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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Barcelona, Cataluña, Spain

May 11, 2018 - More Gaudi, Paulau Macaya and a hill climb

'Not Spanish, Catalan' he answered firmly, as Carol enquired as to his ancestry. We had been eyeing off a well dressed octogenarian couple, sitting at what has become our 'local', a small tapas type cafe populated by regulars rather than tourists. Carol was keen to take their photo but thought she should ethically gain permission so sought the Spanish translation of 'You are beautiful; may I take your picture'. After some rehearsals, assisted by our waiter, hearing her practising at the table, Carol ventured over while Annie and I waited...

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Helen in Europe

May 10, 2018 - Miro, Gaudi and more sangria

'What's in there?' enquired an Aussie pair at the facade of one of an awe inspiring sculptural building. The curvaceously adorned building was Palau Güell, a 'magnificent example of domestic architecture in the context of modernism. It was the home of the Güell family and López until he moved to the Parc Güell.' And of course, it's all about Gaudi, from the mosaic encrusted chimney stacks to the use of stone, timber, light and space. We just happened to be meandering by on our way to the Gothic Quarter (no, I'm not talking about Robert...

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Helen in Europe

May 9, 2018 - Temperanillo, Tapas and Taxi

Viva Barcelona! Europe arrival is a walk in the park compared to USA. With a quick glance and a stamp from airport security I was on my way through to an obliging taxi and 20-30 minute trip to Calle de Sant Antoni Maria Claret, only a short walk from Sagrada Familia. Having met up with travel buddies Annie and Carol (who caught the earlier flight), we ventured into an evening of tapas, Temperanillo (red wine for around 5 euros), Sangria and wonderful wandering. Ever experienced traveler Annie always seems to attract attention and at our...

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Helen in Europe

Apr 21, 2018 - Coming full circle with Columbus in Barcelona

Only a morning for Barcelona? Luckily, we’ve been to this amazing city twice before, and its one of our favorite cities in all of Europe, with its Gaudi architecture, its modern art museums full of cubism and surrealism, masterpieces by Dali and Miro and Picasso, its tapas and vibrant Spanish culture. In fact, on our first trip to Spain, we were looking through the guidebook on the plane and decided we just had to make the journey to Barcelona, and ended up buying with our Dali lithograph from the Picasso Museum. So after the Malaga fiasco,...

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Oct 26, 2017 - Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is the capital and largest city of Catalonia, and the second most populous municipality of Spain. Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona. Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural center and a major tourist destination. Particularly renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Barcelona was prominent in the news before, during, and after our trip as the ongoing issue of...

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Sep 22, 2017 - Arrival in Barcelona

As we don't have to get off today (yeah us) I thought we would have a day to sleep in but apparently not - we have to get up as there is a procedure one must follow when staying on for the next cruise – who knew? There were about 15 of us staying on board and we all had to meet up in a conference room where they took away our old sea passes and gave us new ones. They also escorted us off the ship and then if we wanted right back on. So before we were escorted back on I had a thought,if this is a new cruise that means we should be allowed to...

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Sep 10, 2017 - Embarkation Day!!!

Yay! FINALLY! Embarkation Day!!! The day I've been waiting for, for well over a year now. We finally GET ON THE SHIP! {jumping up and down, doing the happy dance!!!!} I had pre-arranged a shuttle to pick us up at the hotel and take us to the ship. The shuttle was right on time and we arrived at the port at a perfect time, for some reason the check in was quiet so we pretty much could have picked any darn line/non-line that we wanted to...however, there was an RCI agent checking SetSail passes, and after he looked at ours, he indicated a...

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Sep 9, 2017 - Barcelona Day 2

I had left this day as a free to explore Las Ramblas (if we could find it again) and Barcelona on our own with a tour of La Sagrada Familia later in the day. We found Las Ramblas – yeah – and started exploring. We stroll down Las Ramblas, dodging the many cars, pedestrians, street performers, trinket booths, bicyclists, etc…and always keeping one eye open for the potential pickpocket. We ventured down side streets, popped into stores that attracted our attention, set a nice leisurely pace. Then it started to rain so we decided it must be...

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Sep 8, 2017 - Barcelona Day 1

Barcelona – Day 1 I had booked a day tour that picked us up at the hotel at 9:00. Along with 10 other people off we went to see the highlights of Barcelona and Montserrat. Some of the highlights of the tour were: • La Sagrada Familia – we had a few minutes, off the bus, to walk around this amazing place. It just wetted my appetite for tomorrow. • Park Guell – The park contains amazing stone structures, stunning tiling and fascinating buildings. At the top of the park there is a great view of Barcelona. • The Block of Discord - three houses...

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Jul 15, 2017 - Gaudi Church and Barcelona

Up and get dressed then a taxi ride to Gaudi Square where we were to meet our guide. She directed us to buy a scarf for Alice’s bare shoulders, which we did. Then we headed into this most elaborate of churches – Gaudi’s Sagrada Famelia, declared a minor basilica by the pope. Very elaborate and hard to take it all in. Still under construction and to be finished in 2024, the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death. The church was very elaborate outside but rather plain inside - huge stained glass (no figures – only names) faced east (greens and...

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Jun 28, 2017 - What has happened?

Oh dear oh dear, what has happened to our time? Our latest holiday is sadly and rapidly approaching its end and we must depart Barcelona tomorrow afternoon. Our flight is due to depart at 3.30 pm Thursday. We are then scheduled to arrive back in Perth around 5.35 pm Friday afternoon. There is a taxi strike taking place in Barcelona on Thursday but that should not be a problem for us as we have a private car taking us to the airport. Of course, that is what the strike is about, Uber and private cars taking business away from taxis. Sitges...

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Jun 23, 2017 - Our last day at sea

On Tuesday Kotor again pleased us when we had a bit of a wander around the town. On Wednesday about lunchtime we sailed in to Messina for our second visit and, after going on a tour the last time, we thought we'd just spend the afternoon exploring the town. Unfortunately Messina follows and expands on the Mediterranean tradition of closing up shop for a lunch break. In Messina almost everything is closed from noon until 4.30 pm, no wonder some parts of the Mediterranean are so poor when even the tourist shops close when a ship with 5,000...

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