Trippin in Barcelona

After my less-than-awesome introduction to Barcelona, I felt we should try again. Seeing as how we got off on the wrong foot, I allowed that perhaps Barcelona was just in a bad mood that day, and perhaps I was as well, so we both shook hands, put on our best behavior, and spent some quality time together.

A good thing, too. One can (and should) spend a lot of time exploring Barcelona. I started at the obvious place: the beach:

WP_000935
Once again to the Mediterranean!

The beach scene is lovely, though it doesn’t really hold up well if compared to Playa Del Carmen (but what will, really?). There is a large and active beachfront with lots of restaurants and shops. There’s even a mall which sells all manner of things.  For example, maybe you need to get new hair?

WP_000932
Yep. Hair.

Also, in this mall there is a for-pay restroom, which is pretty much the nicest example of one that I’ve ever seen. There’s a maid in there to direct you on which room to use, and you can use your receipt for 10% off something you purchase as a keepsake from their store. Yep, a bathroom with a store.

WP_000931
The first restroom with it’s own giftshop I’ve ever seen.

However, back to the beach! They are busy constructing a large sandcastle of sorts. I’ve been back here a number of times, and each day they make steady progress against it. There are intricate details carved in, and it’s all made from the sand on the beach.

WP_000934
Construction of sand castle. What happens when it rains, though?

Walking around more, you get lovely views of the downtown port area.

WP_000942
The port is rather nice.

And there are lots of cool buildings, both historic and modern.

WP_000937
Not sure what the point of this building is, but it’s certainly got a lot of solar.
WP_000936
Lots of cool buildings to see
WP_000933
Like all good Spanish cities, they’ve got a lotta parks.

I wanted to see a really good view of the town, so I and a few guys from the hostel decided to take the cable cars off of Montjuic, and while we were there we might as well see the castle too. To get there, we had to walk through all manner of cool parks and buildings, including the old Olympic stadium:

WP_000973
Olympic Stadium recovering from the X-games.

Once up in the cable car that takes you to the castle, you get a good view of how sprawling Barcelona is.

WP_000976
The view
WP_000974
As I’ve said: Barcelona is big.
WP_000977
Really big.
WP_000978
On the way to the castle

The castle itself is pretty fantastic. Reading up on it, you run into some very enlightening facts, such as this description from one of the tourist sites for Barcelona:

It was primarily used to repress the people during two centuries. Repression of the anarchists in the XIX century and prison for the political prisoners under Franco. In 1940 Lluis Companys was executed here.

So that’s fun.  Nowadays is seems to primarily be housing for many large cannons.

WP_000980
Meebus declares war
WP_000983
These guns look like they are still ready to do some damage
WP_000981
The castle has a lovely view of the industrial park.
WP_000990
Top o’ the castle to ya, laddie.
WP_000979
Very well cared for castle.
WP_000985
It’s a castle. It’s big.
WP_000986
More guns. There are a lot of them here.
WP_000987
Archery practice! At a castle! I kept waiting for jousting practice, but was sadly disappointed.
WP_000989
Oh look, more guns.

Eventually we’d seen all we wanted to of castles and guns. So, you can wander down the mountain to a second cable car that will take you over the city and down to the port / beach area.

WP_000991
Heading out on another cable car.
WP_000995
Wheee
WP_000992
Saves a lot of walking.
WP_000982
Yet again, lovely views of the industrial areas.
WP_000998
Now THAT’S a yacht.
WP_000996
cruise
WP_000999
Canoeing past the cruise ship.

So, say you enjoy all the cable cars, but you want to really see the city at the ground level. No worries, biking is EXCELLENT in Barcelona, and there are bikes everywhere.

WP_000944
This town was made for biking.

That rack is for residents though. You need some form of electronic card, then you just take a bike from this station and (presumably) leave it at whatever station you are biking to. Since we don’t have these mythical cards, We opted to rent bikes from one of the many tourist bike rentals. Note: these bikes are not messing around. They are basically the 2-wheeled equivalent of a Sherman Tank. If you get hit by a car riding one of these orange behemoths, the car will be destroyed.

WP_000960
The peloton gathers

Alternatively, you may want to visit many places that would be awkward by bike, such as places with many (many) steps. Barcelona is also excellent for meanderers.

WP_000967
A great city for walking
WP_000970
Random naked torch man

Also, there are many art museums worth checking out. One deserving of a special callout is The National Art Museum of Catalonia, housed in a giant freaking Palace.

WP_000969
There are many fountains. Meebus approves.
WP_000968
The Palace in front
WP_000971
Palace from Behind

In addition to all the marvelous sights, you will run into a few questionable ones. For example, this item found in a back alley of the major shopping district called “Las Ramblas”:

WP_000956
Jedi statue?

Regardless, at the end of the day, it’s best to unwind with a little sip o’ the local:

WP_000928
Oh sangria, I don’t want to quit you.

One last thing to leave you with: the Sagrada Familia deserves it’s own post. A quick peek though:

WP_000965
Holy moley of awesomeness.

3 thoughts on “Trippin in Barcelona

    1. Yeah, I’m similarly evaluating places with an eye to residency. Mexico is probably right out, even though the living expenses would be quite doable. Many places in Spain are pretty attractive. Valencia and Barcelona especially for me.

Hey, you trippin or what?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s