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Table of Content for spain2018:

More pages: September 2018 October 2018



2018/09/24 Spain Day 01: Night Visit to Barcelona's Aquarium
π 2018-09-24 01:01 in Aquariums, Spain2018
During a national holiday in Barcelona, we saw the museums we could and by end of day, everything was pretty much closed, except the Aquarium that was still open until 21:30, so we headed there (nearby was also meant to be a viewing spot for the fireworks that night).

Back to the Aquarium, it was an average city aquarium, not amongst the best we've seen, but not terrible either :)






shark eggs
shark eggs









2018/09/24 Spain Day 01: Barcelona's Cataluna Art Museum
π 2018-09-24 01:01 in Museums, Spain2018
The art museum on top of the hill, by the olympic stadium, was quite big. Also good view from up there:



Part of the collection:













a good sample of paintings from Salvador Dali
a good sample of paintings from Salvador Dali



yeah, many religious paintings, felt like too many by the end of the trip
yeah, many religious paintings, felt like too many by the end of the trip




2018/09/24 Spain Day 01-04: 3.5 days in Barcelona
π 2018-09-24 01:01 in Spain2018, Trips
We started our trip in Spain by arriving in Barcelona. Because we arrived a bit earlier than planned before our first day, I had a bit of time to go see the street parades related to the religious holiday celebrations they had for 3 days.

We didn't see all of Barcelona in 3.5 days, but we saw a fair amount:

Day #1

  • Joan Miró Foundation
  • Catalan Art Museum Palace
  • Montjuïc Castle
  • Bullring mall (Las Arenas)
  • CaixaForum
  • Aquarium
  • Day #2

  • Arco de triunfo
  • Santa Caterina Market
  • Palace of catalan music
  • Picasso Museum
  • half day in Figueres
  • la boqueria market
  • Day #3

  • Park Güell
  • House museum
  • La Pedrera/Casa Milà
  • Casa Batlló
  • Barcelona Cathedral
  • Augustus temple
  • Barcelona History Museum (underground ruins from roman times)
  • Barceloneta beaches
  • Cable car from Barceloneta back to Montjuïc
  • Day #4

  • Sagrada Familia Guided Tour with Tower Access
  • Finishing up Barcelona History Museum
  • Gaudi Museum
  • Museu Frederic Mares (longer than expected)
  • And just enough time left for Güell Palace before going to the airport
  • Here are the pictures:

    Day #0

    I luckily ran into the end of a parade related to the religious holiday they had:




    weird pigeons
    weird pigeons


    Day #1

    This was our first real day. We walked on La Rambla to a cable car to the Montjuïc area.

    la rambla is mostly a tourist trap now, but it had some fun stuff :)
    la rambla is mostly a tourist trap now, but it had some fun stuff :)

    funicular up to Montjuïc
    funicular up to Montjuïc

    Once we were up by Montjuïc, we went to check out Joan Miro Museum which was part of our BCN pass (sadly a waste of money as museums were free that day due to the holiday). I'll just say that we were not big fans of Joan Miro:


    any artist who thinks they can get away with this, and call it 'valuable art' is not one I'll take seriously
    any artist who thinks they can get away with this, and call it 'valuable art' is not one I'll take seriously

    don't love this, but at least there is a bit of work
    don't love this, but at least there is a bit of work

    great art indeed
    great art indeed

    I should also take balloons, fill them with paint, throw them on a canvas, and get rich and famous
    I should also take balloons, fill them with paint, throw them on a canvas, and get rich and famous

    this was ok-ish I guess
    this was ok-ish I guess

    the mercury fountain was likely the only cool piece for me
    the mercury fountain was likely the only cool piece for me

    On the way to the art museum, we walked by the former olympic stadium complex:



    And we eventually got to the Art Museum:


    awesome view from up there:
    awesome view from up there:



    the bullring turned mall
    the bullring turned mall

    Sagrada Familia, still being built
    Sagrada Familia, still being built

    Pictures of the Cataluna Art Museum are on their own page.

    Once done with the Art Museum, which took a while, it's not small, we walked back to the Montjuïc cable car and took it up there:





    good views from up there too
    good views from up there too

    After seeing the castle, we went back down to the fountains, but were not able to approach them since they were getting ready for the festivities and fireworks of that night, so we walked to the bullring museum which had good views too:







    while the inside looks like a round-ish regular mall
    while the inside looks like a round-ish regular mall

    We then took another cab to go to the Aquarium, have dinner next door and find a reasonable spot to view the fireworks.
    You can see the Aquarium Pictures here




    Day #2

    After a long day #1, came day #2, which started by the Palace of catalan music, a truly beautiful building:









    We then went to Picasso Museum:





    yeah, he did pottery too, oh boy...
    yeah, he did pottery too, oh boy...

    We finished it quickly enough that we had time to stop by a market before catching a train to Figueres (on its own page, mostly to see the Dali Museum:




    Day #3

    For day #3, we had to head out earlier to visit Park Güell, for which I was only able to get tickets at 08:00 that morning, so we head out earlier and got there early enough that they let us in, despite missing our entrance window. From there, we went to Casa Milà and Casa Batlló.

    Gaudi was a one of a kind architect, definitely check out the page I made for his buildings. Got a few nice pictures from the roof:



    We then walked to the cathdral:








    Nice views from the top of the cathedral too:

    no one was able to tell me what this was
    no one was able to tell me what this was


    Next door was Barcelona History Museum, with a nice tour through the roman streets that were found below ground level in the old town:








    I made the call to leave the museum a bit early (we finished it the next day) and grab a cab to Barceloneta to check out the beach, and barely, so barely get a ticket to the cable car that picked up from there back to Montjuic, as they closed the ticket sales 30mn before their published closing time:

    people working out on the beach
    people working out on the beach



    the ride from the beach starts from a high tower
    the ride from the beach starts from a high tower







    Day #4

    For our last (partial) day, I had to keep the best for last (due to ticket availability), and we did a guided tour of the Sagrada Familia, a one of a kind church from Gaudi.
    There are very nice views from the top of the Sagrada Familia's towers of course:




    We then went back to downtown to finish up the history museum, do the gaudi museum, and the quite interesting Museu Frederic Mares on its own page.


    And we finished the (partial) day with the Gaudi Museum and Guel Palace. From there, we had to head out to the airport to fly out to Granada, our next destination.

    2018/09/25 Spain Day 02: Dali Museum in Figueres
    π 2018-09-25 01:01 in Museums, Spain2018
    While in Barcelona, Figueres was a 1h fast train ride away, so on our second day, we took a train to Figueres to see the Dali Museum (although there are a few lesser sights there too).

    Dali definitly was an interesting artist, who actually did all kinds of art all the way to jewelry. One thing he said though "I don't need to take drugs, I am drugs" :)











    Next door to the museum, was an easy to miss separate entrance that showecased his jewelry, which was super nice:





    The place was definitely interesting to visit with little rooms in all directions and easily worth 2-3h. Thankfully when we went, it was not too busy, but at times it can take an hour or more to get in.

    2018/09/25 Spain Day 02: Figueres
    π 2018-09-25 01:01 in Spain2018, Trips

    After a morning in Madrid, we took the train to Figueres for a half day, mostly to see the Dali Museum but it also had nice Castle Ruins (Castell de Sant Ferran). With the fast AVE train, it was less than 1h ride:


    the train station made it clear what the main attraction was :)
    the train station made it clear what the main attraction was :)


    Castell de Sant Ferran is better appreciated from the sky and was worth an hour visit:









    The town also had a more minor toy museum that we saw quickly while waiting for our next hourly train:




    And then it was time to take the train back home to Barcelona:


    See more images for Spain Day 02: Figueres
    2018/09/26 Spain Day 03-04: Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona
    π 2018-09-26 01:01 in Monuments, Spain2018
    Antoni Gaudi was a an instrumental architect in Barcelona. In addition to working a good portion of his life on Sagrada Familia, he worked on many other buildings and monuments in Barcelona.
    We first went to see Park Guel, which is way too hard to get timed entries for. Thankfully I got one too early in the morning and we were allowed to get in a bit after our mandated 08:00 entry time:








    Next was Casa Mila which also had stupid waits, even in end of September, but as good capitalists, they sell skip the line (expensive) online tickets:




    one of the building's arches has a view on the unfinished Sagrada Familia
    one of the building's arches has a view on the unfinished Sagrada Familia

    Gaudi used an interesting engineering principle of suspending structures upside down and using gravity to help see ideal building shapes
    Gaudi used an interesting engineering principle of suspending structures upside down and using gravity to help see ideal building shapes

    Down the street was his Casa Batllo, another expensive visit with more expensive skip the line tickets I was able to get:






    Another of his buildings was Guel Palace, which we saw just before leaving Barcelona:





    another nice roof
    another nice roof


    And for good measure, the city also had a Gaudi museum:






    2018/09/27 Spain Day 04: Barcelona's Sagrada Familia
    π 2018-09-27 01:01 in Monuments, Spain2018
    Gaudi is known for many buildings in Barcelona, but of course Sagrada Familia is the most well known. While he worked on it until he died (sadly he was run over by a tram), the construction got halted during the war and Spain's dark times, but it's being worked on again, ideally it will be finished within 10 years.
    Getting tickets at the times I wanted (first thing in the morning) was challenging, so I booked a slightly more expensive guided tour which included entrance and wasn't bad at all.





    poor thing :)
    poor thing :)

    The inside was beautiful and colorful in ways that the other cathedrals we've seen, were not:









    We did the tower tour, which had decent views, but it was still work in progress (top is still being built):



    the stairs were truly bad ass
    the stairs were truly bad ass

    The museum attached to the cathedral gave lots of details on the history and the build, as well as Gaudi's life:

    Gaudi used nature for many of his designs
    Gaudi used nature for many of his designs

    Guudi also used a gravity upside down model
    Guudi also used a gravity upside down model


    Definitely one of a kind, worth the visit.

    2018/09/27 Spain Day 04: Barcelona's Frederic Mares Museum
    π 2018-09-27 01:01 in Museums, Spain2018
    In Barcelona's old town, one of the many museums was Museu Frederic Mares. It was an impressive collection of lots of things across many rooms. It was worth multiple hours, even if we had to go a little bit quicker:










    2018/09/28 Spain Day 05-06: Granada
    π 2018-09-28 01:01 in Spain2018, Trips





















































    Granada still has city walls:









    Downtown Granada is also worth walking through:






















    The next morning, we drove by the Monasterio de San Jerónimo for a quick visit and then did a quick visit to La Ronda:





    See more images for Spain Day 05-06: Granada
    2018/09/29 Spain Day 06-07: Ronda
    π 2018-09-29 01:01 in Spain2018, Trips
    On the way back to the south coast from Granada, Ronda was a nice stop on the way

    It's a nice city on top of a hill, separated by a bridge, with ruins, a Bull fighting ring and bull raising farm:





    We had enough time for the bull fighting ring and museum, and dinner:











    The next day, we went to visit the 2 halves of town:







    the arab baths are all the way down, where the water is
    the arab baths are all the way down, where the water is










    We then thought we'd do a quick stop at Mondragon Palace, but it was a much bigger museum than planned. We ended up spending multiple hours there:











    We then checked a wine "museum" which was also about selling wine:





    Another small museum on the way out:








    traversing the bridge back to new town
    traversing the bridge back to new town


    On the way out, we drove by Pileta Cave, a privately owned with caveman engravings. As usual, no pictures allowed, even without flash:








    After that, we had a drive to La Línea de la Concepción. We tried to stop by Castillo del Águila on the way, which was a huge mistake. You can't really drive to it and we got stuck in an old town where driving out was "challenging"

    didn't look like much
    didn't look like much

    reasonable scenery
    reasonable scenery

    driving out, OMG!!!
    driving out, OMG!!!

    finally making it to the Mediterranean coast
    finally making it to the Mediterranean coast

    See more images for Spain Day 06-07: Ronda

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