Archive for the ‘Barcelona’ Tag

A Review of 2017   18 comments

I’ve read quite a few blog post in the past few days reviewing other peoples 2017 exploits. I enjoyed them so much I thought I’d do the same. Good excuse to look back through my photos and remember what we got up to. At my age I need help remembering stuff!.

Acutely conscious of the modern trend for these awful “round robin” letters you get at Xmas (we get one of these smugograms every year) I tried to select photos that bring back a particular memory for me so its more a personal, family introspection on outdoorsy stuff, than a blow by blow account of the year. As its based on my photo collection if I didn’t photograph it, it ain’t here!

January

We started the year off in Tenerife and New Years Day was spent on this rather splendid beach (the earlier part of the day was in the mountains but I cocked up the photos from that part of the day!)

IMG_2319

Returning to the British winter, a walk along the Cats Back in the Black Mountains with TBF, memorable for a cloud inversion after a very wet morning. A reminder that despite our travels we are lucky to have some stunning scenery on our doorstep

IMG_2314

A solo day out in the Brecon Beacons, the first snowy walk near to home and pretty much the only one with significant snow during the early part of the year (made up for it at the end)

IMG_0009

A glorious day out in the Black Mountains with TJS and a cooked breakfast on a cold Table Mountain. I like this photo though as it has Mynydd Troed in centre shot, my very first mountain climbed when I was about 10

IMG_2376

And my usual skiing trip (only a weekend this year) to finish off the month. Snow was a bit rubbish but we had a laugh nonetheless

P1291187

February

Another solo day on Fan Fawr in the Brecon Beacons. I remember this day for a very mild Friday afternoon (16C) and snow in the mountains 18 hours later

IMG_2408

A short walk with TBF on Hatterall Hill

IMG_2449

March

The first weekend of the month is always spent in Scotland with friends of long standing. A new location at Bridge of Orchy and a two out of three days were magnificent winter days. The walk along this ridge high above Rannoch Moor on the first day was superb

IMG_2523

Me and TJS also managed a cheeky backpack into the Black Mountains. Straight from work on the Friday for a one nighter in my new tent. Need to do more of these this year

P3251293

2017 is the year I rediscovered cycling – mainly to help my knee and also to be less of a lazy layabout during the week. The Hardman – a VERY keen and VERY fit cyclist caught wind and insisted we meet up in the Peak for a trip along a couple of the old railway trails. A cracking sunny day and I survived cycling with the Hardman!

P3261343

And we finally managed a meet up in the Berwyns with Uncle Fester after a few aborted attempts

IMG_2558

April

More cycling and solo trip through the Brecon Beacons on the “Gap” route. Cycling to over 600m was a first for me and I started to feel that I almost, might, actually enjoy cycling.

IMG_0671

Easter and a major backpacking trip with TJS to the Cairngorms. The weather was wild and windy but we had a couple of superb wild camps and TJS bagged his first Scottish 4000 footer

P4131365

I even coaxed TJF out for a bike ride along the Brecon and Usk canal

P4231533

May Day weekend was mostly in April. Mixed weather but we had a fine gaggle of friends on a hike around Greendale, taking in Buckbarrow and Seatallan

P4291564

May

No finer way to celebrate a birthday than a lunchtime hike. This one was on one of my local hills, Bryn Arw with TBF

IMG_2595

Followed by a weekend away in Cornwall. It almost felt tropical on the white sands just north of Padstow on one of our walks

IMG_2704

Whitsun weekend was spent with our good friends in Silverdale. The Sunday was a real winner with a long but easy stroll and a fantastic pub lunch. Weather was mixed the rest of the time but great company, many laughs and a chance to relax

IMG_2725

June

A different walk from the usual mountains. One of the small hills that overlook Gloucester and across to the Cotswolds. Not something I’d do every day but a nice change

IMG_2768

One of the highlights of the year was the long-planned backpacking trip with the kids into the Howgills. Despite poor weather we gave it a go and it was a huge success. The kids really enjoyed the adventure and I’m hoping they have caught the wild camping bug

P6101657

July

After the backpack trip I was out of action for a few weeks recuperating and resting after a minor knee op. Didn’t affect my water based fun though, a nice albeit far too long trip down the river Wye

P7091729

By the end of July I was back in the hills again (the knee op has been a great success I’m pleased to say). A fine evening stroll with TBF and TJS on Ysgyryd Fawr (we even took a cheeky cold beer to drink on the top)

P1000139

Another “local walk for local people” – this time Garway Hill where we reached the top, saw this nasty storm approaching and raced it back to the car. We won.

P1000151

Late July brings the annual camping trip to Towyn Farm on the Llyn Peninsula. We packed in lots of walks and beach fun in a very mixed few days of weather. My abiding memory though was this game of Kubb which was huge fun with both adults and kids alike taking it far too seriously and larking about in equal measure. A happy afternoon

P1000237

August

The big family trip of the year, a rail trip around some of Europe’s finest cities. An real change from our usual outdoor camping trips and it was real success. We all took took to the city life rather well you might say. One of my best ever holidays. A few photos that made me smile

One of the many fountains in Paris (we called this one the fountain of throttled fish)

P1000350

A monster thunderstorm in Turin

P1000550

My favourite seafront walk in Venice

P1000909

The Colloseum in Rome – of course

P1010063

Schloss Belvedere in Vienna (courtesy of an unplanned extra couple of hours from a very late train)

IMG_1238-2

The thermal baths in Budapest – “like taking a bath in a wedding cake”

P1020184t

A stroll along the Spree river in Berlin on a sunny Sunday afternoon

P1020495

And the railway bridge over the Rhine in Cologne

P1020608

September

Back to earth with a bump. A few days after the heat and sun of Europe we were walking in the Black Mountains in driving rain and cold winds!

P9100010

But there was still enough warm weather left for a round of the hills near the Talybont Reservoir in the Brecon Beacons

P1020704

October

A walk with friends in the Roaches on the dreariest day of the year (when everywhere else was sunny – I’m not bitter)

IMG_2382

More evidence of my new found cycling passion (probably too strong a word). A ride around the tracks of the New Forest while TJS took a look around Southampton University

PA140023a

And why settle for one trip to see major cities when you can do it twice. As a special treat for TJS 18th Birthday we spent a week in Barcelona. Probably my favourite city but despite all its famous sights, this little known hill and its view overlooking the city was my favourite spot

P1020859-2

November

After sunshine comes the reality of winter. A couple of cold but beautiful days. One in the Black Mountains on the Sugar Loaf and Crug Mawr

P1030499

And one of my favourite walks in the Black Mountain

IMG_2558

A delayed birthday treat weekend for TBF saw us in Padstow for a couple of nice meals and walks along the Cornish coast and Dartmoor

IMG_2653-2

December

And last into the proper depths of winter. The first snows saw me and TJS head into the highest peaks of the Black Mountains

P1030581

The day after saw the biggest dump of snow I’ve seen in my own backyard for many a year. Walks around my village in deep snow under crisp blue skies were wonderful

IMG_2831

The start of the Xmas holidays is marked with an annual get together of my University friends and their families. Always great fun but this year we could climb the hills in snow (rather than wet rain) and play at snowballs

P1030622

Finally coming full circle with a return to the Canary Islands to spend Xmas in Lanzarote and Xmas Day sunning ourselves on the beach

P1040068

Well I enjoyed looking through my photos, choosing a few and reliving a great year. Hope you enjoyed it too. All the best for 2018 🙂

Advertisements

Barcelona – Beach Life   14 comments

P1030442d-2

Our last day before flying home in the evening was a glorious one, clear, sunny and pretty hot. We decided to take a metro out to the far end of the beaches and walk back along the seafront. We’d been to the beach a few times before, notably on our first day and in the middle of the week for a swim

P1020740

The first day was a chance to have a sandwich on the rocks

P1020742-2

P1020739-2

P1020741-2

P1020745

And a stroll down to this all-glass hotel affair at the far end. Probably an ugly monstrosity to some but I quite liked it

P1020747

P1020749

P1020940-2

A couple of photos from our second visit

P1020941

We went for a swim this time. Colder than I thought but great to swim in the sea on a warm day at the end of October

P1020942-2

P1020943

The beach front is a good few miles long and really well done. By that I mean it’s not a natural beach. This whole area was derelict and run down before the Olympics came along. In order to make the city presentable everything was renovated and sand imported to make this splendid beach frontage

P1030431

As it was Sunday it was packed with locals all enjoying some warm autumn sunshine. It was a cracking walk just watching the people and soaking up the rays. Winter is long and cold in the UK so we wanted to make the most of this! 🙂

P1030434

The beaches are all spotlessly clean and the water crystal clear. Fabulous for a swim but as we were traveling at the end of day it wasn’t really on for us even though it was a perfect day. The whole walk is pedestrianized so no cars to trouble us. There is a bike path as well and it would be a very pleasant leisurely ride

P1030435

These two skyscrapers and strange sculpture dominate the southern end of the beach. Again I really liked them and I didn’t feel they were out-of-place

P1030439

P1030440

P1030442-2

After lunch we sat on the beach for an hour or so and paddled in the cool water

P1030442b-2

P1030444

A very relaxing way to spend our last afternoon

P1030442c-2

P1030447-2

We took another wander down to the big glass hotel

P1030449

And its cracking views through the palms back along the sea front

P1030450

Nothing finer than a stroll in the warm sunshine along a Mediterranean beach.

P1030452

We took our leave of the beach, walked back to town through the marina, ate some takeaway churros, picked up our bags and caught a train to airport for our flight home. Not back till after 1am but that’s what holidays should be about making the most of every minute

P1030453

What a fantastic city. Architecture, history, mountains and a long beach. Brilliant way to spend the last week of October

 

Posted December 1, 2017 by surfnslide in Cities, Barcelona

Tagged with , , ,

Barcelona – Font Magica   17 comments

P1030421j-2

On our last evening we headed back over to the fountains near Placa Espanya and the Palau Nacional. There was already a massive crowd there and seating room on the steps was at a premium. What had everyone come here to see? The Magic Musical Fountain Show of course!

P1030421b

Now I know you’re thinking “Magic Musical Fountains – how tacky” and I have to say I was dubious after the one we saw in Budapest

P1030421d

However this one was done on a much bigger and grander scale and it was mighty impressive

P1030421f

The way they controlled the water and the lights was really rather magnificent and I enjoyed it immensely and a lot more than I thought I would

P1030421h-2

The description sounded like they did one show every 30 minutes but it just seemed to be one long continuous show for between 1-1.5 hours

P1030421g

We arrived on the dot at 9 when it was crowded but if visiting again its best to show up 15-20 minutes after the start time as many people have wandered off by then and there is a lot more space and places to sit on the steps. Its not like you miss much as each combination is all on a similar theme

P1030421l-2

We went and stood close up for the final few minutes before we headed back to the apartment. We’d been there 45 minutes which was plenty and it was a grand way to finish off our last night in the city

P1030421m

I took several video clips which came out pretty well so I put them together in a little compilation below

 

Pretty good eh!

P1030421n

As we walked back along the road to Placa Espanya the fountains, columns and palace looked wonderful

P1030421o

P1030421p

The road was lined with smaller fountains also lit in a most charming fashion

P1030421q

A bit tacky and cheesy but very well put on, and, a real novelty in Barcelona, free!

Posted November 30, 2017 by surfnslide in Barcelona, Cities

Tagged with , , ,

Barcelona – Sagrada Familia   15 comments

P1030066

Barcelona’s most famous site and its most visited one. Another you have to book ahead to be sure of getting in and we chose the morning. Despite the fact that it was only a few minutes walk from the apartment it only comes into view when your almost underneath it

P1020960

The entrance was under the Nativity Facade and we took a quick look before we took our trip up the tower on the Passion Facade

P1020963

P1020964

The views from the top were impressive but very much obscured by protective mesh and scaffolding.

P1030003

You can only see one part of the city and the area you can explore is very small

P1030004

The views from the Bunkers del Carmel were much better and I’d suggest that paying the extra to go up the tower is probably not worth it. I think in years past there was an extremely narrow and airy bridge between the towers you could walk across. It doesn’t seem to be there any more (possibly it was structural while the towers were being built)

P1030011

Back down and we picked up our audio guide (which was excellent by the way) and gave this extraordinary building, the pinnacle of Gaudi’s ambitions, the attention its deserves. The level of detail is staggering to try to take in.

It feels kind of special to be able to witness a building of such complexity and design taking shape and what the intentions are rather than historians trying to re-create those intentions from historical artefacts.

P1030017

This is the green cypress tree, a refuge for the white doves of peace in a storm

P1030018

I was immediately struck by the intricate detailing of the Nativity Facade, one those parts completed in Gaudi’s lifetime under his direct supervision. It depicts the details of the birth of Christ and you could look at the details for hours and still see something new

P1030019

It’s a breathtaking introduction before you step inside

P1030020

Even the doors are works of art and represent the diversity of life in a forest. Gaudi’s work was heavily influenced by what he saw in nature

P1030022

Once you step inside the effect is quite simply staggering. The roof is supported by a forest of pillars and sprouting branches. The forest analogy is entirely accurate as this effect was intentional. Gaudi wanted to recreate the feeling of a natural forest and he expanded that thought to how the interior is lit. The branching pillars were also of significant structural importance allowing the roof load to be spread more evenly and thus reduce the thickness of the pillars themselves

P1030027

Having been lucky enough to visit St Peters in Rome I was able to recollect the massive pillars that supported the dome there and compare them to their slender cousins here

P1030028

The pillars are made of for different types of stone to bear the weight in different areas

P1030029

I mentioned the forest theme and that is also a feature of the lighting. The intended effect is of the dappled light through branches that you would see in a sunlit forest. Gaudi wanted to retain that close link between the natural world, spiritual beliefs and his own architectural designs. Once you see and study his buildings, even someone with no architectural knowledge like me can see these same patterns and influences in all his buildings and those of his contemporaries. He hated straight lines. There were none in nature he contended

P1030036

The stained glass on either side is also designed to match natures cycles. The cool greens and blues of dawn on one side and the darker red and orange tones of sunset on the other

P1030037

P1030038

It was consecrated in 2010 by the Pope and the audio guide recreated the choirs singing. I’m not a religious person in any way but I have to say that standing there listening to the music was uplifting

P1030039

As ever photos just can’t do it justice. More than any other of the buildings we visited on our travels this year, this is the one you just have to see for yourself. Words and images just cannot convey what an utterly staggering, unusual, unique and breathtaking building it is

P1030040

We stepped outside to look at the Passion Facade that depicts images from Christs death

P1030048

Less detailed but perhaps appropriate given the sombre nature of the subject. Gaudi was long dead when the work here was completed by sculptor Josep Subirachs with his own angular style, very different to Gaudi himself. If you look at the bottom left figure in the photo below, called the evangelist, it’s based on a likeness Gaudi himself. A small tribute by the sculptor

P1030045

This cryptogram has numbers that add up to 33, the age of Christ at his death

P1030046

An explanation in the museum under the church

P1030056

P1030052

The museum was extensive and excellent, containing a whole host of information about Gaudi, the Sagrada and many other things. You could also look into the workshop where they use intricate models, using 3-D Printers to assist with what must be an engineering nightmare of bringing Gaudi’s vision to life

P1030055

We wandered back through the inside for another mouth agape look at this extraordinary place

P1030060

P1030063

We took a last wander around the outside from where you can get a better view of the enormous scale of the building

P1030067

A bit of background. Its been under construction now for over 100 years and is still far from finished. At the moment its only 2/3 of its final height when finished which seems quite amazing considering the height it is already. This video gives a view into the future as to what it will look like when it’s finished, especiallly the Glory Facade which is still under construction

Estimates range from 2026 to sometime after 2040. It will be worth the wait

P1030071

The tower outlines are apparently inspired by the peaks of Montserrat outside the city. More on that in a later post

P1030072

I have read a few disparaging remarks (one compared it melting wax candle) and the construction has been plagued with controversy and incident over the years. It is hard to appreciate it completely while it’s under construction and dominated by tower cranes but on the other hand its special to be allowed to still visit in such circumstances

P1030074

I think its a truly stunning building and a marvel of design, form and architecture. One of the truly unique sights of the modern world

 

Posted November 15, 2017 by surfnslide in Barcelona, Cities

Tagged with , , ,

Barcelona – Food!   19 comments

One of the real pleasures of Barcelona is food! A special short post to celebrate that fact. Any of my readers who may be Vegetarian or a little phased by dead things in shops probably ought to skip this post

One of the big surprises and a must see in the city if you visit is the Mercat de St Josep La Bouqueria. It was like no other food market I’ve seen

P1020938h

The place was packed both times we went and its a real sensory overload for anyone who loves food. They have everything to tempt you. Fruit and Veg, dried fruit and chocolate, spices and a huge variety. Even if you don’t taste what’s on offer just looking at the stalls is an event. It really is a place not to be missed

P1020938g

Being on the Mediterranean, pride of place goes to the seafood. It’s fresh in as much as most of it is still alive and still moving and they have some weird and wonderful stuff. In the photo below, bottom right are Goose Barnacles and they are seriously weird

P1020938e

The sea urchin and crabs were still wriggling. One seafood stall had shrimps and while we were looking the stall holder scooped a few up and the rest all started bouncing around. It was weird and gross all at the same time

P1020938f

Our special favourites however were the stalls that seemed to specialise in sales of the bits we squemish Brits no longer eat. Heads, Tripe, Lungs, Brains, Trotters and the like

P1030125

It takes me back to my childhood when we used to buy whole pigs and we would eat the lot (although I never tried brain on toast which is a Black Country delicacy!)

P1030126

On our first visit we tried some of the take away stalls for some fresh seafood

P1020938c

The Funsters were also rather partial to the chocolate coated strawberrys on sticks

P1020938d

The real eating heaven in the market are the Tapas bars and on our second visit I was determined to try one out

P1020938a

P1020938b

You have to hover around and wait for a seat at the bar and we got lucky with this one. The menu is on a hand-printed sheet and you just mark off with a pencil what you want. They then cook it in front of you while you wait. I had the best fried Calamari ever and some blood sausage and onions. It was divine

P1030127

The hustle and bustle of the place is intoxicating and I absolutely loved it. Eating freshly cooked Tapas sitting a bar in the market where they source the food is quintessentially Barcelona.  It would be the first place I’d head for when I visit again. I could have lived in the place.

P1030127a

A small diversion here to say that outside the market on the opposite side of the road is the Erotic Museum. Talk about sublime to ridiculous

P1020938i

There was a resident Marilyn Monroe lookalike (at least that’s who I assumed she was supposed to be). We declined the offer to go in. Not really a family outing.

P1020939

Back to food. We ate out many times and it was always excellent. On our second night we ate in a very hectic but friendly restaurant on the seafront for some Paella

P1020772

The waiter took some photos so a rare chance to see yours truly

P1020773

We went back on the last day as well for another slap up meal before heading home

P1030442a

We tried some amazing food. I sampled razor clams (a bit gritty for me) and Aubergines with honey and soft cheese (amazing). My favourite dish was the one below. Squid with wasabi deep fried in batter flavoured and coloured with black squid ink. It looks odd but the taste was sensational. It was another really friendly restaurant just around the corner from the apartment (we went twice)

P1030113a

You need to “eat” Barcelona as well as see it!

Posted November 12, 2017 by surfnslide in Barcelona, Cities

Tagged with , , , ,

Barcelona – La Catedral and all things Catalonian   23 comments

P1030111-2

A bit of a mixed bag post to cover a bunch of stuff we did over several days that don’t warrant posts of their own

Firstly Le Catedral which presents a magnificent facade, reminiscent in many ways of Cologne Cathedral. Whilst the main structure was built between the 11th and 13th Centuries, the facade was only added in 1870

P1030086

Inside you realise what a huge and impressive structure it is. As always on a whistle stop walk around without a tripod its very difficult to capture decent images

P1020908

P1020911

It has a fine display of stained glass windows

P1020916

The real delight – for me anyway – is that you can visit the roof for a few Euros

P1020922

There is a metal gangway you walk along and its really rather excellent. The old heart of the city has many large churches and from our wanders you can visit the roof of most of them, all claiming to have the best views in Barcelona!

P1020923

The younger members were struggling in the heat of the sun and needed a rest

P1020926

These two unusual bell towers caught my eye

P1020927

A distant view of the Sagrada Familia

P1020929

South West across the city

P1020930

Panorama taking in the roof and half the main tower

P1020931-2

The bright green ridge tiles of the building next door caught my eye

P1020935-2

P1020936

The cloister next door was also a rather nice way out

P1020938

This is the old city’s other main church the Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar. I really liked the old city and its maze of narrow streets. Very like Venice without the canals. We didn’t explore as much as I’d have liked as we wanted to be out in the sun

P1030091

Unless you’ve been living in a cave you’ll know that Barcelona is in Catalonia, much in the news of late with its squabbles over independance. We though we ought to see some Catalonian heritage and where better to start than the Camp Nou, home of the mighty Barcelona FC

P1030081

Only me and TJS went for a poke around. You can do a tour of the stadium but as with all things in the city they make a hefty charge. Its a huge stadium holding close to 100,000 and and I’d assumed it would be a towering structure. In fact most of the terraces are below ground level so from the outside it doesn’t look much.

We had a look in the club shop at some distressingly expensive merchandise (25 Euros for a baseball cap anyone?)

P1030082

We’d hoped to be able to see a game but the only one was the evening we arrived so we were out of luck. Another excellent reason to go back

P1030083

It was an interesting week to be in the city as whole independence thing was really in full swing. We’d seen a few minor protests and there had been a huge rally that had just finished the evening we arrived

P1030423

On our last day there was a big anti-independence march. All very civilised and interesting to witness

P1030424

A couple of days previously the Catalan Government had formally decalred independence prompting the chaos that we’ve seen since with leaders arrested and others effectively in exile

P1030425b

The people we spoke to just seemed uncertain about what was going to happen next and how it would affect daily lives rather than any passion, one way or another. Not sure if they will achieve independence (seems unlikely) but if they do then at least we can say we were in Catalonia when it was born (in a way)

P1030425

More Catalonian sights. This is the City Hall

P1030087-2

And on the other side of the square the official residence of the Catalonian President, the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya

P1030088

A short walk across town is the Catalonian Parliament Building

P1030096

Lots of Police around but an otherwise unremarkable building where some momentous events had and were to take place

P1030097

They chose a nice spot for it in the very nice Parc de la Ciutadella

P1030094

The heart of the park is the Cascada Monumental.

P1030102

P1030103

Barcelona has loads of these green parrots flitting about. No idea if they are indigenous or a population spawned from escaped captives (the zoo is next door). After many attempts I finally got a decent photo

P1030108

We were in the park at the end of the day as the sun as setting when the light was just superb

P1030113

A very Catalonian experience

Barcelona – Bunkers del Carmel   14 comments

P1020859-2

After a lazy afternoon sunning ourselves on the roof terrace we set off for one of the city’s lesser known sites. It’s a bit off the beaten track but as luck would have it there was a regular bus there from just round the corner that had us up in the hills above the city in about half an hour.

A word here, as it seems an appropriate point, about Barcelona’s transport system. Much like Budapest its superb and cheap. You can travel anywhere in the main part of the city for just one euro (best value is the 10-trip T10 ticket). It allows you to swap between buses and the metro and even includes a couple of useful funicular railways. The metro gets you close to most sights and the buses fill in the gaps and are often a better bet than the metro. There are trams but not much use for sights etc (sad – I like trams!) The times always seemed accurate and we rarely waited more than a couple of minutes for a bus or metro. We used the buses/metro several times a day and it was useful and fun. Cost about £80 for all our travel for all four of us for a long week, which is pretty decent value

Anyway back to the story. We were heading for the Bunkers del Carmel on a hill that overlooks the city, the Turo de la Rovira. My guidebook said it was a great spot for views across the city and from where the bus dropped us off we had a first glimpse across the suburbs behind the city

P1020848

The clouds of earlier in the day had now completely gone and the sky was crystal clear. A glorious late afternoon. As we climbed to the top of the hill the views opened out and the vistas across the city to the Mediterranean Sea were breathtaking

P1020858-2

This shot is of the main heart of the city. Montjuic, with its castle is the distant hill, which we visited the day before and later in the week

P1020862-2

It was our first proper glimpse of the Sagrada Familia. A quite extraordinary construction that again we saw later in the week

P1020850

Barcelona’s very own “Gherkin”, the Torre Agbar

P1020851

The panorama shot below really gives a great feel for just how expansive the views are. Anyone who reads the blog knows I have a passion for views from hills overlooking cities and this is one of the best. High enough to give the aerial feeling yet still only a couple of miles from the city

P1020853-2

There is a small collection of houses up here. What a fantastic place to live

P1020854-2

A more expansive view inland to the hills and suburbs behind the city

P1020856

P1020857

A close up of our neighbourhood. Our apartment is – I think – somewhere in the centre of the photo

P1020863-2

The north-eastern suburbs

P1020865

P1020867

A view looking back up at the top of the hill. The Bunkers in the name are from the Spanish Civil War, an anti-aircraft battery used to defend the city from the forces of General Franco. After they were abandoned it was taken over as a shanty town. The residents made the bunkers into homes. You can still some of the ad-hoc tiled floors clearly liberated from waste tips in true Gaudi style. They managed to make the place look pretty homely according to the information boards and even devised a water supply system. Eventually the people were re-homed nearby and the site abandoned in the 1990’s

P1020870

There are a maze of paths and walls to clamber about on and its all free to access (a rarity in Barcelona!). It seems to attract a young crowd and people were gathering to watch the sunset with a picnic and cold beers. I have happily stayed with them but late afternoon, high above the city in late October it was getting chilly and we weren’t really dressed for it. Next time I’m here, I’ll come prepared

Fascinating place. Fantastic views.

P1020871-2

As we walked back down the light was colouring the city in a golden light, especially the Sagrada

P1020876

P1020880-2

P1020881

A final shot over the hills behind the city before the bus whisked us back down to town

P1020886

A place well worth seeking out

 

%d bloggers like this: