Barcelona Journals

Bill in Spain - BARCELONA

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A February 2002 trip to Barcelona by billmoy

Park Guell (Parc Güell) Photo, Barcelona, Spain More Photos
Quote: After my second trip here in February 2002 (my first visit was in 1996), Barcelona has become one of my favorite cities. My problem now is that I want to visit Barcelona again!

Bill in Spain - BARCELONA

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Overview

MACBA Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
The city reinvented itself in preparation for the 1992 Summer Olympics and it is still reaping the benefits from that moment in the international spotlight. Barcelona is in Spain, but its proud citizens prefer to be associated with the region of Catalunya. The locals speak a Catalan language that, to the untrained ear, sounds like a cross between Castillian and French. Barcelona is a treasure trove of unique art, architecture and museums. The year 2002 marked the 150th birthday of Antoni Gaudi, whose flamboyant architectural projects (Temple de la Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila, etc.) are scattered about town. Central Barcelona has two areas with their own rich characteristics. The older...Read More

Hotel Arts Barcelona (Ritz Carlton)

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Hotel | "Hotel Arts Barcelona"

Hotel Arts Barcelona (Ritz Carlton) Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
This hotel, part of the Ritz-Carlton chain, is located in the tallest building in Spain with 44 floors. The elegant tower, embellished by a bold cage of white structural steel, was designed by the notable architecture firm Skidmore Owings and Merrill. Opened in 1992, the hotel has nearly 500 magnificently appointed rooms and suites. Located in the Olympic Port area, you are very close to the Mediterranean, tons of restaurants and dance clubs, and a casino. My standard room would be a junior suite in just about any other hotel. Being a Ritz-Carlton brand, everything is 5-star elegance. The posh bathroom is enormous, with a great seated shower stall (and separate bathtub too) and loads of toilet...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 14, 2002

Hotel Arts Barcelona (Ritz Carlton)
Carrer de la Marina, 19-21
Barcelona, Spain
93-221-10-00

Condes de Barcelona Hotel

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Hotel | "Hotel Condes de Barcelona"

Condes de Barcelona Hotel Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
This fine hotel, which opened in 1986, is split between two former palaces along the fashionable Passeig de Gracia, a great location in L''Eixample. In this unusual configuration, the hotel has incorporated the Casa J Daurella (1872) and the Casa Enric Batllo (designed in 1896 by Josep Vilaseca I Casanovas, the same architect who designed Barcelona''s Arc de Triomf). This Casa Batllo is not to be confused with Gaudi''s more flamboyant Casa Josep Batllo just a few blocks away, but it has a certain degree of architectural merit as well. I chose to stay in the Batllo tower, which had a outdoor rooftop pool and lookout deck. The February temperature was still a bit nippy in the 50''s, so I did not see any...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 14, 2002

Condes de Barcelona Hotel
PASEO DE GRACIA 73 75
Barcelona, Spain 08008
34 93 4674780

Avenida Palace

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Hotel

Quote:
The fine Avinida Palace seems to be in the perfect location in Barcelona, as it is near the Placa Catalunya, many prominent "modernisme" buildings, and about 1000 other things. There is a Metro stop very close by, along with the main tourism information center, airport bus stop, train station stop. I cannot emphasize how good the location is! This venerable older hotel, an independent property but a member of the SRS consortium, does not show any signs of age thanks to its recent renovation. The hotel has an older atmosphere to it, even though it is celebrating only its 50th anniversary this year. There are 9 floors with 160 rooms, so this is not a huge hotel despite its grand appearance. The lo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 14, 2002

Avenida Palace
GRAN VIA CORTS CATALANES 60560
Barcelona, Spain 08007
34-93-3019600

La Sagrada Familia

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Attraction | "Sagrada Familia"

La Sagrada Familia Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
This year marks the 150th birthday of Antoni Gaudi, whose flamboyant architectural projects are scattered about town. The Temple de la Sagrada Familia is an incredible building that consumed Gaudi to such an extent that he lived around its construction site during the last years of his life. This church is still being built, with a completion date that can only be speculated upon for now. Between my two visits over a six-year span, I noticed a measurable amount of progress but the construction still has a long way to go. I took the elevator up and walked down the winding stairs. The interior lighting around the stairs is dim, so walking down is sore upon the knees and legs around sunset when yo...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 14, 2002

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

Torre de Collserola

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Attraction | "Torre Collserola"

Torre de Collserola Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
For a wide-angle view of the city, I made the trek up to Torre Collserola, a telecommunications tower with an enclosed observation deck on top. This tower, designed by Sir Norman Foster, looks like a weird rocketship atop the rocky hill. It stands atop Tibidado, so the views from here down to the surrounding city and the Mediterranean Sea are spectacular. The journey up to Collserola can be almost as exciting as the elevator ride up to the top. After taking a commuter train and a bus, I was expecting to take a funicular up. Unfortunately, the funicular is open only on weekends during February, as it is geared towards visitors to a popular amusement park. I hiked up a series of meandering and lon...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 14, 2002

Torre de Collserola
Collserola
Barcelona, Spain 08035
+34 93 4069354

Casa Mila (La Pedrera de Gaudi)

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Attraction | "Casa Mila (La Pedrera)"

Casa Mila (La Pedrera de Gaudi) Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
The Casa Mila, also famously known by the nickname La Pedrera ("the rock quarry"), is perhaps architect Antoni Gaudi's most refined building. This eight-story granite apartment block (completed in 1910) is prominently located along the Passeig de Gracia, not far from Gaudi's more colorful Casa Batllo. Casa Mila may employ a monochromatic color scheme, but Gaudi compensates with continuous curving facades, rounded window openings and twisting iron balcony handrails, and an exciting rooftop terrace. Casa Mila seems to be less a building and more a sculpture. It is said that years ago someone was trying to open an art gallery in the building but gave up due to the lack of flat surfaces in the rooms! ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 21, 2002

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

Casa Batllo

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Attraction

Casa Batllo Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
This colorful facade was the architectural mask designed by Antoni Gaudi in 1904 to envelop the exterior of an existing building along the lovely Passeig de Gracia. This is the most famous member of the "Manzana de la Discordia", and just next door to the Casa Amatller by Josep Puig i Cadafalch (the third member of the Manzana is the Casa Lleo Morera). This mansion, the Casa Josep Batllo, is not to be confused with the Casa Enric Batllo (now the Hotel Condes de Barcelona) located just down the street. The bold colors of the facade shimmer brilliantly on sunny mornings, while at night it is dramatically illuminated. There are many theories regarding the origins of the design, but perhaps the most...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 29, 2002

Casa Batllo
Passeig De Gracia 43
Barcelona, Spain

Park Guell (Parc Güell)

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Attraction | "Park Guell"

Park Guell (Parc Güell) Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
Park Guell is now recognized as a Gaudi masterpiece and a UNESCO treasure of Barcelona, but it was not always a rousing success story. Park Guell was commissioned by Eusebi Guell, the well-known patron of several of Gaudi's notable projects. In 1900, the original concept of the plan was as a residential garden city where the private homeowners would share common facilities like a market, paved streets and public squares. In the beginning, this hilly site atop Muntanya Pelada was rather isolated from the central city (it is at the northern edge of the current Gracia neighborhood, still a bit of a hike from central Barcelona). This perceived isolation was one reason why the park was deemed a failu...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 26, 2002

Park Guell (Parc Güell)
Montana Pelada, Gracia District
Barcelona, Catalonia

I'VE BEEN SLIMED!

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Travelling around the world is great 99 percent of the time, but there is always that 1 percent where things can go wrong. The following incident falls into the nether region of that 1 percent, but it should not be used as evidence that a city or place is "unsafe". I had read about such a "sliming" scam in a guidebook ahead of time. One unseen person squirts/spills some substance on your back while a second person offers to wipe your stain. In reality, this person is actually body-searching you to see if you have any hidden valuables. When I faced this for the first time, I reacted in a clear and proper manner and thwarted the scam. I would like to inform you about this so that if you do become...Read More