Barcelona & N. Spain

Day 05 - Saturday, September 29, 2012 - Professional Tour of Barcelona; Visit La Sagrada Familia; Columbus Monument; Olympic Village; Parque Güell and Other Sights

We woke up at 7:00 to dark gray skies but our Google weather showed only partly cloudy skies for the day. The temperature was 71° and the humidity was 82%.

There are two large tour groups in the hotel, a group from Japan and our group of 42. The breakfast room that had seemed very adequate yesterday was crowded this morning.

Anxiety came when a line of 20 people waiting for the self-serve single cup coffee machine stopped working. Just as the machine was repaired, they ran out of clean cups – Mutiny in the Morning!

When we arrived back in our room after breakfast we heard a loud boom of thunder and the skies opened up. So much for partly cloudy!

We met our group in the lobby at 8:45 to receive our personal amplifiers so every one could hear our local city guide. These “whispers” are a wonderful feature for a large group trying to hear one person.

At 9:15 we met our driver Juan and boarded our full size bus for the morning tour of the city. Our city guide Carmen welcomed us and told us a bit about Barcelona.

As it was raining very hard, we did not get out of the bus, but only drove past several of Gaudi’s famous homes. We drove past most of the famous sites of the city from the Exhibition of 1888, the World’s Fair of 1929, and the Olympics of 1992.

We were able to get off the bus and take a walking tour of Güell Park, a planned community that Gaudi designed in 1900 and completed in 1914. Now a city park; we walked through this art nouveau style landscape which is a World Heritage Site.

Carmen did her best to stop and talk under covered areas. It was raining so hard, we could hardly see, let alone take photos. Vic got out his underwater camera and was able to capture a few shots.

At 11:30 we got back on the bus and talked about how happy we were to have been here in 2004 on a sunny day so we could have a much more favorable impression of the park and its bright colors.

The bus was not able to go on the busy streets by La Sagrada Familia (Church of the Holy Family), Gaudi’s famous landmark work, so we got off again and walked the three blocks to the church.

Carmen described the unique style of architecture of the church begun in 1882 and hopefully it is to be completed in 2026. We noticed many improvements since we were last here, but there is still much work to be done.

The tour ended back at the hotel at 12:45. Everyone was anxious to get in out of the rain so very few people stayed for the city center. We were happy that we had the good weather we did for the past three days. Luckily, by coming early we were able to take advantage of Barcelona’s splendor.

About 7:00 the rain let up a little and we ventured out to have dinner. We went back to La Pepita again – it was that good! We loved the Iberian ham and the artichoke salad. Vic’s all time favorite was still the anchovies!

Tomorrow is a travel day so we came back to pack and get some sleep before we have to get up early and leave for Zaragoza by way of Montserrat.

Accommodations: Hotel Catalonia La Pedrera - - - Meal: B

Please see our Trip Evaluation -- Click Here -- A Complete Review of Go Ahead Tours: Barcelona and Northern Spain


When we were in Barcelona, we also enjoyed touring La Familia Sagrada and Guell Park. Given the fact it was raining, you got some good shots of Guell Park. We also toured one of Gaudi's houses, that was really worth taking the time to see. Enjoy!

Lindy Powell   September 30, 2012 - 12:16pm
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