Barcelona is a vibrant city of about one and a half million people. The Marco Polo docked quite near in the outer
harbour of Port Vell. There are many reasons to visit this beautiful city
and one of the most obvious is the magnificent architecture. The Casa Mila, designed by Gaudi is just one of the amazing
structures to visit. Our ship docked near the Colombus Monument located near where he arrived in Barcelona in 1493. The statue is 7m high
and points towards the sea.
Our plan for the day was to visit the famous Guell Park so a trip on the underground was the way to go. The station was
not far away at the bottom of the famous street Las Ramblas - which has shops and many restaurants. It didn't take long and soon we were
at the bottom of a street and
the sign said "Guell Park". We looked up and saw a very steep road which thankfully had escalators for those that needed
to get a lift to the top. Once there we had a grand view of Barcelona before reaching the amazing park itself. This park is a World Heritage site, famous for
its incredible style and creation. Guell began this project but enlisted his friend Gaudi to help. It was not a great venture
starting out as a housing project but floundering in 1914. Bought by the city later it was turned into a public park for all the enjoy.
Leaving the park we walked through streets with many art shops and finally found a shop to rest and get a
coffee to revive. Barcelona has another famous artist's work here, Pablo Picasso and the Picasso Museum is homage to his art. We noticed the wonderful architecture of the houses everywhere and especially the lovely french doors adorned with vines and decoration.
Of course there were lots of wine shops but we resisted and continued on to see the famous Sagrada Familia Church.
Coming onto this magnificent piece of unusual architecture is just stunning. The first view from the street is awesome with the skyline filled with incredible and
and different towers. There will be 18 of these when the work is finished and the church will accomodate 13,000 people at once! It is far from finished and there is much ongoing work
happening in the building. An architect named Francisco de Paula del Villar began work in 1882 and just one year after Gaudi took over the planning and overseeing. He made changes
constantly and plans were altered as the work evolved. He died in 1926 and there were no definite plans as to how it would look when complete. The work continued but no one really knew
what Gaudi had in mind to complete the design. One of the spectacular features of the church are the facades, all beautifully decorated with religious figures and other scenes based on nature. A visit to the
museum incorporated into the building was well worth the visit.
Back on the train to Las Ramblas in the afternoon where we ambled down this fabulous street of food, cultural activity and just pure enjoyment.
We passed artists, street performers, many open air restaurants selling spanish paellas and other cuisines. The atmosphere
was very vibrant and very much a cultural delight and so ended our quick but full visit to this wonderful city.