SPAIN
Barcelona
*My experience
*Facts about Barcelona

Skylines and views

CENTRAL BARCELONA:
Sagrada Familia

Eixample

Placa Catalunya

La Rambla, El Raval and Miradór Colon

Barri Gótic (Gothic Quarters)

Placa d´Espana

Port Olímpic

Port Vell and La Barceloneta

Parc de la Ciutadella

Barcelona by night

OUTSKIRTS OF BARCELONA:
Montjüic

Carrer de Tarragona, Parc Miró and Parc d'Espana Industrial

Diagonal Mar

Park Güell and Vallcarca

Tibidabo

Barcelona Airport

L'HOSPITALET DE LLOBREGAT

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MY EXPERIENCE
In August 2004, I stayed at a hostal (B&B) for 4 nights and 5 days. It was almost idealistically located midway between the main hubs Placa d´Espana and Placa Catalunya, in the crossing of Gran Via and Comte d´Urgell, 2 of the city's longest streets. We travelled by plane from Copenhagen Airport (with easy access to Malmö) with the Danish low fare airline Sterling. When the plane hit the runway around 8 in the afternoon, the sky was only partly clear and soon it started to rain heavily and there was thunders and lightning towards the grey sky, while we travelled with the airport bus through the suburb Hospitalet and then the famous Placa d´Espana. After that, the sky turned pink the same evening. The first thing we did was walking a few blocks to the east to Placa Catalunya and along the whole La Rambla down to the sea. After that it was sunny almost all the time and 34 C(a little bit too hot to appreciate walking around looking at the sights). We walked in the sun and skipped the siesta(12-4 pm), and went to bed late at night too see as much as possible. Despite that we saw so much, we missed a few things. We used the local bus and the metro(subway) only a few times when it was too hard to endure walking, or too far to walk (that was an economical issue).

To describe the rest of the trip in a short summary, we walked in the sun and skipped the siesta(12-4 pm), and went to bed late at night to see as much as possible. We used the local bus and the metro(subway) only a few times when it was too hard to endure walking, or too far to walk (that was an economical issue). Despite that we missed a few things. The only, but most remarkable famous sights we missed was, some parks (like the botanical garden), some of the modernista houses in Eixample, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Pau, Santa Maria del Mar church, Carrer Montcada, Mercat del Born, and the Picasso Museum, much of this is situated in the Ribera district. The picture from the Ila de la Discordia quarter, including Casa Batllo by Gaudí, was destroyed during the exposure process, and so was the pano pics from El Corte de Ingles and the pic of Palau Güell (this is a mystery) so please don´t ask why they are not included. But most of the amazing sights we managed to capture with our digicam, so enjoy!

FACTS ABOUT BARCELONA

Population: 1 621 000 (5 000 000)
Founded year: 200 B.C. with the name Barcino
Tallest buildings: Torre Mapfre and Hotel Arts (154m, built 1992)
Tallest structure: Torre de Collserola (288m)
Province: Barcelona
Autonomous community: Catalonia
Area: 102 km²

Barcelona is Spain´s 2nd largest city and the capital of the province Catalonia in northeastern Spain. The city has a very beautiful setting between two mountains, Montjüic in the west and Tibidabo in the north, and the Mediterranean Sea. Because of it's large size, the city's many different districts are connected with each other via large avenues. Gran Via Corts Catalanes runs through the whole city in west-eastern direction and Avinguda Diagonal on the diagonal (NW-SE). Avinguda del Parallel and Passeig de Gracia are also very important roads.

The latter one leads to Placa Catalunya, the core and meeting place of Barcelona. The Gran Via leads from Placa Catalunya to Placa Espanya, a very monumental traffic hub of Barcelona, close to were the national museum rises above the city at Montjüic. Most squares in BCN have fountains and sculptures, just like the rest of Spain. From Placa Catalunya is also La Rambla, a long pedestrian street crowded with tourists, beginning. La Rambla goes to the south(and to the north) from Placa Catalunya, down to the beach, the harbour (Port Vell and Barceloneta) down to the famous Columbus monument, where Christofer Columbus arrived when he thought he had discovered America. Barri Gotic is situated on the east side of La Rambla and El Raval on the west. Barri Gotic, the gothic quarters, has old picturesque buildings, narrow streets and small squares. More large scale is the huge Eixample district to the north of Gran Via. The most important and central part of Eixample is Quadrat d' Oro, "the golden quarter" that is home to of many of the legendaric architect Gaudi and his follower´s buildings, such as the famous BCN symbol Casa Milá(La Pedrera) and Casa Batlló. This style is called modernista. Just to the east of Eixample, Gaudi´s famous cathedral La Sagrada Familia is totally dominating the skyline. This unusual cathedral with its 4 modernista towers, is the most important symbol of Barcelona, but will not be completed until 2025. The district to the east of Sagrada Familia, where Avinguda Diagonal ends, is a district called Diagonal Mar, with brand new skyscrapers, some of them still under contruction.

The fact that the city has been host for the world fair both in 1888 and in 1929 and the Olympics in 1992, are reasons why the city is so magic. The harbour and the unpleasant beach were totally rebuilt (and two towers were added) and impressive sports arenas were built because of the Olympics. And arts museum and the many fountains at Av. Reina Maria Cristina, that goes between Montjüic and Placa d´Espana, were built because of Fira Barcelona, the world fair in 1929. Cableways connect Montjüic via the castle (now a military museum) with the harbour on the ground. The harbour is very large and hosts a huge entertainment complex, shopping centers and a WTC. Most of the city's different parts are connected with the metro under ground and buses at ground level. There is also a short light rail line and an old short tram line.

Tibidabo is the mountain north of Barcelona that can be seen from the whole city. And so can the mountain's two landmarks, the temple and the tall observation tower Torre de Collserola. The Tibidabo mountain also boasts Barcelona´s only amusement park and many grand residences. Tibidabo can be reached by funiculare, tram and mini bus.

The airport, El Prat de Llobregat, is situated to the west of the city and the large city/suburb Hospitalet de Llobregat, home for large "commie block districts" and many companies, is in between.

Tourists and citizens of central Barcelona are partying heavily the whole night and thus there is heavy traffic and a lot of pedestrians walking around almost 24 hour a day. That is because the city is taking a break, siesta, somewhere between 12 and 4, mainly because it is too hot to work then. Columbus, Miró, Gaudí and Picasso are some of the most famous historic Barcelona residents.

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