A lovely warm week spent exploring Barcelona, despite it being the middle of February. It was great to get away from the permanent cold, damp and wind that is Luxembourg during the winter months.
We arrived in Barcelona by plane around 7pm in the evening and got the metro to our rented apartment in the Eixample area of Barcelona. The metro journey was straightforward but needed two changes. There apparently aren't many lines going right across the town in the East - West directions.
After we had got there we walked around to find a place to eat and noticed that every second place was a ramen house. For a while we thought we'd landed in Asia, so decided to go with the flow and have some noodles for dinner which tasted lovely.
We spent most of the day walking around town. We started with a metro ride from Girona (our closest stop) to Barceloneta. Here we strolled past the port with it's mega yachts and headed for the beach walk to have a look at the sea.
We circled back to the Barceloneta stop away from the beach, walking through the Parc de la Ciutadella and the Parliament of Catalunya.
Then we stopped at the Brunch and Cake back in the port area for wonderful late lunch, before heading on to the Gothic Quarter and then walking up La Rambla to the Boqueria market.
From there we turned east and walked to the Catedral de Barcelona just in time to catch a small concert and dancing celebrating Festes de Santa Eulàlia on the 13th February.
Monday was a day of Gaudi pure. We started by walking up the Passeig de Gracia to take a look at the Case Batllo and then the Casa Mila.
After that we headed towards the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's most famous work and Barcelona's most outstanding landmark in the heart of the city. Construction was started in 1882 and it is still not finished.
It's quite an amazing site, which only gets even more fabulous on the inside.
After the spending well over an hour at the Sagrada Familia, we headed for Parc Guell to finish off our day of Gaudi. We walked there via the lovely Gracia quarter where we stopped at another noodle bar for lunch.
A slightly later start followed by the morning walking around town before having lunch in the flat. Then we headed off to the Montjuic castle near the port of Barcelona.
We walked up the small hill through the nice park around the castle.
We then got the cable car down
In the evening we had the best meal of the trip, in a restaurant just off Ramble de Catalunya after strolling around Passeig De Gracia. Interestingly the place (Cafe and Tapas) gets lots of poor reviews on social media, but we enjoyed the service and the food. Maybe management has changed, or in the off season it is better, or we just got lucky...
In the morning we walked into town, past the Arc Triomf (which does not actually celebrate any specific Spanish victory) and onto the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Palau de Musica (palace of music).
We went on the tour of the palace which was quite an exceptional experience, including a performance that was on-going for some local school kids. The concert hall has the most exceptional sky light. Definitely worth a visit, at least as much as all the Gaudi things around the city.
We got around the palace just in time for lunch, so had a great lunch in the palace's wonderful café.
After lunch we headed to the Picasso museum, which had some interesting exhibitions on the life of Picasso, as well many of his painting, especially his early sketches. Obviously his more famous works are elsewhere.
We finished off the day with a quick look at the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, before heading home for dinner.
This was a day trip visiting the Montserrat monastery, an hour's train ride west of Barcelona. So we headed to the Placa de l'Espanya to get the tickets and the train.
We started off the visit with a look around the church, which included a lovely performance by the local boys choir.
We then headed up into the hills for a couple of hours some fresh air.
The last and final day was also the warmest. So we spent the day walking round town and enjoying the beach walk in full sun. We had lunch in a Latin restaurant called FOC. Food was good, atmosphere very lively. Seemed to be the place to be for some food and beers.
Our flight home left around lunchtime, so after waking up and packing, we got on the metro and headed to the airport in time to catch our flight.