Barcelona Journals

Barcelona: Not Quite Spain

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A July 2006 trip to Barcelona by Mandan Lynn

La Boqueria Photo, Barcelona, Spain More Photos
Quote: I spent five lovely, relaxed days in Barcelona with my aunt and sister.

Barcelona: Not Quite Spain

Overview

Barcelona Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
Though people in Barcelona speaks Catalan, Spanish is readily understood. However, there is definitely a faction that would like to imagine Spain as nonexistent--indeed, there was graffiti to that effect in more than one place. The architecture is, of course, amazing, as are the beaches, though they're terribly crowded.

Quick Tips:

You'll love walking down Las Ramblas and stopping to sit on the benches for some people-watching.

Stop by La Boqueria for inexpensive fruit and vegetables.

Visit the Olympic village--it's a beautiful and relatively uncrowded area.

Eat paella! Delicious!

Best Way To Get Around:

The metro is cheap and easy, as is walking.

HCC Taber Hotel

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Hotel

HCC Taber Hotel Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
At last! A hotel! Because I wasn't paying for it.As far as hotels go, it felt about average to me, even though the price was up there around 200 euros per night. But it's high season in Barcelona--what can one expect?The location was fantastic, fairly centralized. It was just a short walk to Las Ramblas, just a couple of blocks from the nearest metro station. We ended up walking home late one night, and we felt pretty safe, or as safe as one can feel in a city at night. There are dozens of restaurants nearby.The best part was that breakfast was included, and a good breakfast it was: breads, cereals, juices, yogurt, fruit (including fresh pineapple, one of my favorit...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 16, 2006

HCC Taber Hotel
Arago 256
Barcelona, Spain 08007
34-934873887

La Boqueria

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Attraction

La Boqueria Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
If you're looking for cheap groceries, this is where to find it. This huge indoor market has almost everything you might want to eat--fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, and nuts. Fruit comes fresh, dried, or as juice, and all are so delicious. You can get a pint of strawberries or cherry tomatoes for 1,00 euro. I couldn't pass up the pineapple, of course, and I tried fresh coconut for the first time in my life--I'll stick to the sweet shredded version that comes in bags. I tried coconut milk, as well, and that I could make a habit of.My favorite was the dried kiwi. I'm a big dehydrated fruit fan, but kiwi was new to me. It tastes like candy. Excellent.The meat and fi...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 22, 2006

La Boqueria
La Rambla, 91
Barcelona, Spain

Picasso Museum (Museu Picasso)

Attraction | "Museu Picasso"

Picasso Museum (Museu Picasso) Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
Museu Picasso
Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-8:00 pm
Closed Monday
Admission: 6,00 euros (students 3,00)
Free on the first Sunday of each month

Picasso's works are divided into periods, so in each room you can expect to find works of the same sort. Cubism and his Blue Period works were highlights for me.

You can't miss Picasso's analyzation of Velazquez's Las Meninas. Save time for that, and be sure to check out the little show that compares the Picasso works with Las Meninas itself.

Clearly, this is the place for Picasso fans. The long line is worth it.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 22, 2006

Picasso Museum (Museu Picasso)
Montcada, 15-19
Barcelona, Spain 08003
+34 93 3196310

Casa Mila (La Pedrera de Gaudi)

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Attraction | "Pedrera"

Casa Mila (La Pedrera de Gaudi) Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
La PedreraThis was just "okay" for me. Gaudi is amazing, no doubt, and the building is phenomenal, but all I really need is to look at it. Inside there is a lot of information about the building and how it was constructed, so I highly recommend it if you're into that.Inside you also get to see one of the apartments—they're so big! I could stand to live like that.The roof is beautiful with all the stairs and the chimneys. The views are phenomenal—be sure to check out the Sagrada Familia, which you can see towering above the rest of the city.If you're on a budget, not a student, and don't really care about architecture, just glance at the building and w...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 24, 2006

Casa Mila (La Pedrera de Gaudi)
Passeig De Gracia, 92
Barcelona, Spain 08007
34644 291 481

La Sagrada Familia

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Attraction | "Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia"

La Sagrada Familia Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
La Sagrada FamiliaDaily 9:00-8:00 pm (6:00 pm in winter)Admission: 8,00 euros (students 5,00)La Sagrada Familia is Gaudi's unfinished masterpiece--construction is ongoing. Already, though, it is magnificent. The structure is beautiful, and the best part is that it's full of symbolism--like the 12 bell towers, which represent the apostles. Be sure to check out the Nativity and Passion scenes on the church.You can go up in the towers. There are a great many narrow stairs, which is why you probably want to take the elevator, even though it costs 2,00 euros. Even so, you have to take the stairs on the way down. If you're claustrophobic, don't do it. The spiral staircas...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 25, 2006

La Sagrada Familia
Carrer de Mallorca, 401
Barcelona, Spain 08013
+34 93 2073031

Museu de la Xocolata/Museum of Chocolate

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Attraction | "Museu de la Xocolata (Museum of Chocolate)"

Museu de la Xocolata/Museum of Chocolate Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
Museu de la XocolataMonday-Saturday 10:00-7:00 pmSunday 10:00-3:00 pmClosed TuesdayAdmission: 3,80 euros (students 15% discount)There's nothing like a good chocolate museum.This museum had an adequate amount of information--enough that I learned something, but not so much that I got sick of reading. I went to the chocolate museum in Cologne, Germany (see my journal on that), and they had SO much information to read that I was tired of it by the end.The best part of this museum was the chocolate sculptures. They were beautiful! So intricate! I was incredibly impressed. I loved the Gaudi replicas and the bullfighting scene. There's also a wall of p...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 25, 2006

Museu de la Xocolata/Museum of Chocolate
Carrer Comerc 36
Barcelona, Spain

Flamenco!

Attraction

Quote:
We went to an opera/flamenco show on Las Ramblas. It cost 25 euros and was DEFINITELY geared toward tourists, but that didn't take away from the majesty that is flamenco.The opera -- eh. The singers were very good, of course, but the highlight of the show was the dancing.First, a woman danced. She was amazing. The movements were so sharp and defined, a delicate mix of quick and slow that creates quite a dramatic atmosphere. Then, to my surprise, a man danced. Of course, in dancing, where there's a woman there's a man, but for some reason I just never think of men dancing the flamenco. It was also interesting. There was less hip shaking, as well as a greater sense ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 12, 2006