Sister T woke me at 6:30 to get going for the day. I had slept about 10 hours and it felt wonderful!
We walked to a nearby bar for breakfast. I had a ham and cheese croissant with my second cup while Sister T had a bocadilla with ham and cheese.
The coffee cups were interesting and had many designs.
Breakfast was about 8 euros.
I forgot to mention where we were staying in Barcelona. My sister was able to trade in timeshare credit for five nights at Park Hotel Barcelona in the Born district. I joined her for three of those nights.
I forgot to take photos of our room but it was very comfortable although on the smaller size which is common in Europe.
The staff was friendly and very helpful.
We were on the sixth floor and there were two (small) elevators to take guests up and down. Although beautiful, I wouldn’t want to take that staircase up and down. 🙂
Afterwards we took turns getting ready for the day (that shower felt great!) and were off to our pickup stop by the Pla de Palau square for the HOHO around 9 am.
We had bought our tickets for both the HOHO bus and Park Guell online about two months in advance.
We took the red line until we got to Playa Cataluyna where we switched to the blue line.
I don’t know what this building is but it was beautiful!
The square is full of scuptures and I was able to snap this one titled Barcelona by Federic Mares.
We got on the blue line in front of the El Corte Ingles department store. While waiting I got a snap of this lamppost.
The architecture in Barcelona is amazing and I took photos along the way (there was great narration on the HOHO but I wasn’t taking notes 🙂 ). This impressive building was built for an insurance company ( La Unión y el Fénix). That’s a man riding a phoenix atop the dome. (Notice the lights set up for Christmas on the street).
I noticed roof top gardens on some of the buildings like below.
This building is casa Batllo (house of bones) and you can see it the Gaudi influence. It is a UNESCO world heritage site on a block of modernistic buildings known as the block of Discord.
Casa Mila is another Gaudi designed home (also called the stone quarry). This is all I could snap as we quickly drove by.
This is casa de les Punxes which was built in 1905.
Then we arrived at the Sagrada Familia stop. The cathedral is impressive as always.
I hope to come here when it’s complete in a few years and see the Gaudi’s vision fully.
We passed another UNESCO world heritage site, Hospital de Sant Pau. It was built in the early 1920s and is still a functional hospital today.
What neither of us knew about the stop for Park Guell was that it was about 1/2 mile walk (all uphill) to the park. We got there and found a restroom before entering the monuments area 5 minutes before our ticketed time of 11 am.
Park Guell is another UNESCO world heritage site and was originally designed by Gaudi to be a housing complex with 60 townhouses. He built two (there was a lack of interest) on what was at the time farmland. Now of course the city is quite built up around it.
We came in at the top and proceeded to what is the main entrance.
You’ll get the best view of the guardhouse and caretaker house from the top.
There’s a walkway supported by columns including this one made to look like a washer woman.
Then we walked across the covered marketplace area. The ceiling has these amazing rosette designs.
There are fountains. First the snake.
Then the dragon which was very popular.
We enjoyed the view and sights but both of us were somewhat disappointed.
I don’t think Park Guell is a must see but rather a nice to see. We left there about 12:15 pm and walked back to the bus stop. It was much easier going downhill.
There’s a community garden by the bus stop which was nice to see.
The rest of my first full day in Barcelona will be in the next post.
Don’t miss previous trip posts.