There was much tapas and tippling (I can highly recommend Bar Mut for tapas and Bubo for pastries), a bit of slip-slop-slapping (to protect ourselves from that hot Spanish sun), a spot of retail therapy and a whole lot of jaw-dropping ooh-ing and aah-ing at the clash of the bold and the beautiful that is so uniquely Barcelona.
Barcelona is a curious mix of leafy boulevards, intricate alleys and wide modern avenues. Its architecture moves from the classical to the bold, at times visionary while at others bordering on ugly. Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia forms the touristic heart of this city of contradictions - and will feature in a separate post - but is by no means the be all and end all.
So this post is to whet your appetite with a little scenic tour of Barcelona's brave beauty and extraordinary visual diversity....
|Apartment building La Pedrera, one of Gaudi's many architectural wonders scattered throughout the city.|
|The dis-used bull ring still stands proud whilst undergoing a transformation to host activities of a more modern ilk, shopping!|
|At Barcelona's Olympic Stadium, the torch provides a poignant memorial 20 years on...|
|...and 'the athlete' still points the way to the now residential Olympic Village.|
|Modern shapes silhouette against the blue hot sky...|
|...right next to more classical, and decoratively painted, architecture.|
|La Sagrada Familia mixes monochromatic starkness...|
|...with lush and glorious colour.|
(More on this amazing testament to Antoni Gaudi's vision later.)
|The wide and leafy La Rambla forms the backbone of Barcelona, dividing the residential El Raval district from the buzzing Barri Gotic and La Ribera enclaves...|
|...while numerous small squares and parks provide a shady retreat for the locals from the heat of the day.|
Other posts in the Barcelona series: