Spain & Portugal Travel Part X: Barcelona

January 30, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
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Spain & Portugal Part X: Barcelona

Barcelona

Day 10    Wednesday, 31 October 2018

On this day, we were going to visit some heritage sites in Barcelona which has a population of about 1.6 millions, the second most populous city in Spain.

(Barcelona was the last destination of our Spain and Portugal tour.)

Map showing the location of Barclona

Visiting Barcelona on Wednesday, 31 October 2018

In the morning, we left Sercotel Ciutat de Montcada Hotel and went to visit a famous park known as Park Guell. It is on a forested hill, Carmel Hill, which is on the outskirts of Barcelona City.

Eusebi Guell(1846-1918)

The Park Guell land, originally, belonged to a rich Spanish entrepreneur, Eusebi Guell(1846-1918).

He commissioned Antoni Gaudi(1852-1926), a famous Spanish architect, to develop an estate on the land for the rich people of Barcelona, but the project failed.

Anyway, Gaudi had created a sensational garden on the land known as Park Guell, using Catalan Modernistic design and calling it Park Guell.

In 1923, Guell’s family gave the land away to the city.

Antoni Gaudi(1852-1926)

Antoni Gaudi(1852-1926) was a Spanish architect whose unique architectural works included Park Guell, Sagrada Familia and Casa Mila.

Park Guell

Park Guell is a large, beautiful garden created by Antoni Gaudi(1852-1926) from 1900 until 1914. The picture below shows the Park Guell.

Picture of Park Guell

Picture of Park Guell

Marianna, the Barcelona Tour Guide

When we arrived at Park Guell, a local tour guide, Marianna, greeted us and brought us round at Park Guell.

Barcelona Tour Guide

Marianna, the Barcelona tour guide

Forested Carmel Hill

It was raining lightly when we were at Park Guell.

Walking up Carmel Hill to Park Guell

Walking up forested Carmel Hill to Park Guell, Barcelona, Spain

Nature Square, the roof of Hypostyle

At the park, we walked up to the roof of Hypostyle Hall which is a flat open space known as Nature Square. It is a place where social and political activities are sometimes held.

Nature Square

An open-air space, Nature Square, on the roof of Hypostyle Hall

Views of Guell Park from Nature Square

From Nature Square, visitors can see two different, unique buildings below, viz. Casa de Guarda that houses Park Guell Museum and Porter’s Lodge that receives visitors. The latter has a tall, cylindrical tower with a large cross atop.

Casa de Guarda and Porter’s Lodge

Casa de Guarda(left), a house for Park Guell museum, and Porter’s Lodge(right) for receiving visitors

View of Barcelona City

Visitors can also see a panoramic view of Barcelona City and Mediterranean Sea beyond in the distance from Nature Square at Park Guell, as shown in the photo below.

Barcelona City and Mediterranean Sea

Barcelona City and Mediterranean Sea can be seen from Park Guell

Antoni Gaudi’s Residence

Antoni Gaudi lived in a red house at Park Guell for 20 years from 1906 until 1825, as shown in the photo below.

Now it is a museum exhibiting his and his co-workers’ belongings, like furniture, paintings, sculptures, drawings and other objects.

Antoni Gaudi’s Residence

Antoni Gaudi’s residence for 20 years(1906-1925)

Hypostyle Hall

There are steps going up to the Hypostyle Hall. The roof of the hall is supported by 86 high, strong columns. On top of the roof is Nature Square, an open-air square.

Steps to Hypostyle Hall

Steps to Hypostyle Hall at Park Guell

86 Columns in Hypostyle Hall

Hypostyle Hall with its roof supported by 86 high, strong columns. On top of the roof is Nature Square for social and political activities.

Portico of Washerwoman

There is a covered walkway or portico near the Hypostyle Hall. As one of its pillars has a sculpture of a washerwoman, the walkway is therefore named as Portico of Washerwoman.

Portico of Washerwoman

Portico of Washerwoman is a walkway to Hypostyle Hall

Sculpture of a washerwoman on a pillar

Sculpture of Washerwoman on one of the pillars of Portico of Washerwoman

Underside of Portico of Washerwoman

The underside of Portico of Washerwoman looks like the underside of a dinosaur.

Underside of a Dinosaur

Underside of Portico of Washerwoman that looks like the underside of a dinosaur

Spiral Columns

Another part of the portico has spiral columns.

Spiral Columns of Portico

Portico with spiral columns is a walkway to Hypostyle Hall

Sagrada Familia

After visiting Park Guell, we went to the centre of Barcelona City to see an awesome basilica that is known as Sagrada Familia.

Sagrada Familia in centre of Barcelona City

Sagrada Familia, a basilica, in the centre of Barcelona City

Plan of Sagrada Familia

Plan of Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia is a Roman Catholic church designed by Antoni Gaudi, too. Construction of the basilica started in 1882 and it is expected to be completed in 2026, taking 144 years to complete.

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia, a Roman Catholic Church, was designed by Antoni Gaudi(1852-1926).

Nativity Facade

The front of Sagrada Familia is known as Nativity Facade that is decorated with ornate sculptures depicting the scenes of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Nativity Facade

Nativity Facade is the front of Sagrada Familia

Lower Part of Nativity Facade

Lower part of Nativity Facade is decorated with statuettes of religious figures involved in the activities related to the birth of Jesus Christ.

Lower Part of Nativity Facade

Lower part of Nativity Facade with small ornate sculptures depicting the activities related to the birth of Jesus Christ

Interior of Sagrada Familia

Interior of Sagrada Familia is large and high. Below are photos showing some parts of the interior.

Nave and Altar

Nave in the foreground and altar in the background in Sagrada Familia

Nave

Nave of Sagrada Familia

West Transept

West transept of Sagrada Familia

East Transept

East transept of Sagrada Familia

Narthex

Narthex that is opposite the Altar in Sagrada Familia

Stained Glass Windows

There are several stained glass windows in the cathedral, making the interior of the cathedral colourful and sombre. Each glass depicts a religious scene.

Stained Glass Window

Stained glass window in Sagrada Familia

Stained Glass Window

Stained Glass Window in Sagrada Familia

Stained Glass Window

Stained glass window in Sagrada Familia

Passion Facade

The back of Sagrada Familia is known as Passion Facade. It is decorated with statuettes of religious figures involved in the final short period of Jesus Christ’s life, i.e. from the time of the Last Supper until the time of the Ascension of Jesus Christ.

Passion Facade

The back of Sagrada Familia known as Passion Facade

Lower Part of Passion Facade

Lower part of Passion Facade

Peter’s Three Denials

Sculpture showing Peter who denied he knew Jesus Christ three times

Scenes of Crucifixion and Ascension of Jesus Christ

Passion Facade showing Crucifixion and Ascension of Jesus Christ

Glory Facade

The Glory Facade of Sagrada Familia Cathedral is still under construction and will be ready in 2026. The photo below shows the Glory Facade on the left handside of the Cathedral which is under construction.

The left handside of Sagrada Familia Cathedral is still under construction and will be ready in 2026.

Sunshine in Barcelona

It was good sunshine when we visited Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona. Our young tourmates took the opportunity to enjoy the Spanish sunshine outside the cathedral.

Spanish Sunshine

Casa Mila designed by Antoni Gaudi(1852-1926)

Casa Mila is another building in Barcelona City that was designed by Antoni Gaudi(1852-1826). Built in Valencian Modernistic style between 1906 and 1912, it is now a cultural centre opened to tourists and used for conferences and other purposes.

Casa Mila(La Pedrera)

Casa Mila was designed by Antoni Gaudi. Built between 1906 and 1912, it is now a cultural centre opened to tourists, and used for conferences and other purposes.

Then we left the spectacular Sagrada Familia and went to Barcelona Cathedral which is 2 km south of Sagrada Familia.

On the way, we passed by the Barcelona bullring.

Barcelona Bullring

Barcelona bullring, La Monumental, was opened in 1914 for bullfighting until 2012 when the law of banning the activity was introduced.

Since 2014 the bullring has been used for sports, concerts and circuses.

Barcelona Bullring

Barcelona bullring, La Monumental, as seen from writer’s moving coach

Barcelona Cathedral

When we reached Barcelona Cathedral, we had a look at its exterior only.

Barcelona Cathedral was built in Gothic style from 13th. until 15th. Century. Also known as Cathedral of the Holy Cross and St. Eulalia, it was built in dedication to a young virgin, Eulalia, who suffered martyrdom during Roman times in Barcelona and her body is entombed in the crypt of the cathedral.

Barcelona Cathedral

Barcelona Cathedral was built in Gothic style from 13th. until 15th. Century.

El Reloj Restaurant

After seeing Barcelona Cathedral, we went to a Spanish restaurant nearby known as El Reloj Restaurant and had seafood for lunch.

El Reloj Restaurant

El Reloj Restaurant, a Spanish restaurant in Barcelona, Spain

Some food served by El Reloj Restaurant

Fried rice with Seafood

Fried rice with seafood

Fish with Green Peas

Fish with green peas

Cake for Dessert

Chocolate cake for dessert

Then we moved on to the Barcelona Olympic Stadium(Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys) which is 6 km south-west of Sagrada Familia.

Barcelona Olympic Stadium

The entrance to the Barcelona Olympic Stadium looks like the triumphal arch, Arch de Triomphe, in Paris, France.

Triumphal Arch

Entrance to Barcelona Olympic Stadium

Barcelona Olympic Stadium

Barcelona Olympic Stadium was built in 1927 with a seating capacity of 56000 for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona City. In 1992 it held the 25th. Summer Olympic Games.

Barcelona Olympic Stadium

Barcelona Olympic Stadium was built in 1927 with a seating capacity of 56000. In 1992 it held the 25th. Summer Olympic Games.

Writer and wife at Barcelona Olympic Stadium

Writer and wife visited Barcelona Olympic Stadium on 31 October 2018.

Having visited the Olympic Stadium, we moved on to another stadium which was for football. Located 8 km south-west of Sagrada Familia, it is known as Barcelona Football Stadium or Camp Nou

Barcelona Football Stadium or Camp Nou

It was opened in 1957 with a seating capacity of 100,000. It is the largest in Europe and 3rd. in the world. It has hosted many grand football competitions, including the final competition of the Summer Olympic Games in 1992, UEFA European competitions and FIFA World Cup.

When the stadium is empty, four large Spanish words in yellow on the seats can be seen, “MES QUE UN CLUB”, meaning “MORE THAN A CLUB”.

Barcelona Football Stadium

Barcelona Football Stadium or Camp Nou was opened in 1957 with a seating capacity of 100000.

Exterior of Barcelona Football Stadium

Exterior of Barcelona Football Stadium

Barcelona Football Club Players

Camp Nou is owned by a professional Spanish football club known as FC Barcelona which was founded in 1899. It is the most successful club in Spanish football. There are many great players in this club, including Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique who are playing, currently.

Below are photos of three of the FC Barcelona players.

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi playing forward for Barcelona Football Club

Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez is playing striker for Barcelona Football Club

Gerard Pique

Gerard Pique is playing centre-back for Barcelona Football Club

Dinner and Hotel in Barcelona

In the evening, we left Camp Nou and went to the Chinese restaurant, Rio Azul Restaurant, again to have the last dinner in Spain.

Rio Azul Restaurant, Barcelona

Dinner at Rio Azul Restaurant, a Chinese restaurant, in Barcelona

After dinner we went back to stay at the hotel, Sercotel Ciutat de Montcada, for another night which is 7 km north of Sagrada Familia.

Sercotel Ciutat de Montcada Hotel

Sercotel Ciutat de Montcada is the last hotel the tour group is staying in Spain

Next Destination

On the following day, we would leave Barcelona for home in Malaysia.

Day 11    Thursday, 1 November 2018

In the morning we left the hotel and travelled 20 km south to the Barcelona international airport known as El Prat Airport and checked in early. We would fly back home in Malaysia by the Royal Jordanian airplanes.

Barcelona International Airport(El Prat Airport)

Barcelona International Airport known as El Prat Airport is the second largest and busiest airport in Spain.

Tour group checking in at El Prat Airport

Writer and tourmates checking in at Barcelona international airport, El Prat, before flying back home in Malaysia

Departure for Home

Finally, at 3.35 p.m.(Spain time) we flew off from Barcelona by a Royal Jordanian airline to Amman in Jordan first. It took 4 hours and 25 minutes to fly from Barcelona to Amman which is 3186 km away.

Flight from Barcelona to Amman

Flight from Barcelona to Amman in 4 hours 25 mins. Distance is 3186 km.

Day 12    Friday, 2 November 2018

At Amman Airport we boarded another Royal Jordanian airplane that took us to Bangkok in Thailand which is 6836 km away. The plane took 8 hours and 10 minutes to travel that distance.

Flight from Amman to Bangkok

Flight from Amman to Bangkok takes 8 hrs 10 mins. Distance is 6836 km.

When the plane arrived at the Bangkok International Airport, some passengers disembarked. An hour later, we continued our journey on the same Royal Jordanian plane from Bangkok to KLIA(airport) in my country, Malaysia. The plane took 2 hours and 10 minutes to travel a distance of 1220 km to KLIA.

Flight from Bangkok to KLIA

Flight from Bangkok to KLIA takes 2 hrs 10 mins. Distance is 1220 km.

Safe Arrival

After travelling for almost a day from Spain to Malaysia, we reached our home, safely.

Conclusion

That was our unforgettable, enjoyable tour in Spain and Portugal.

Acknowledgement

My wife and I would like to thank Chiu Travel Agency, Golden Destinations Travel Agency, Tour Manger{Jeff Lee), Spanish tour guides, Spanish coach drivers and last but not least our tourmates for making our tour a successful, enjoyable and memorable one.

Thanks to all my tourmates for the wonderful time we had together during the tour

Thanks to Jeff Lee

Thanks to Jeff Lee, tour manager of Golden Destinations, for his knowledge and care during the Spanish & Portugal Tour(22.10.2018-2.11.2018)

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Places visited during Spain & Portugal Tour(22 Oct-02 Nov 2018):

Toledo   Madrid   Salamanca   Porto   Lisbon   Seville   Cordobo  Granada   Valencia   Barcelona