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Sundays in Spain are for Sipping Sangria

First Full Day in Barcelona

sunny 26 °C

We started off the day by joining a free walking tour leaving from Plaza Catalunya @ 10:00 a.m. for the Gothic Quarter (the oldest part of Barcelona). I have taken many of these types of tours all over the world and at the end of the tour, you decide how much it was worth. Keep in mind, if you do not show your appreciation toward the guide with a gratuity, they do not get paid. Our tour last 2 ½ hours and Franco, our guide (originally from Chile), was very energetic and enthusiastic about his city – he made the tour lots of fun! There was an opportunity for a break at a local bar where it seemed very appropriate to get some sangria (only 5 Euros) – and then I was able to put it in a take away cup when the break was over! Who doesn’t love a *traveller*? Haha.

The tour provided a fantastic historical recount of some of the major events in Spanish history - even how the 1992 Summer Olympics were a pivotal factor in the revitalization of this city. There was never a true beach in this city. Prior to the Olympics, they figured they would make a beach. Where would they find that much sand? Egypt. They actually brought in the desert sand - and presto - a beach was born!

Another funny observation I made during the tour about the participants. We were all asked to introduce ourselves and tell everyone where we were from. So here goes….Canada, South Africa, Poland, Germany, Russia, Malaysia, Israel, India…and Detroit. Why??? Americans always do this! It made me laugh.

People have been asking me how safe we are due to the political protests. Police everywhere. I feel very safe. No protests. No bombing. No violence. Does not mean it is not happening – the shenanigans may be happening at night. This morning we noticed a few stores that had broken windows. We have not seen any disturbances and have not been subject to any delays. Guess we are lucky. Earlier last week might have been a different story.

After our walking tour, we headed to Park Güell via use of the city’s metro network. We purchased a 10-ride ticket for 10 Euros (good deal). Park Güell is a public park system composed of gardens and interesting and unique architectural elements. It was here that architect Antoni Gaudí turned his hand to landscape gardening. It is a strange, enchanting place where his passion for natural forms really took flight and the artificial almost seems more natural than the natural. The city of Barcelona is full of Gaudi designed buildings. The design of the buildings are a little *odd* - may not be for everyone.

We stopped at a quaint little restaurant for lunch – tapas and sangria. I think our sangria count is up to 3…and that does not include the jug we bought yesterday that we have chill’n in the fridge! Haha.

Our day did not stop there. Off to the famous Sagrada Familia – the church they have been building for over 100 years. This is another Gaudi design. It is slated to be completed by 2026 – that is the goal. It was very fancy – to say the least. I even noticed a huge difference from when I was here in 2005. I will have to compare my photos when I get home. Just do not call the church *Sangria* Familia…they do not like that! Haha.

Montjuic Castle was the next stop in today’s fun-filled itinerary. Montjuic Castle is an old military fortress, that stands 173 metres above the port, with roots dating back from 1640. It was perched up on a hill for strategic purposes and we used the funicular and gondola to get there. The funicular was included in our metro journey ticket, but we paid an extra 8 Euros for the one-way ride up. The view was pretty amazing. We arrived to the top just in time for sunset. We lucked out…Sunday admission was FREE.

Back to the apartment. Time to break open that jug of sangria! Buenas noches.

Step count: 23 147

Posted by moorsey88 12:25 Archived in Spain

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My all-time favorite place to spend some quality time with my people.

by travelspassion

Nice write up. I'm heading to Barcelona this year!

by DC Dave

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