Spain
el Coll

Here you’ll find travel reports about el Coll. Discover travel destinations in Spain of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

56 travelers at this place:

  • Day4

    Are you insta-ready?

    June 10 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    On Monday evening we had booked tickets to enter the ticketed area of Parc Guell. We'd briefly visited the Parc on Saturday afternoon but realised that we would have to come back in order to see all we really wanted to.

    For me, Parc Guell was important as it was the iconic images of the two ginger-bread house style buildings and the curved mosaic wall that had been my image of Barcelona for as long as I could remember. I needed to see it from all the best angles in order to recreate the shot I'd seen time and time again on postcards and travel guides. This brings me neatly to my main theme of insta-readiness.

    Let's start at the beginning. Since the dawn of the handheld camera, it rapidly became the norm for people to take holiday snaps and capture a snapshot in time of themselves in a place of significance. As a photographer I've always seen the importance of documenting moments, recording them for the sake of history and for the recollection of memories in later life. Then came the phone camera and at around the same time social media and the dreaded 'selfie'. Whilst selfies are still popular, since the advent of Instagram, a new form of photography appears to have emerged and it's an obsession with getting an insta-worthy shot. This can't be just a standard snap of you stood in front of a landmark nor a handheld selfie. Oh no. A lot of thought goes into an Instagram shoot. Follow any of the big instagrammers and you'll know this, as often they'll provide behind the scenes videos and shots detailing how they got 'the money shot'. As a side note, the term 'money shot' is a term coined by the film industry and is the shot that really makes the film and therefore is considered to be the one that will bring in all the money. It can also mean the shot that cost a disproportionate amount of the films budget to create. My point here is that these insta 'money shots' aren't made to make money. However, often they may depict individuals in locations they've paid a lot of money to get to and know they've only got one shot to get this image! Regardless, the shots aren't to make money, they're made for 'likes'.

    You can spot an instagrammer by the following attributes: they will have planned their outfit and it will perfectly compliment their surroundings in terms of style and colour; they will have a photographer (it can simply be a trusty friend - the good ones work in pairs); they will almost definitely take a shot with their backs to the camera and rarely take shots looking directly into camera. They need something candid. Creating 'candid' always look ridiculous to any onlooker but what could be more candid than having your back to the camera as if you didnt know it was there?

    Parc Guell on Monday night was the perfect exemplification of a swarm of instagrammers all fighting to get the perfect shot and likely none of them succeeding. For starters, a large area of the grounds is being renovated at the moment and therefore space was limited and the perfect wide shot from the postcards was unobtainable. Secondly, whilst the sun was perfectly behind us, it was low and therefore casting shadows on the subjects whether it be their own photographers or other people. Thirdly, time was of the essence. A new swarm arrives every 30 minutes and whilst the majority of people are polite and take their turns, a select few hog the favoured spots and simply refuse to leave their chosen spot until they're satisfied they've got the perfect shot. When did we all become such perfectionist image makers?

    This mildly stressful situation aside, our visit to Parc Guell was a good one. The weather was gorgeous and we enjoyed walking around the grounds before and after our 'insta-shoot'. Recognising the limitations (listed above), Kate and I went old school and simply made sure we had a number of nice snaps, depicting us in the photogenic surroundings. But yes, I did dress in attempt to compliment the backdrop that day and we did attempt a candid, back to camera shot. I'm not proud but at least I was insta-ready. Were you?
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  • Day4

    To the boat!

    February 24 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 6 °C

    Sunday was another beautiful sunny day in Barcelona. Tory and Roger got up and had walked 2 hours by the time the bus left for the ship. Brian and I slept in (hopefully the end of the jet lag). Our plans to go to the Picasso Museum went awry.

    It was a short bus trip to the ship and a longish wait in line to be processed. The Norwegian Spirit is a larger ship than Brian and I are used to. Our room has lots of storage and wonders of wonders, a shower door instead of a flimsy curtain. By the time we got on board and settled, it was mid-afternoon so we spent the rest of the day exploring the ship and unpacking.

    Only the large Windows restaurant was open for dinner and it was busy. We started working our way through the “wines by the glass” list as we have the beverage package. We drank a very nice Tempanrillo. Dinner was very nice. Brian and I had beef medallions.

    The opening night entertainment was a fairly painful introduction of the ships officers, the program staff and a snippet of 3 upcoming acts. We were glad to head off to bed.
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  • Day76

    Escola Baldiri Reixac

    November 12, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    An elementary school located in the middle of Antonio Gaudí’s Parc Güell. Imagine having your school day observed by over 3 million visitors each year. At least the grounds are inspiring. I learned that the older students work on English presentation and conversation skills to be able to interact and share information with the tourists who walk through the park.
    (Sorry, this is a repost - Geoff)
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  • Day22

    Park Guell

    March 1 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    Al mediodia fuimos a caminar y conocer el Park Guell. Como el dia seguia muy agradable recorrimos el parque, viendo en el camino mas obras de Gaudi, y al final de la visita nos quedamos y almorzamos tambien alla.

    A la tarde las compras de ultimo momento, y ya nos queda preparar todo y salir a cenar de despedidia de estas vacaciones.Read more

  • Day2

    Red all over.

    May 30 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Clearly the sun was a little more intense than it seemed - Liz, unsurprisingly, ended up red all over - well 1 of her legs. So we adjourned to the cool before heading upto Park Guell. Upon investigating, it became apparent that it is a ticketed entry system & all was fully booked. There was, however a free portion of the park which offered fine views of the city. Once cooled, decided to take the metro up to investigate. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but it's obvious really that a great view necessitates a lot of climbing. Muchos steps. Was a great view but by now 1 red leg had become 2. Headed back via Lidl to get copious amounts of aftersun & cherries.Read more

  • Day5

    Geizig und bequem...

    January 1, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 10 °C

    ...diese Kombi wurde heute bestraft 😕.
    Mein Flieger geht morgen früh 6:00 Uhr, auch wenn ich bereits online eingecheckt und kein Gepäck abzugeben habe, sollte man ca. eineinhalb Stunden vor Abflug am Airport sein, man weiß nie wie groß der Stau beim Sicherheitscheck ist und der Airport in Barcelona ist groß, da läuft man unter Umständen ein Stück bis zum Gate.
    Also dachte ich mir, spar die Kosten für das Hotel (Geiz), fahr kurz nach Mitternacht mit dem letzen Shuttle Bus zum Airport. Suche mir dort ein gemütliches Plätzchen und mach die Augen zu bis der Flieger geht (manchmal vergesse ich wie alt ich bin und das mein Körper ein wenig Bequemlichkeit braucht). Deshalb war das Hotel nur bis heute gebucht.
    Irgendwie hab ich es mir vor 14 Tagen dann doch anders überlegt (wie vernünftige), fand die zu überbrückende Zeit in der Nacht dann doch heftig. Also doch noch ne Übernachtung buchen. Blöd, mein Hotel war ausgebucht 😕.
    Also für die letzte Nacht eine andere Herberge, diesmal in der Altstadt, ein Katzensprung vom Palau de la Música Catalana entfernt, dort habe ich heute Abend noch etwas vor.
    Also heute morgen auschecken und der Rucksack muss mit. Ich hätte sicher fragen können, ob ich ihn später abholen kann oder ihn schon im neuen Hotel unterstellen können, die meisten Hotels haben dafür einen Raum und bieten das an. Ich war aber zu bequem/faul da hin und her zu kutschen, also mitgenommen. Sieben Kilo, ich weiß jetzt, warum der Typ, als ich mir den Rucksack nur ansehen wollte (hatte kein Gefühl für 40l), so auf einem passenden Hüftgurt und der Rückenlänge rumgehackt hat. Ich wollte doch nur nen Rucksack, der bei den meisten Airlines als Handgepäck durchgeht.
    Der Hüftgurt hatte heute Premiere und ich war so dankbar dafür. Der setzt das Gewicht auf die Hüften und es hängt nicht an den Schulter. Einen stillen Dank an den geduldigen Verkäufer, Frau lernt nie aus.
    Von der U-Bahn bis zum Park sind es 1,4 km sehr, sehr, sehr steil bergauf (mein Schrittzähler sagt, ich hab 19 Stockwerke überwunden).
    Solltet ihr den Weg jemals gehen, denkt daran, wie ich mich mit meinen sieben Kilo auf dem Buckel gefühlt hab.
    Lehrgeld für heute. In Zukunft sollte ich das besser überdenken und planen. Bin jetzt aber froh, dieses Bett noch zu haben, für ein wenig Schlaf und ne Dusche.

    PS: Den Brustgurt am Rucksack fand ich viel interessanter. Der hat in der Schnalle eine integrierte Trillerpfeife. Das fand Frau oder das Kind in mir viel spannender 😂😉. Habe sie schon ausprobiert, zu Hause, funktioniert 😉👍🏻😂.
    Wenn ich im Großstadtdschungel verloren gehe oder mir jemand was am Kopf tun will, kann ich pfeifen 👍🏻.
    Jetzt sitzen hoffentlich alle mit einem breiten Grinsen da... und ich gehe zum Abendprogramm mit Kultur über.
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  • Day5

    Our first sea day

    February 25 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 4 °C

    Our first sea day was a mixed bag of activities. Roger and Tory got a lumpy bed and spent some time getting that resolved. Brian and I did a little dancing and we all did too much drinking!

    It looks like this will be a good cruise for dancing and music. There is a Latin band that plays regularly and the dance floor is a pretty good size. This is also a younger crowd and so there is lots of pop music too.

    The passengers are a mix of European (the majority?), North Americans, and Middle Eastern. The age range is Baby to frail seniors so quite the mix. We hear lots of languages every day.

    Our major feat of the day was winning the trivia contest, paired up with two young men from the Okinawa Valley. The questions focussed on the ‘80s so we were glad to have them on our team. As Tory pointed out, we were too busy raising kids and working to notice what colour Mrs. Pac-Man was.

    In the evening we attended “A Salute to Motown” by the Soul Sensations. They made up in style and enthusiasm what they lacked in voice and were quite entertaining.
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  • Day7

    Casablanca

    February 27 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 5 °C

    When we woke up, I could not figure out why it was so dark. Later in the day, we realized it was probably heavy smog which blew in and out all day.

    Casablanca is a busy port city. We decided not to do a ship excursion so we walked off, through the port and got a taxi into the centre of town (or so we thought). Our driver got to a Medina (market), showed us the correct direction to walk to get to the mosque and said it was about four blocks. NCL does not provide any maps for passengers (a serious mark against them) so we headed off with very little idea of where we were going. Tory and Roger had been here once which helped.

    We walked through the edges of the market area. Our impressions were that there were lots of men of all ages standing around; we saw very few women and they mostly wore hijabs, long sleeves and pants; there was lots of garbage on the streets and the strawberries were enormous!

    This part of the city was predominately browns and greys (walls, sidewalks, clothes) with an occasional vivid splash of colour: a wall mural, or the carts of fruit. We walked through this area, dodging cars, bikes and handcarts to reach the large square in front of the mosque.

    Tory tells us that this is the second largest mosque in the world. It sparkled white and turquoise against the blue sky. We had all been in large mosques before so we decided not to pay for the tour.

    Shortly after, a large bank of smog blew in and as we were all starting to feel if (stinging eyes, sore throats, coughing) we grabbed a taxi and headed back to the ship. In retrospect, we agreed that we should have paid for an organized tour...oh well, lesson learned. We later heard that a sandstorm had blown in from the desert. Smog? Storm? Hard to differentiate.
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  • Day3

    Park Güell

    March 29, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 57 °F

    Famous houses and Roman Catholic churches didn't seem like enough for Gaudí, he was also tasked with the design of a local public park, though calling it a park feels insufficient.

    We managed to get out of bed at a reasonable hour, and took the Metro to the closest stop and began the ascension to the park entrance.

    Laura had gotten is tickets to the paid area of the park, so we headed straight there before too many people started showing up. We walked around once or twice, then left the paid area to explore the public park. Saw lots of happy doggies -- Barcelona seems like a very dog-friendly city. We miss our puppup, but know she's doing okay due to regular pupdates.

    Satisfied with our walk, we went searching for lunch, and landed on Boca Grande, a cool restaurant with trippy bathrooms and yummy seafood. From there, back to the hotel for nap time.
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  • Day105

    Barcelona

    November 15, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

    Die letschtä 2 Täg simr in Barcelona gsi. Sonä tolli Stadt!
    Am erstä Tag simr mitem Bös it Stadt u si grad dür die grossi Markthauä. Mega schön wiesi aues zrächtgleit u aagrichtet hei! Mir hei üs ä Saft gönnt u si de dür d' Rambla zum Kolumbus-Dänkmau gloffä. "La Rambla" – ä mega längi Strass mit Märitstäng, Kioske u linggs u rächts Iichoufslädä.
    Bim Kolumbus-Dänkmau aacho, simr miteme Lift ufä u hei so über die ganz Stadt chönnä gseh. Mega schön u viufäutig! Ufdr eintä Sitä z' Meer, dr Hafä u Gondeli, ufdr angerä Sitä dr Fluss us herbstgfärbte Böim vor Rambla, wosech zmitts dür d' Stadt schlänglet. Rächts heimr die markantä Türmli vor "Sagrada Familia" gseh und am Horizont si verschideni Höger i Himmu gragt. Uf eim vo denä steit äs zouberhafts Märlischloss (schiins ä Chiuchä...). Herrlech, dä Uusblick!
    Wider dunger acho heimr üs ufä Wäg zu derä "Sagrada Familia" gmacht – ä riesegi Kathedralä, wo vom Antoni Gaudi plant isch wordä u sit 1882 im Bou isch.
    Nachdäm mr E-Tickets kouft hei, simr inä. Dinn hets üs umghouä! So ä spezieui Chiuchä; komplett angers ausmers bis itz hei gseh. Sie isch sehr häu gsi, mit wunderschönä farbigä Fänster, wo ufdr eintä Sitä i warmä Farbä wie Rot, Orange u Gäub hei glüüchtet u ufdr angerä Sitä i chautä Farbä wie Blau u Grüen. Mir hei die spezieui u moderni Architektur gnossä, hei üs erstuunt a vilnä liebevouä Details ah Fänster u Wänd u hei d' Atmosphärä uf üs lah würkä.
    Nachdäm mir die Chiuchä verlah hei, simr mitem Bös zrugg ufä Camping, hei Znacht gmacht u si i Alj gah Fium luegä. Itz ischs ungloublech chaut sobaud d' Sunnä furt isch u so ischs duss gar nümm gmüetlech.
    Hüt simr nomau mitem Bös uf Barcelona si när miter Metro zumnä Park gfahrä. Dert heimr chle picnicet u dä Papageiä zuegluegt. Krass, wie ruhig die Millionä-Stadt hie isch!
    Itz simr i Güell-Park gloffä u si dür dä Park gloffä, wo vouer Boutä vom Gaudi isch. Wunderschöni Kunst wo dä spanisch Architekt gschaffä het! Farbig u einzigartig heter d' Wohnhüser und Plätz im Uftrag vom Güell bbouä u gstautet.
    Itz simr widr id Stadt u si dert no zum "Casa Batlló" – äs Huus vom Gaudi – u speter simr is "Bracafe" gah ässä. Erschöpft, abr sehr zfridä, simr ufä Camping.
    Morn geits witr uf Andorra la Vella.
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el Coll, Coll

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