Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Day 1 - Barcelona

I came across a website during my preparation for the cruise that has been siooooo useful! It's called www.cruisecritic.com and I was able to get tips and connect with people who would be on the same cruise as us.

We have tours scheduled with a variety of people I "met" online and we even have a couple on-cruise get togethers.

Our first tour was originally booked by someone else from the website and decided to join in. They also recommended somewhere for lunch and we spent the whole day with them. They are an older couple with their 12 year old grand-daughter (who was enjoying the cruise as her awesome Bat Mitzvah present). The kids all got along great!!! The adults did too so it was a win-win.

The tour was with Barelona Day Tours and it was fabulous!

There were only the eight of us on the tour and the price was 59 euros each. We were picked up in a tour bus, had four hours of guided touring throughout Barcelona and were dropped off near our restaurant for lunch (although they could've dropped us off at the hotel).

We drove around the city and saw some of the most amazing architecture. In Abu Dhabi we have great modern architecture but here on Barcelon it was amazing older architecture. Several of the buildings we saw were designed by Gaudi.

We also went to where the Barcelona Olympics happened.

We received a guided tour at La Sagrada Familia, a basilica originally designed by Gaudi but since his passing it has been added onto by other architects. It is a work in progress and is estimated to be finished in 2030.

Here is a picture from across the street. The older looking part in front was designed by Gaudi. The other area looks brighter because it hasn't aged yet, not because it's a different material.

This side is all pictures of the nativit. Gaudi was very religious. It tells a story as you look from the bottom up. You can see Jesus being born, Mary learning about her pregnancy, Jesus working as a carpenter and more.

This is inside the church. They charge money to enter and the mine goes towards the completion of the church. The hold actual services once a month.

Gaudi was really into trees and the columns represent trees. They are all a little different and they lean, helping provide the stability and strength to hold up the church.

This was on a door on another side. It is parts of the Lords Prayer (Our Father) written in several languages.

This is from another side of the building, designed by a different architect and the entire side is filled with scenes from the Stations of the Cross.

The pictures don't do the building justice. It was amazing.

The kids stopped to play at a park nearby.

this bench was in a big circle and it was decorated with broken bits of tile and designed ergonomically so the rounded part hit in just the right part of your lower back.

We also visited Park Guel. At the entrance were two houses designed by Gaudi and modeled after houses in the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale. One was supposed to be the witch's house and one the hansel and Gretel house.

there were random people at the park and on the Las Ramblas.

we ate at this restaurant and it was amazing! The yummiest paella!

Lots of art everywhere.

At the end is a palace, I think? We saw so much it's hard to remember it all.

This was a sun on the ceiling of the area called the marketplace.

The four kids and I walking near the port.

There was plenty more to see and we could've spent a few days there at least. I would have loved to visited some of the museums but the kids wouldn't have all enjoyed it.

We will spend a little more time in Barcelona after the cruise when we take time to visit the Gothic Quarter but this was a wonderful start to our vacation!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

No comments: