakin’ week I was there.
Built in 1906 and completed in 1912, this century-old structure was Gaudí’s most controversial one. Not because of any particular drama. People just didn’t like it. Disapproving citizens ridiculed it, calling it “La Pedrera” or “the stone quarry,” in reference to its weird design.
I don’t know what they were complaining about. To me, it looked just like Casa Batlló, except fatter and less colorful. My only complaint was that they wouldn’t let me inside. I was only able to take a picture through the front doors.
And here’s another take on Montjuïc Castle. Nothing new here. Just more pictures of that quiet fortress on top of Montjuïc Hill in color. Very peaceful here. And windy. Did I already mentioned windy? Yeah, it was very windy.
Aside from the National Museum of Catalan Art and Tibidabo, the other hilltop structure that I kept seeing all over from the rooftops of Barcelona was the Montjuïc Castle, a military fortress that sits atop of the Montjuïc hill next to a seaside port.
It has a rich Catalan history that spans nearly 400 years. Not a lot of tourists tend to venture on these parts, so lucky me, I almost had the entire place to myself.
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!
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.
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.