Stuif's Adventures

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Barcelona September 2013
After Aric and I came back from our trip to Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France, there was still time for another destination. For a while we considered Norway, but finally we decided for Barcelona. It was a short 4D3N trip only and instead of booking a hotel we wanted to stay in an apartment.
There exists a website where you can find private rooms and apartments for rent all over the world. An interesting concept, we had used it in Regensburg during our Europe trip. We found a nice apartment in the Raval quarter of Barcelona, near the Ramblas.The comments mentioned that the neighbourhood was "special" but the apartment spaceous and quiet. Both true.
Located in the middle of the red light district, on the fourth floor (76 steps!), a large loft, with everything we needed.

Our apartment

76 steps!

Beautiful loft

The bedroom

Some ladies of the night

Lunch with tapas and sangria

We arrived early in the morning, went to the apartment where we received the keys from our friendly host Lauren, then went out again to have lunch. Of course with tapas and sangria. Next we had a look at the Boqueria, Barcelona's famous market, and walked over the Ramblas. I was quite shocked by the incredible number of tourists, compared with my last visit in 2004. Long queue for our first Gaudi building, Palau Guell! We decided to skip it and went to the Gothic quarter, where we had a look at the Plaça Reial and the cathedral.

The Boqueria

More Boqueria

Entrance of Palau Guell


Characteristic Gaudi chimneys

Plaça Reial




Sagrada Familia

Casa Mila

The next two days were Gaudi days :-) We started with the Sagrada Familia and found that there was a very long queue. There was also a signboard that you could avoid the queue by buying tickets online. We dicided to to that and took the metro to Casa Mila, also known as La Pedrera, hoping that the queue would be less there. It was.
A visit of Casa Mila starts at the roof, because there you can find Gaudi's monumental chimneys. Not easy to take pictures without people! The famous attic with the catenary structures is next, followed by the floor where they have recreated how people lived when Casa Mila was built in ~ 1910. Really worth a visit. After our visit it was time for lunch, tapas again..:-)

The roof with many people

With less people

With only Aric ...:-)

Chimney details


The Attic

Mathematical elegance

Interesting museum

Servants quarters

More luxury for the masters

View of the balconies

Gaudi everywhere


Casa Battlo

Main hall

Our next destination was Casa Battlo, not far away from la Pedrera. Famous for its facade, the main hall on the first floor, beautiful interior decoration by Gaudi himself and of course again the roof. This part of Barcelona has many interesting buildings, next door there is Casa Amatller, by the architect Puig i Cadafalch.

Elaborate decorations

Gaudi as interior designer

Nice fireplace

Ventilation channels

Back of the building


The stairwell

On the roof


Casa Amattler

Outside not nice

Inside the tower

Back at our apartment we booked e-tickets for the Sagrada Familia. As we also wanted to climb the towers, we had to choose a time slot for our visit! But it helped a lot, when we arrived the next morning, we could skip the queue and enter without delay. As a lot of construction is going on, the outside of the church is not very pleasing at the moment, the top of the towers is covered with protective sheets, noisy building goes on everywhere. There is an elevator to the top of the tower, you have to walk down, hundreds of steps on a narrow spiral staircase. From the top of the tower you have a view of Barcelona, not really special

View from the tower

Construction everywhere

Walking down

Finished facade

The crucifixion

Church interior

Very impressive

Tall pillars

However, the interior of the church is really special and very impressive. Even a secular humanist like me could develop religious feelings here..:-) The church is huge, a forest of tall pillars, a beautiful roof and colorful stained glass windows everywhere. You can spend a long time in this church.

So beautiful

Stained glass windows

Windows everywhere


Complicated structure

A forest of pillars

The Pater Noster prayer

Statue of Christ

This is how Gaudi designed

Parc Guell

Walkway in the park

Barcelona is Gaudi town, there are many more buildings to visit and admire. We had only time for one more, the Parc Guell. Here too a big crowd, we almost wanted to go back when we saw the masses. Difficult to take acceptable pictures. The main square of the park is built on pillars in characteristic Gaudi style. And the famous tiled benches are so beautiful. Really a pity that there were so many tourists.

The main square

Details of the construction

The famous tiled benches


Highest point of the park

The caretaker house

Decoration of the staira


Dinner on the Ramblas

The Palau Nacional

View of Barcelona with naked man

We had a luxury dinner on the Ramblas. Not the best place for good food, too touristy. The next day we visited the Palau Nacional on the Montjuich hill, did some last shopping and then went to Mar Bella for lunch. Before we had a delcious paella there, we spent some time at the nudist beach. Popular place, big crowd, surprisingly near to the town.

Late in the evening we were back in Amsterdam. Four days, well spent!

More naked people in Mar Bella

Delicious paella

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