Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Barcellona, Spagna

Last time I was standing in a Spanish speaking country, I was in the city it was Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.  This past weekend I visited my second country where Spanish is the official language, this time I was standing in the autonomous community of Catalonia, the city of Barcelona.  My previous visit to Mexico I was able to walk across the boarder, this time I had to fly in (I miss the old days!).  The title of this post is the Italian spelling of Barcelona...
 To get from my hotel to Barcelona central I needed to take the Barcelona Metro, it's a very easy train system to figure out.  My goal in visiting Barcelona was to visit the Sagrada Familia, but to do this my first step was to pass through the train station Espanya.  When I exited this station I turned left and saw the National Museum of Art (Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya).
 Seeing an escalator (it's still hot and humid in Spain) I decided to check this area out.  Not all areas were served by escalator, this platform had stairs on either side.
 Looking back from art museum, you can see the fountain behind those four columns, we will talk about that fountain later.
 To get to the Sagrada Familia I thought it would be a good idea to avoid a few subway transfers and walk from the station Espanya to the station Universitat.   This was actually a good idea, did not really save time but I did get to see a lot of local stuff between the two stations.  For example this yellow PROSEGUR vehicle, I assume it's an armed car for the transport of cash money euros.
 Mopeds and other small moto-bikes are all over Barcelona.  One advantage to this style of transportation is that it seems okay to park your bike where ever you want.  
 Get a Hola Card.  I wasted 4 euro's taking two train rides before I figured out this card cost 13 euro for two day open pass to the bus and subway system.
 All over Barcelona were these outdoor markets.  This market was kind of crazy because everyone was dressed like druids.  The crazy thing about a group of people being dressed like druids, and the street market photo does not really show this, was I could not figure out if it was halloween costumes or just normal.  Because of the possibility it was just people being themselves, I was not comfortable to ask if they were dressed up for Halloween.    I kind of think they were just being normal.
 Food was great, most cafe's and bars were full for the FCB vs the Real Madrid football classic, but I was able to find a small spot serving Paella and Sangria.  This was in no way a recommended restaurant but it was by far the best Paella I ever had.  I was even able to order in poorly spoken Spanish.  Hola, paella con shrimp's y calamari por favor.  Si si, sangria grande.  
 All over the city are arrows pointing to things, but if you don't know what you are looking for in Spanish, I don't really feel like these help.
 This was kind of a cool statue, it's a massive cat, the El Gat de Raval by Fernando Botero.
 Along most of the water front of Barcelona is a beach.  At one end of the beach if a statue of Christopher Columbus technically pointing towards Africa (the new world is kind off his left shoulder).
  A small plaza near the beach front.
 Beach is super relax and busy considering it's the end of October and this is the norther hemisphere.   Along the beach are bars where you can get Tex-Mex food!!!  Perfect!
During this trip I visited the history museum,  they had a working model of how locals use to get water out of ground.  This tour guide walked around the well 20 times before water started to fill a garden below the well.   
 Barcelona has an Arc de Triomf, this structure is similar to the one in Paris.
 Me in front of the arch.
 Okay, returning back to where my trip started, the area around the National Museum of Art.  According to the website wiki-travel, the fountain in front of the National Museum of Art has a Thursday through Sunday water show starting at 9pm.  The ray's of light shinning over top of the art museum started at 8:30pm, so for sure the water show would start at 9pm.
 After waiting for over an hour I determined this Sundays show was canceled.  My view of the fountain a few minutes past 9pm was just nothing, no lights or water.   But it was still fun hanging out in the park around the fountain.  And based on the number of people waiting with me, I think many people were waiting for a water show.