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Stranded in Barcelona

Updated on January 26, 2011

Sights of Barcelona

Barcelona is a major hub for cruise ships.
Barcelona is a major hub for cruise ships.
The Picasso Museum
The Picasso Museum
The Sagrada Familia is still under construction after a century.
The Sagrada Familia is still under construction after a century.
Inside the Sagrada Familia
Inside the Sagrada Familia
St. Joseph Market on La Rambla
St. Joseph Market on La Rambla
Tour Buses to see Barcelona's sights.
Tour Buses to see Barcelona's sights.
View from our hotel balcony
View from our hotel balcony
Barcelona
Barcelona
One of many of Gaudi's architecture
One of many of Gaudi's architecture
Gaudi Park (Park Guell)
Gaudi Park (Park Guell)
La Rambla
La Rambla
Olympic Rings
Olympic Rings
This building housed the Olympic athletes, part of the Olympic Village
This building housed the Olympic athletes, part of the Olympic Village
Palau Musica
Palau Musica
The 4 Cats Restaurant where Picasso used to eat and drink.
The 4 Cats Restaurant where Picasso used to eat and drink.
An egg shaped modern building in Barcelona
An egg shaped modern building in Barcelona
I am trying out a tapas dinner for the first time.
I am trying out a tapas dinner for the first time.
A new flatiron skyscraper building in Barcelona.
A new flatiron skyscraper building in Barcelona.
Fancy communications tower built for the Olympics
Fancy communications tower built for the Olympics

We were on a Mediterranean cruise in October 2010 which ended in Barcelona. We had planned to spend one additional day and night in Barcelona before leaving for Paris to spend three days there and then fly home to Toronto. There is no direct flight from Barcelona to Toronto, thus we had to make a connecting flight and chose Paris.

However Paris at this time was engulfed in massive demonstrations and strikes due to their proposed pension changes. We had been in contact with our travel agent and requested that we not go to Paris but instead to make a connecting flight somewhere else and go straight home to Toronto. With many other people having the same idea, it turned out that the earliest we could get a connecting flight from Barcelona to another city on the same airline, KLM, was to Amsterdam four days later. Thus we were stranded in Barcelona for an additional three days and nights! Wow our great fortune! We got to see a lot more of the city than if we had just spent the one day there!

We did miss Paris but Barcelona is a world class city and well worth spending four days there to see and experience its sights and flavor!

We toured the city for the first two days on their double decker tour buses which was great as the city is huge and this is a relaxing way to travel around and see the sights. You can get off at numerous stops, spend time at that particular sight, then get back on the next bus and continue the tour. All headphones on the buses have information in numerous languages, thus you know what sight you are passing by.

The architect Gaudi has left his mark all around Barcelona and his buildings are a joy to see. His most famous building, the Sagrada Familia, was started over a century ago and is still under construction. If you have time, it is worth a visit not only from the outside, but to go inside as it will blow you away!

Nearby is the Gaudi Park which is no ordinary park and you have to see it to believe it. Many of Gaudi’s buildings are UNESCO designated World Heritage Sites as they are so spectacular in their design and construction.

We were fortunate to get tickets to the Palau Musica which is one of Europe’s fine old music halls and again if you have time, please try to spend an evening there both for the fantastic music and the construction of the theater which has no blank walls or ceilings!

The streets of Barcelona can vary from the very narrow, which is typical in most of Europe’s old cities, to the very wide that can accommodate modern traffic. Thus Barcelona is a blend of the old and new. This also applies to its architecture, from the old, to the Gaudi, to the very modern.

The famous walking area called La Rambla is another area to spend some time, from just walking, to watching all the buskers, to visiting the St. Joseph Market, to shopping in the nearby shops, to having a drink or meal.

We visited the Picasso Museum and before this visit, I could never understand his art work. The museum explained his work and now I can understand what he was trying to do in his modern art pieces. I really enjoyed this experience and learning to understand his works. We found that Picasso used to dine and drink at a "new" pub (late 1890's) called the 4 Cats and it is still in operation today. Thus we visited it and had a drink there as well under one of his paintings!

The Olympics which were held in Barcelona, left a great mark on the city. It is as if this was a turning point for the city where it became a world class destination as tourism increased immensely after this.

We tried out several Spanish restaurants and I had tapas for the first time and really enjoyed it. Tapas are small portions of various foods and you pick and choose what you want.

Yes we were stranded in Barcelona for an extra three days and wow were we happy that it happened!

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    • Joseph Hollick profile image
      Author

      Joseph Hollick 5 years ago from Hamilton, ON Canada

      Thanks for the nice comments!

    • citygetaway profile image

      citygetaway 5 years ago from France

      I love your photos and couldn't stop smiling while reading your hub! :)

    • Joseph Hollick profile image
      Author

      Joseph Hollick 6 years ago from Hamilton, ON Canada

      Thanks Robert and Terry for your inspiring comments! I will have to make an effort to write a few more Hubs! Cheers, Joe

    • point2make profile image

      point2make 6 years ago

      What a great travel hub. Thank-you for sharing Joe. The photos were very good as well. I have a friend who was visiting Barcelona last month and I can truly say that I learned and experienced more, about Barcelona, from your hub than from his version. Thanks again. Voted this hub up!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Joe, Really enjoyed this Hub. Lucky you to get stranded? We have always wanted to go to Barcelona and this just reinforces that. Loved the photos and your style of writing. We'll have to bump Barcelona up a few notches and try to get there in the next year or two. Wonderful job, really. You should post more often.

    • Joseph Hollick profile image
      Author

      Joseph Hollick 6 years ago from Hamilton, ON Canada

      Thanks Peggy and Levertis for your lovely comments!

      I checked the Burlington hub and have added the Comment section in it now. I have no idea why it was not there before. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

      Cheers, Joe

    • Levertis Steele profile image

      Levertis Steele 6 years ago from Southern Clime

      It is a great writer who can take away the very breath, make one thirst and hunger for more than food, make one visualize and dream, and finally make one plan. Wow! I enjoyed traveling on your tour through my Imagi-Nation!

      I have a traveling plan book in my mind that is unlike the most-likely-to-happen-soon plans. It is my dream book that I plan to open one day. Do you know what I mean? Until that happens--I really expect it--I will continue to travel the Imagi-Nations. Thanks to good writers and photographers like you.

      Enjoyed it! Voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful, and interesting.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Just enjoyed your photos of Burlington but no comments were allowed so thought I would come back here to let you know that I enjoyed the unique perspective of your aerial shots. SHARING this with my followers so that more people can see your photography and read your interesting hubs.

    • Joseph Hollick profile image
      Author

      Joseph Hollick 7 years ago from Hamilton, ON Canada

      Thanks for your comments and glad that you enjoyed the pictures.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Loved your photos! Some of those modern buildings are really something...the flatiron building and the egg shaped one to be specific. Like you we enjoyed Gaudi's work. We spent parts of 3 days during the olympics seeing parts of the city as well as olympic events. As you say, it is a world class city! Excellent hub! Thanks for sharing your experiences.

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