Friday, 10 February 2012

And last but not least Barcelona!!

I am so excited about Barcelona - it sounds fantastic. The only problem with getting to this part of the trip is that it's the last stop :(

(Click to view larger image)
This is where we are staying - right where it says el Gotic.
So here's the list of the things that I want to see and do in Barcelona:
La Sagrada Familia - Spain's most visited sight.

La Rambla - the tree lined pedestrian boulevard. This is 1.25km long and is a host of street art, flamenco dancers and fire eaters. Very touristy by the sound of it - and tacky but a must do!

Things to see along La Rambla:

Esglesia de Betlem - an impressive baroque church on La Rambla - also Palau de la Birreina - neoclassical church.

Placa de la Boqueria - Miro pavement mosaic

La Boqueria market.

Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house

Museu Nacional D'art de Catalunya -  Art gallery. The Romanesque art collection is the highlight.

Other things to see:

Montjuic  - lovely gardens with lots of see here. Overlooks the ocean.
Castell de Montjuic  - the Castle with views over the ocean.

This is also where the Olympic stadium is as well as several art galleries and museums. They are all around 8 euros per person entry so we will be picking and choosing which ones to go to.
There is the Fundacio Joan Miro (some Spanish artis)  and Poble Sec - spanish towns in miniature (like Canberra!). There is also Jardins de Joan Brossa and Jardin de Mossen Cinto de Verdaguer.
La Font Magica - Montjuic's famous fountains.
North of the gardens is Poblo sec - higgledy- piggledy streets lined with bars and eateries..

Areas of Barcelona:

L'Eixample - the most extensive of Barcelona's districts.

La Sagrada Familia - Entry 12 euros.
Passeig De Gracia - Gaudi's buildings - La Pedrera and Casa Batllo with it's dragonlike roof.
On the same block are several other Modernista creations - next door is the Casa Amatller with jutting out walls and corners. Futher down is Casa Lleo Morera.
Palau del Baro Quadras is nearby and 2 blocks easst across Avnguda Diagonal - Casa de les Punxes with fairytale turrets.

La Rambla de Catalunya, passeig de Gracia and surrounding streets - for shopping.
El Corte Ingles - big department store.
Joan Murria - grocer /delicatessen has been in the same family since early 1900's and has an eye catching facade.
Purification Garcia - great shop and extraordinary building.
Sergio Aranda - looks like a lovely jewellery shop - on carrer de Valencia.

Buildings to see in this area:  La Pedrera built by Guardi. On the 4th floor is a modernista apartment.
The facade looks like a cliff face.

Carrer D'Enric Granados - Pedestrianed bottom end at Carrer de la Diputacio is marked off by the gardens. Wander past restaurants to Placa del Doctor Letamendi and to Avinguda Diagonal.


Cafe Alfonso - perfect tapas stop with a long marble bar. Famous for it's flautas (thin custom made bagettes with your choice of filling).
Cata 1.81 tapas - Carrer  de Valencia 181 - specialities such as salt cod dumplings (raviolis amb bacalla) or thick potato tortilla with a delicate trace of truffle (truita amb tofona). Wine features largely at this place.
Cerveseria Catalana  - Carrer de Mallorca - tapas and canapes - can sit at bar or pavement terrace.

La Ribera

Carrer de Montcada - one of the wealthiest streets in Barelona.

Santa Maria del Mar - Barcelona's greatest Gothic church.

Passeig del Born - a short leafy boulevard behind Santa Maria del Mar.

Arc de Triomf - a triumphal gate with islamic style brickwork.

Get lost along the narrow street of Carrer dels Banys Vells which runs north west  from Santa Maria del Mar - lots of inviting bars, restaurants and shops found here.
Mercat de Santa Caterina -  huge produce market great to shop for fresh produce and gourmet products - good place for lunch.

Palau de La Musica Catalana - very opulent building - the exterior and foyer. The interior of the main auditorium

Parc de la Ciutadella - has a lake and eye catching buildings such as Parlament de Catalunya.

Shopping: Carrer del Rec - fashion outlets such as coquette and custo Barcelona.
Carrer de l'esparteria - Outlet del born - discounted fashions from Hugo boss, Armani etc
Avinguda de Francesc Cambo - Olisoliva - Olive oils from all over Spain.
Carre dels Agullers 7 - great wine shop. - vila Viniteca

Eating:  Cal pep - a boisterous tapas bar
Bar hopping along Passeig Del Born - start  at the church - all bars are good.

El Xampanyet - tapas on Carrer de Montcada 22 - colourful old time cava (Spanish sparkling wine) bar.

Port Vell and  La Barceloneta-  this used to be a wasteland but is now a marina with chic shopping, bustling bars and restaurants and amazing 21st century architecture.
Stroll down Platja de Sant Sebastia , enjoy a sundowner at chiringuito and seafood at any of the seafood restaurants.
Meander along Passeig de Joan de Borbo - full of pavement terraces.
Seafood at the Palau de Mar - Beautiful restored portside warehouses of the Palau de Mar - about 5 seafood restaurants - all with sunny terraces.
You can go on the Golondrina excursion boats that go around the harbour - about 6 E each for about 1/2 an hour.

El Ravel

Old town district -  sounds pretty dodgy. The end of the Rambla is in this section. Full of drug dealers, prostitutes and migrants. Some upmarket places now - new housing and a luxurious hotel.

Mercat de la Boqueria - One of Europe's greatest permanent produce fairs. Enter from La Rambla

Boadas - one of Barcelona's cocktail bars specialising in dacquiris.

Park Guell  and Gracia   - a labyrinth of busy squares and narrow streets.  This area bubbles with life with the narrow streets and lanes opening up to busy squares.
Modernista market at Place de la Libertat - a more down to earth product market.
Busiest squre is the Placa del Sol, Placa de la Virreina and Placa de Rius. This one is dominated by the town hall and clock tower.
From Placa de la Revolucio de Setembre de 1868 there is the pedestrian only Carrer de Verdi - lined with lots of tempting shops, eateries.
Park Guell - one of Gaudi's creations - a public park. Looks like great views.
Enter through the main entrance on Carrer d'olot - it's like entering Alice in Wonderland.

Barri Gotic - Placa De sant jaume - where the forum used to be.

Walk from Placa de sant Jaume towards Via laietana, Stop and make a right down the medieval lane of Carrer de la Dagueria - ceramics shop, cheese shop, bars and places to eat.  The street ends in Placa De Sant Just where there is a smattering of outdoor tables and where Esglesia de Sants Just I pastor is - a church with lovely stained glass windows and a fountain dating back to 1367.

 Le Cathedral.

Casa de la pia Almoina - Barcelona's roman walls -

Esglesai De Santa maria Del Pl - a striking church with a beautiful rose window.

Esglesia de Betlem - 18th Century church of Jerusalem.

Avinguda del Portal del Angel and Carrer de La boqueria - for shopping.

Carrer de Ferran and the port - narrow lanes full of bars and eateries.

Placa reial - pretty 19th Century square with neoclassical facades, palm trees and noisy restaurants and bars. Lamp posts were Gaudi's first commission here. Good place for a drink.

Shopping and eating  - Caelum - specialist food and drink in Carrer de la Palla 8. Cafe downstairs used to be a jewish bathhouse.

Cereria subira - candle shop - Baixada De La Llibreteria 7

Carrer D'avinyo - Boutiques galore starting at Carrer Ample along to Carrer de Ferran.

Cafe de L'opera  - the most atmospheric on La Rambla.

Set lunch menus - from 8 - 12 euros for 3 courses and a drink. (menu del dia)

Los Caracoles - Carrer dels escudellers Barri Gotic's  most picturesque restaurant.

El Poblenou - the city's better beaches.

Baker's shop, Barcelona
Just off the Pla├ža Sant Jaume, there's a wonderful little baker's shop which it's very tempting  to go to first thing in the morning. In the picture, above, are meringues, madalenas with apple on top that melt in your mouth, pa cremat with a coating of sugar on top and coconut tarts.


Pret a porter giant is Mango.
Main shopping axis starts on Placa de Catalunya, proceeds up Passeig de Gracia , turn left into Avinguda Diagonal, along to Placa de la Reina Maria Christina. Placa de Francesc Macia and Placa de la Reina Maria christina is dense with shops.

The heart of L'eixample - known as the Quadrat d'or (golden square) is jammed with all sorts of glittering shops - La Rambla de Catalunya is lined with chic shops. Carrer del consell de cent and nearby streets full of all sorts of great shops.
Placa de Sant jaume. Carrer d'avinyo and carrer de la Palla.

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