Placa Sant Jaume

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22 travelers at this place

  • Day6

    Food in Barcelona

    July 3, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    Barcelona is known for its amazing food. The array is extraordinary. There is the best of Spanish food, as well as a range of other influences, such as French (being not far from the border) and Italian, Greek and even north African. The Tapas scene is huge and impossible to effectively explore in a few days. We tended to eat convenience food rather than sit in restaurants, but it is evident that the range of Tapas is extensive and delicious. I was able to sample this on a few occasions but would need a few weeks to really do it justice.

    We visited the famous La Boqueria markets just of La Ramblas (the mall). This market is world famous. It is high-quality food for culinary gourmets. It is just the best culinary experience ever. I bought a couple of little paper cups of cheese and dried meats cut from the bone. These are sold as tasters for a couple of euros each. There are the best fruits and vegetables, meat, poutry and fish, cheese and tapas, coffee and fresh juice, goumet chocolates, dried fruits and nuts, spices, etc. And there are places to order the food and they will prepare it and you can eat it right there. Wow. Worth coming to Barcelona just for this place.

    But the food is exceptional. It is said that the food in Barcelona is the best in Spain. I cannot compare it with anything else in Spain yet, but I can say that it is amazing.
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  • Day6

    Mt Tibadabo

    July 3, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    Sam and I took the long route to our second and major destination for the day - we walked for about an hour in the heat of the summer sun. It provided a real insight into the outer suburbs of Barcelona, but the going was hard as it was hilly terrain. The hills are clearly the domain of the rich in Barcelona because some of the houses could only be described as mansions.

    We arrived at the foot of Mt Tibadabo and caught the Funicular up the mountain. This is a tram that travels up the very steep hill, similar to the Scenic Railway in the Blue Mountains, except it goes even longer.

    The effort to get to the top of this mountain was well worth it. The views over Barcelona were amazing. It is difficult to think of a city that has a better vantage point from which ti view the entire city.

    There is an amusement park on top of the mountain which has utlized the height to maximum effect by building ferris wheels, and other scary rides which a placed in a precarious point on the edge of the mountain. Sam and I could not resist going on the Ferris Wheel, which is quite a scary ride given that the mountain drops away beneath the ride.

    We then went to climb the to the church which is perched even higher on the hill. In the first level of the church we discovered a lift that was able to take us to the top level of the church. From there we could climb even higher, right up inside the highest steeple. The view from here was so spectacular it was beyond all expectations. We had 180 degree views. Not only could we see the whole of Barcelona stretched out before us in one direction, the eastern half of the view, but looking west we could see all the way to Mt Montserrat where the famous Monastery is located and all the settlements on the other side of the hills which form a natural boundary of the city. We could also look northwards and see the Pyrenees which form the natural divide between Spain and France.

    The view was spectacular. It took our breath away. I cannot remember having such a high vantage point in any other city. Those visiting Barcelona should not miss this amazing perspective of Barcelona. We stayed up there for an hour - a fitting way to end our visit to this unique Spanish city, the capital of Catalunya.
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  • Day4

    Walk of discovery

    July 1, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    The afternoon and evening walk led to some interesting discoveries. The first was Europe’s oldest synagogue. The Jews were expelled from Spain by Queen Isabella in 1492. It is known as the decree of Al Alhambra because it was in that famous landmark building in Granada that the decree was made. The decree was issued on 1st August that year. Colombus was going to leave for his voyage of discovery from the port of Cadiz on 2nd of August but there were so many Jews in the port rushing to escape Spain that he had to delay leaving till 3rd August. He mentions this in the first page of his record of the voyage.

    The synagogue’s location was lost and only discovered again in 1997 after a study of the records of Jewish tax collectors from the 14th century. The synagogue had been converted to various other uses and its location lost. But the building dates back the 13th century and the foundations back to Roman times.

    The street and building kinks so that the two exterior windows face Jerusalem.
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  • Day5

    Bus Tour continues - to Sagrada Familia

    July 2, 2018 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 24 °C

    We thought we had seen some amazing sights at Castle Mountjuic, but nothing prepared us for our afternoon and evening exploration of the most amazing thing to see in Barcelona - the Sagrada Familia. This is a cathedral that commenced construction in 1883 and is not due to be completed until 2026, the 100th year anniversary of the death of its mastermind architect, one of Spain's most famous geniuses, Antoni Gaudi.

    This church remains unfinished because the scale of it is such that is is impossible to imagine without seeing it. Our eyes nearly popped out of our heads when we saw the outside of the building, but we had just managed to ensure they were still in place when our eyesight was again challenged by what we experienced on entering the gigantic edifice.

    It is already on UNESCO's list of Heritage sites, without being finished. Can you imagine a church building taking over 100 years to build? When Gaudi (known now to the Spaniards as "God's Architect") was asked why he designed something that would take so long to build, he replied that his client was in no hurry.

    Gaudi designed something so ornate and incredibly detailed and fine that there was only one facade and another small part of the church built in his lifetime. He died in 1926. The buildng continues to this day (with a few interruptions for a civil war and a couple of world wars) and they hope to complete it for Gaudi's 100 year anniversary.

    It is impossible to describe this building. The inspiration comes from nature. So there are no straight lines anywhere. The columns are reminiscent of trees, and the stained glass windows inside go from bright red through orange, blue and green to represent the seasons. But there is too much to say about this building. A few photos are included here, but those who are keen to see it complete can make an appointment to visit in 2026.

    Sacrada Familia means "Holy Family" in Spanish. I am not a huge fan of Catholic churches for obvious reasons, but this one is another level. It puts St Peter's in Rome into the shade.
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  • Day5

    Unusual and Special

    July 2, 2018 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 24 °C

    Sam was struggling to work out how the doors to these shops worked - nearly a metre above the ground. We are not sure that they would pass safety standards in Australia. But then we thought they might be designed to receive deliveries. But still, weird on a public street.

    We also visited the Nou Camp today by bus. The stadium for the Barcelona Football Club. The club has 170,000 members. Lionel Messi is their current star player, along with many others of high quality.

    We also saw the famous Barcelona Bull Fighting Ring, which was in use until 1987 and then was closed. It is now a shopping centre but has maintained the charactistic facade.
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  • Day4

    Exploring Barcelona

    July 1, 2018 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 23 °C

    The exploration of the the amazing city of Barcelona continues. I came across some amazing gardens adjacent to the Barcelona Zoo. There was Spanish Dancing taking place in the pavillion just for fun. The Spanish have their own genre of music and dance, based on very percussive rapid music, often played on guitar, and flamenco dancing. There is also a strong African element represented in the dancing in the park, which certainly brought the crowds.

    There were some amazing structures in the park which were like mini medieval castles in themselves.

    I found the gothic cathedral in the gothic quarter where we are staying. It is a medieval church with amazing ornate carvings reminiscent of Notre Dame in Paris. There was a busker playing some beautiful baroque violin music and another around the corner singing tenor solos from famous operas. Very high quality busking!

    The old city of Barcelona dates back to Roman times. There are still portions of the Roman wall visible in areas bounding the gothic quarter. The gothic quarter is the old section of the city with narrow streets and high buildings with shops and restaurants at ground level which come alive from lunchtime into the night. The food culture is amazing. One could spend a year here and not exhaust the food options. Delicious food everywhere and people dining on tables set up in the streets and collonades of the old city squares.
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  • Day5

    Seeing the Sites by Barcelona City Bus

    July 2, 2018 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 24 °C

    The Hop-on Hop-off bus in Barcelona is a great way to see the main sites (and sights) and avoid crazy amounts of walking. Yesterday I walked over 20km and 30,000 steps (so my phone and watch tell me, and my feet agree) so we decided to buy a bus pass today. There are two major loops of the city (east and west) and they take about an hour each, if one doesn't alight from the bus at any point.

    Sam and I began with the intention of doing the whole western loop without getting off the bus, but that only lasted until we got to the view from Mountjuic and the possibility of going up the mountain by cable car to the Castle Mountjuic that overlooks the city.

    The cablecar ride was fantastic, with incredible views of Barcelona from the glass box hanging precariously off a wire about 80m above the ground. The views were exceeded only by those from the castle at the top of the mountain. This castle dates from medieval times, but was used more recently by the Spanish rulers against their own people, both the fire cannons on the rebels in the city in the 18th and 19th centuries, and to imprison and torture enemies of the state in the 20th century. The Catalan people see themselves as distinct from the Spanish, and Barcelona is the capital of the Catalan region. Spain has been racked by more tragedy from civil war over the last few centuries than any invasion or external war. Even this year the Catalonians tried to become an independent country from Spain. They used to be independent until their rights and territory was taken by Spain in the early 20th century. The Spanish Civil War went from 1936-1939. After that, the dictator Franco ruled the country with an iron fist. It has been a sad country and they have suffered most from the hands of their own countrymen. They are still reluctant to talk about it.

    Mountjuic is a prominent hill and was occupied by the army and ruling classes to control the ordinary people of Barcelona. It is ironic that the mountain got its name from the fact that the Jews had to bury their dead on the hill because they weren't allowed to utilise Christian graveyards back in the 1300s. The name "Mountjuic" comes from "Mountain of the Jews". Ironic given the Jews were all expelled in 1492, and the elite Catalans and Spanish occupied the hill. It is such a famous hill that all the infrastructure for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games was built in Mountjuic.

    There has been an amazing tombstone and inscription found in archaeological digs in relatively recent years. It dates from 1306 and records that Rachel the daughter of Rabbi Abraham was buried there.

    Sam and I had a fantastic time exploring the castle that still stands today. It was used as a prison and place to execute opponents of the Spanish political regime right through the 20th century, but now is an amazing public museum and highlight for tourists visiting this amazing city.
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  • Day5

    More things to see in Barca

    July 2, 2018 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 24 °C

    The architecture in Barcelona is very different to other European cities I have seen. The classical western architectural forms have been turned on their head here, or extended beyond what is usual. It is certainly different from Paris which is very traditional and consistent. This sets Barcelona apart from other cities. Famous architects like Gaudi led the way in this amazing creative flair. Picasso and Salvador Dali were also born here and created styles uniquely their own. This seems to be a pattern for creative genius which is so characteristic of this city.Read more

  • Day24

    Barcelona II

    June 1, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Heute sind wir nochmal mit dem Bus nach Barcelona gefahren. Zunächst sind wir in den Baumarkt um Silikon zum Abdichten der Fenster zu kaufen. Dann haben wir das "Casa Batllò" und das "Casa Mila" von Gaudi angeschaut, wobei uns das "Casa Batllò" deutlich besser gefallen hat. Dann haben wir noch die "Sagrada Familia" angeschaut, wohl eins der bekanntesten Werke Gaudi's. Leider ist es immer noch nicht fertig und eine große Baustelle. Geplant soll es 2026 fertig sein. Wir haben uns entschieden nicht rein zugehen. Danach ging es zu den "Bunkers del Carmel". Unser absolutes Highlight. Man hat einen super Ausblick über die ganze Stadt. Wir haben über eine Stunde einfach die Aussicht genossen. Auf dem Weg nach unten haben wir dann zwei Deutsche Jungs wieder getroffen, die und bereits an der Sagrada Familia begegnet sind. Wir haben uns dann nochmal mit ihnen in der Stadt zum Essen verabredet. Im Barri Gòtic haben wir ein super leckere Tapas Restaurant gefunden. Nach dem Essen haben wir uns noch ein Moritz Bier getrunken und haben uns dann auf dem Weg zum Campingplatz gemacht.Read more

  • Day3

    eBike, Tapas und Wein

    December 30, 2016 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 8 °C

    eBike Tour durch Barcelona - klingt erstmal nach Touri-programm für 70+.
    Aus Mangel an Alternativen an anderen Biketouren habe ich sie trotzdem gebucht. Die Tour wurde auch in meiner Muttersprache angeboten mit dem Hinweis, wenn nicht genügend Teilnehmer, dann findet sie in englischer Sprache statt.
    Wir waren 5 Mädels, ok, 4 Mädels und ich. Die vier kamen aus Dallas/Texas.
    Da zwei Guides zur Verfügung standen, habe ich doch tatsächlich meine ganz private Führung von Xavier in deutsch bekommen und die Dallas - Mädels waren mit dem anderen Guide unterwegs.
    Ich habe meine Vorurteile gegenüber eBikes abgebaut (nein ich kaufe mir jetzt nicht so ein Teil), gerade bergauf sehr angenehme. Und ich habe ganz viele Info's zu Barcelona, Katalonien und Spanien bekommen. Mit einem Local unterwegs, der in dieser Stadt aufgewachsen ist, ist noch mal etwas anderes als die Info's aus einem Reiseführer. Wir sind durch die engen Gassen der Altstadt geradelt, durch den Park der Weltausstellung von 1888, das Olympische Dorf von 1992, am Strand entlang und durch den alten Hafen. Immer wieder Stops mit ganz viel Geschichte und Wissenswerten. Zum Abschluss der Tour sind wir alle zusammen in eine Tapasbar eingekehrt. Bei Wein und Tapas haben wir uns toll unterhalten, Xavier hat noch Tipps zu Restaurants und Bars gegeben, da wo ich nicht weiterkam hat er für mich übersetzt (der Typ spricht fünf Sprachen- Respekt).
    War ein toller Nachmittag bzw. Abend, interessant und lustig, was ich so erstmal nicht erwartet hatte.
    Fotos sind bei der Biketour nicht entstanden, nur in der Tapasbar haben die Mädels Gruppenfotos gemacht, die ich per eMail erst noch bekomme. Dafür gibt es aber ein paar witzige Sachen, die mir heute unterwegs begegnet sind.
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Placa Sant Jaume

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