Barcelona, Such a Beautiful Horizon

Continuing my reminiscing….

After leaving Paris we drove 130miles before I did my stint of the driving – which turned out to be my only stint, probably for both of our safety!  The drive from Paris to Barcelona is around 650miles so we made a stop over at a good old Formule 1 hotel in a town called Cahors – quite a pretty town.

cahors blog.jpg

The next morning we decided to take the smaller roads to see a bit more of the area, making a stop in Toulouse; a quick visit to the main square which was very pretty.  Upon leaving the centre, we heard a strange popping sound and pulled over to see what it was – a huge screw in our quickly flattening tyre.

As I mentioned in my previous post we had made so many lists of things to pack and the boot of the car was so full it took a while to unpack everything to get to the spare tyre.  When we eventually reached the tyre we found we’d forgotten to bring a wheel brace!  We spent a while driving around looking for a garage, no where was open – it being a Sunday. In the end we resorted to parking in the car park and calling the RAC – luckily we had taken out European cover.  We waited an hour for our rescue in unshaded 39C sun. Thankfully a quick tyre change sorted all out.

CampingPunctures.jpgEventually we made it to Camping Globo Rojo in Canet De Mar – really lovely site with excellent facilities and a pool – hurrah!  We spent the next few days travelling in and out of Barcelona by train – around a 50minute journey for only €6 return.

Barcelona is a fascinating city, we had never been before so we weren’t quite sure what to expect.  After leaving the train station, mapless, we wondered around the streets until we came across Casa Batlló – one of Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces.  It is immediately obvious that this is a work of Gaudi; covered in tiny mosaic tiles, the unconventional roof, curves and patterns everywhere.  The interior of the house is indescribable – I don’t think we saw many straight lines.  Gaudi refurbished the house in 1904 but much of the interior is strikingly modern. It is hard to believe it was designed over a century ago!

features
View from street, roof detail, attic arches and internal light in hall.
Internatdetails
Fireplace, internal hall, door frame details,  unusual light fitting and ceiling.
Tourists
Typical tourists.
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Beautiful window on the first floor.
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Chimney Stack

Next we wondered our way to the Sagrada Familia – Gaudi’s greatest, unfinished masterpiece!  Again, like Casa Batlló it is hard to describe, it is very surreal.  Even unfinished and covered in scaffolding (a common theme on our travels!) it is breathtaking.

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Some details from the exterior and interior of the Sagrada Familia
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Watching over Barcelona.

Park Güell is another of Barcelona’s sights that is well worth visiting.  The walk up the steep hill approaching it was a struggle in the heat but the view you are rewarded with on arrival is more than worth it.  The park is full of wonderfully landscaped areas and Gaudi creations, including his home.

Park Guell.jpg
Park Güell

Lastly we wondered down Las Ramblas – lined with street performers and tourists.  We decided to take a break from the hussle and bussle and found the beautiful Plaça Reial where we ate some great tapas and paella.  We also stumbled across the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria – a fantastic market hall selling every food you could think of.

Market
Colourful sights at St Joseph’s Market
Las Rambles
The beautiful Plaça Reial and Las Ramblas street performer.
We both really enjoyed Barcelona, it is a beautiful city full of amazing architecture and atmosphere.  Our next planned journey was to meet my family in the French town of Roujan for a week.  On our way back up to France we made a stop at the pretty Spanish town of Figueres to visit the Dalì Museum – as you can imagine very bizarre but fascinating!
figueres
Figueres street and the Salvador Dalì Theatre Museum.
We spent the following week with my family, lazing by the pool and visiting the fortified town of Carcassonne – supposedly the inspiration for Disney’s castle.  A very interesting town with some lovely places to eat.
carcassone2
Carcassonne
Our next planned stop was the Côte D’Azur, particularly Nice and Monte Carlo – day dreams for another day!

Live, learn, love

 

Laura

xx.

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