Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Viva Espana


In case you aren't caught up on my European adventures {and you actually want to be} take a look at Rome, Marseilles and Palma!

The day after Palma was action filled in one of my favorite cities: Barcelona, Spain! Ahhh I love Barcelona. It's an amazing city that holds sentimental value to me since that is where the hubs and I honeymooned! If you read about our honeymoon, you would know that our camera was stolen. So needless to say, several pictures were gone forever while the rest were pretty crappy quality. This time around, I snapped some amazing shots!

We got off the boat around 9:00am ready to take on the day. We decided to forego an excursion and explore on our own since we kind of knew how to get around the city.


First statue you see after the bus drops you off from port...Christopher Columbus wearing a Barcelona jersey!

After a stroll down La Rambla, we made our way into the subway to go see La Segrada Familia. Well...we didn't read that well and managed to get off on the wrong stop on the wrong line all together. Ooops! Don't worry, we made it eventually though! It just took quite a bit longer than planned :)


La Rambla...so much food and shopping!

St. Josep Market. It was closed since it was Sunday, but JP and loved exploring this huge outdoor market on our honeymoon!

Heading down into the Subway of doom!

Okay quick story...time to clarify how we managed to get lost in Barcelona because of the subway. Let me tell you something. Their subway...not self explanatory. There are about 13 different lines and Sergada looks just like Segrada when you're trying to figure out which line to get on. We accidentally opted for Sergada which is in a completely different part of the city. Don't worry, we figured it out and knew we did it right the second time because we emerged from the underground to see this!




I would also like to point out that the hubs and I are from Houston, TX where public transportation is practically nonexistent. A subway? Ha. Not unless you want Houston to collapse. We will never ever have a subway :)




La Segrada Familia is one of Gaudi's masterpieces. He began is work on it later in life and as you can see from all these photos, it is still under construction! He began reworking the design that was started by Josep Bocabella in 1883. When Gaudi died in 1926, the cathedral wasn't even a quarter of the way finished. The projected completion date is in 2026! Looks like I'll have to go back to see it again when its done :)




The intricate work is absolutely stunning...and this is just the outside!




Fun fact: Gaudi designed the Segrada upside down using weights on strings to come up with the exotic structure!



We waited in line for a little while to go inside before I realized that if we did wait, it would take up our whole day. I really wanted to go back to Parc Guell, eat lunch, sip sangria and go shopping. After a quick walk around the outside snapping pictures, we were back on the subway to Parc Guell!


Saw this in the subway at La Segrada stop and had to snap a pic!

Luckily we got off at the right stop this time around. Unfortunately, it's still a hike from the subway to the park. Take a look at these stairs and hills!






Now you see why I consider walking around Barcelona for a day an actual workout! The hike is completely worth it though. Once you get to the top, you get views like this...




We came up the back side of the park and climbed to one of the highest points {in the park}






Parc Guell is another one of Gaudi's creations. {Can you tell that I'm obsessed with Antoni Gaudi? I blame honeymooning in Barcelona, but he is seriously amazing!}




The park is free and open to the public  and was built between 1900-1914. It is a mixture of open park space, gardens, trails and exquisite structures.








The most famous piece in the park is "el drac" which is a mosaic iguana at the main entrance!




awkward angle...



This is the view of the park if you come in the main entrance!

After exploring the park, it was time to walk all the way back down the hill to get to the subway. We clearly needed to nourish our tired bodies after the trek ;) so it was time for tapas and sangria before we hit the shops! Unfortunately, I didn't think about the fact that we were in Barcelona on a Sunday...aka shops and lots of fun stuff are closed! I was super bummed, but perked up when I remembered about the mall!




Yay for the mall to save the day! The mall is nice and has tons of shops that I really wanted to go to like Mango, Bershka, Pull & Bear, H&M, etc. No Zara though...good think I stocked up in France!




Shopping made JP tired so he needed a beer of course! I think he really just needed one because he knew he could legally walk around with it.




So we walked around the Rambla del Mar and found the replica of the boat Magellan used to sail around the world! They actually took this boat on a similar {but more direct} route just a few years ago!




Last but not least, we poked our heads in on the various street shops before getting back on the boat!




By then it was nearly 5:30pm and we had 7:00pm dinner reservations to get ready for! I loved being in Barcelona again and I know that we will be back at some point. Maybe even explore some other Spanish cities!

Have you revisited one of your favorite vacations spots?
How was it compared to the first time? We definitely felt like we knew the city. Maybe our heads are a little big ;)

Until next time...
With love and God bless,

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