Monday, June 3, 2013

Day 4 in Barcelona, Walking Around the City looking at Gaudi Buildings

My internal clock is on Spanish time, I go to sleep late, wake up late and eat late.  I have not entirely adopted Spanish time, I first woke up at around 7:30am to go to the bathroom, breakfast was out so I decided to eat.  I did not want to get stuck with white bread two days in a row or the ends of the wheat bread.  I ate, then went back to sleep, all of my hostel mates checked out of the room this morning, except one.  I got up a second time around noon, I did not have much planned for the day.

I am spending a week in Barcelona, longer than most stops on my trip, and I saw all the big sites my first couple days here.  Today my plan was to see the Antonin Gaudi houses and the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's incomplete basilica.  I left my hostel around 1pm, a good time to start the day.  My first stop was Placa de Catalunya to buy a train ticket for the day trip to Montserrat I am taking tomorrow. I got a quick lunch, then started to walk to the first Gaudi house on my map.

Fountain in Placa de Catalunya

Lynnae in Placa de Catalunya 
Batllo House was down the street from Placa de Catalunya, I knew I was in the right place when I saw a crowd of people taking pictures on the street corner.  I looked at the house from the outside, interesting architecture, unlike anything I have seen.  next, I went to La Padrera Casa Mila, a short walk from the Gaudi house.  Again I knew I was in the right place by the crowds near the house, the unique architecture also identified the house to me.  My final stop on the tour of Gaudi's buildings was the Sagrada Familia,a huge basilica designed by Gaudi which is still under construction.  I did not go into any of Gaudi's buildings, I just walked around the city looking at them. The lines were long at all the Gaudi buildings and entrance fees were steep.

Lynnae at Casa Batllo

Lynnae at La Padrera Casa Mila

Lynnae at Sagrada Familia 
My plan was to go to Park Guell, a Gaudi designed park, after visiting Sagrada Familia.  I looked at my map and started following what I thought was the most direct route to the park.  I noticed Park Guell was separate from the rest of the map, but I thought it was walking distance.  On my way, I asked two women who did not speak English if I was headed in the right direction. They told me the bus to take, they said the number slowly.  I can only count up to about number 15 in Spanish, the bus number was 92, they wrote it down for me.  I decided to keep trying to walk to the park even though the Spanish women told me to take the bus, I realized the streets were not matching what was on my map.  I asked a man at a grocery store, he said a lot of things in Spanish, I understood bus.

I went to the bus stop and waited a while, looked at the map, then decided to walk back to my hostel.  It was already after  5 pm, I could go to Park Guell another day.  I passed by Placa de Toros Monumental, a former bullfighting arena, I did not pay the fee to go to the museum or look around. The arena was on my way to the hostel so I stopped and looked. Bullfighting is now banned in Catalonia. There was no crowd here or line to get in. 

Placa de Toros Monumental
It was a long walk back to my hostel, when I got back I asked the hostel staff on duty about walking to Park Guell.  He laughed and said it was far away, he said you could walk if you really wanted to, if you are a warrior, but it is easier to take the train.  I may visit Park Guell on my last day in Barcelona.  I have already seen a lot of Gaudi's work in Barcelona.  Tomorrow, I go to Montserrat, not sure I will spend the entire day there, it is considered a day trip from Barcelona in the guide books.

Day 3 in Barcelona Photo Album

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