Friday, June 02, 2017

Flashback Friday - Barcelona 2005

I started this blog in 2012 and have often thought that it would be nice to share some of our previous adventures, so Friday is now for flashbacks to past days of fun - enjoy.

In March 2005 we spent three fabulous nights in Barcelona. Ken left the booking up to me and I booked a lovely looking hotel at a really reasonable price and when we arrived it was great as it wasn't too far to walk to get to Las Ramblas which is the central boulevard in the middle of Barcelona. When we returned to our hotel at night we discovered that it sat right in the middle of the red light district and yes, Ken did get propositioned even though he was with me.

Las Ramblas is pedestrianised and is full of cafes, markets, shops, and very strange sights. This lady is a perfect example - we're hoping that the rabbit is the breed that has black around the eyes, and that she hasn't just put eyeliner on it to match her.

Barcelona is of course well known for Antoni Gaudi and his very special architecture which has left a very unique mark on the city.  Casa Batllo, built 1904 - 1906, is absolutely incredible with such imaginative decor and colours.

We did an audio tour so we could learn as much as possible about this special place - it's one of those buildings that I'd seen on tv but never thought I'd be lucky enough to walk around it.

I loved this fireplace as it made me think of pixies and fairies for some reason.

My beloved listening intently to his audio guide.

Looking up through the middle of the building - what you can't see clearly is that the blue tiles change colour all the way up.

Even the roof of the Casa has incredible designs in the chimneys and shapes.

Gaudi was very famous for his mosaics and there are loads of them on the roof.

You may note from this picture of the two of us that I look quite pale next to my beloved. The reason being that I had a rotten chest infection the whole time we were in Barcelona but despite Ken trying to get me to rest we still went out and explored as much as possible - I was just a bit slower than normal.

This is looking out one of the groovy windows onto the street below.

The carved wood throughout the Casa is really beautiful and this door was huge.

Looking up at the building from the street below. As you can see there are mosaics all over the front facade - it must of taken them ages.

Another famous Gaudi building is Casa Mila, built 1906 - 1912. We didn't go in this one but went past it on the bus a few times.

Park Guell is, as the name suggests, a park in Barcelona which features many Gaudi works of art. It was built in the early 1900s and declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1984. The park was packed with visitors when we were there so I'm just sharing one picture, and that is this fabulous mosaic lizard which sits in the middle of a staircase.

The building that both of us most wanted to visit was the Sagrada Familia which translates to the Sacred Family. This is a church, temple, cathedral - whatever it's title it's an incredible building. The first stone was laid in 1882, and Gaudi became the chief architect in 1883 until his death in 1926. Gaudi was laid to rest in the crypt of the Sagrada Familia, his greatest unfinished work.

In 2010 the temple was consecrated by Pope Benedict as a place of worship, despite the building work still going on. Latest estimates for the completion of the building is 2026.

As you can see from the parts below, they are staying true to Gaudi with the inclusion of mosaics in the building. It's fascinating walking around the huge space with piles of building materials around you.

The stained glass windows are stunningly beautiful, as are the patterns the sun makes on the white stonework as it shines through the coloured glass.

As you can see our three days included a lot of interesting architecture - we did go to lots of cafes, visited the seaside, explored markets, and generally had a fabulous time. We also got chased by a waiter when we'd left a restaurant as I got a bit confused with the money and didn't leave enough - I made Ken check it every time after that.

We used the metro and the hop on hop off tourist bus to get around, and would recommend both to anyone visiting the city. One major stop that we had to make for my beloved was a visit to Camp Nou which is the home of Barcelona Football Club - look at his happy little face.

We did a tour of the stadium and it was actually very interesting. Ken's not actually a fan of the football club but he can appreciate what a successful team they have been over many years.

The amount of trophies that the club has won is phenomenal.

The view from the media box - where all the reporters have to sit.

Selfie in the media box, and yes I'm leaning on Ken because I'm ready for a rest.

There are a few hills around the city that give amazing views - you can see the Sagrada Familia in the distance.

I can't believe it's twelve years since we visited beautiful Barcelona and writing this post has made me want to revisit for longer than three days. If we go again I'll make sure I steer clear of the red light district this time for our hotel.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and enjoy your weekend.

Pamela & Ken


  1. Hi Pam - looks to be amazing and you did so much in such a short time - love the photos... thanks for including them - it's a place I need to spend time in - cheers Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary, glad you enjoyed the photos and yes you must spend time there as it's fabulous.

  2. Thanks for sharing the Gaudi pics. I was in Barcelona in 1969. Don't remember seeing his buildings then. What I do remember seeing was the air. The smog was terrible. My friend and I both ended up sick with respiratory issues. Would like to go back one day.

    1. We didn't really notice the smog so I think it must have improved since the 60's. You must go back, it's lovely.