July 23, 2010

Day 8 - Olympic Stadium, Barcelona Castle, and the Beach/Pier

Thursday, May 27th was a really busy day in Barcelona.  We did a lot of sightseeing and picture taking.  One of the places that we knew we really wanted to see was the Olympic Stadium.  The 1992 Olympics were held in Barcelona and we wanted to see where all the action happened.  We were only able to see the outside of the buildings and where the opening ceremonies were held but you can tell that they still use the buildings today for sporting events.

The Olympic Torch

Where the opening ceremonies were held

A view from up top

One of the main buildings where events happened

The Olympic track

Me in front of the track

After we finished looking around at the Olympic stadium we wanted to go see the Castle of Montjuic that
was nearby.  The Castle was up on top of a very large hill and instead of walking up this huge hill Mom and I decided to take the cable car up.  That was a very good decision and the views from inside the cable car were beautiful.  The Castle was amazing.  The castle was once used to house political prisoners and today it's used to house the Museum of Comics and Illustrations, showcasing the development of Spanish comics.  The castle has amazing gardens and beautiful views of the port. 

The view from the cable car on the way up

The gardens outside the castle

The view of the port from the castle

Mom and I at a lookout point

The entrance to the castle

A gun to protect the castle

The view from the cable car on the way back down

After leaving the castle we headed back towards our hotel.  We wanted to go by and see the port and the beach before calling it a night.  The port is located at the very end of the main street.  We walked there and walked around for a few hours.  After seeing the port we wanted to find the beach because we knew that eventually we wanted to spend some time at the beach.  After walking for forever we finally found it.  Here are some pictures we took of the port and the beach.

The statue of Christopher Colombus

Some of the detail on the statue

The statue at dusk

The port of Barcelona

Some of the boats at the port

Some artwork on the way to the beach

The happy lobster on the way to the beach

The beach

The beach again

The main strip on the way home

After a long day we needed some sangria.  Look at how big those cups were.  I successfully finished mine, Mom did not.

July 22, 2010

Day 7 - The Sagrada Familia

On Wednesday, May 26th, we purchased tickets to ride the Barcelona Bus Turistic which is another double decker bus that stops at all the sites around the city.  We knew there was a lot to see here so we tried to pick wisely knowing that we wouldn't be able to see everything.  The first thing and probably the most famous thing we saw was the Sagrada Familia.

The Sagrada Familia is a chruch that was designed by Antoni Gaudi.  The building of the church started in  1882 and is scheduled to be completed in 2030.  There is a lot of construction going on both inside and outside the church.  The church is incredibly beautiful but trying to take a tour of it was nearly impossible because of all the noise from construction inside.  I took a lot of pictures of the building inside and out and I'd love to go back someday when it's completely finished because I know it will be so beautiful.

Here are pictures of the outside of the Sagrada Familia.  The first two are from the Passion Facade of the church and the second two are of the Nativity Facade.

Here are some pictures from the inside of the Sagrada Familia.  Notice all of the construction workers around.  It was very loud inside but really beautiful as well.

Outside the Sagrada Familia was an old school house that we toured. 

After we toured the Sagrada Familia we walked to a nearby hospital that was supposed to be really old and beautiful.  It wasn't too far and when we got there we were pleasantly surprised.  It was so pretty.

This is mainly what we did that day.  We walked around the city and explored some more but unfortunately didn't take any pictures. 

July 21, 2010

Day 6 - Travel day between Madrid and Barcelona

On Tuesday, May 25th, was spent mostly traveling between Madrid and Barcelona.  Our train out of Madrid left at 12:30pm and we had to be at the train station by 11:45am.  We got up early that morning to make sure we were able to shower, finish packing, and be out of the room by 11:30am.  We weren't sure how we were going to get to the train station with all of our stuff but eventually we decided to take a taxi instead of trying to brave the subway in the middle of the afternoon.

We made it to Barcelona at around 3pm.  The train station connected directly to the subway station (the train in Madrid was this way too) and we decided to try to navigate our way via subway to our hotel.  I knew which subway stop to get off on but I was unsure of exactly how to get to our hotel from there.  I checked the hotel website before we came to Spain and found out that the hotel was tucked back away from the street and kind of hard to find.  We ended up walking for a while and were unable to find it.  I eventually stopped in to another hotel and asked for directions.  We really weren't far away and we found it pretty quickly.  We get to the hotel and check in and take our bags up to our room.  The room is small but bigger than the first room.  I did not take any photos of this room unfortunately. 

After we put down our bags we decided to go check out the Barcelona Cathedral that just happens to be right around the corner from our hotel.  The cathedral was really nice and had all the old charm that most of the churches in Spain did.  We took lots of pictures to prove it.

The front of the Cathedral of Barcelona

The enterance of the Cathedral

Some of the inside beauty

We were able to go up to the top of the church to see the construction in progress and the beautiful views of Barcelona below.  This cross is on the top of the church.

The Crypt of Saint Eulalia

We left the church around 5:30pm and headed out to look for dinner.  We ended up eating at a touristy place that had more American style food in it.  We ended up sitting next to a couple from the States and we talked before our dinner cames.  After that we just walked around the main street and found out where stuff was.  We went to the hotel room early to relax and unpack and called it an early night.

July 20, 2010

Spain Day 5 - Mom's Birthday in Malaga

As I said earlier, we were originally going to go to Malaga on Sunday the 23rd but we switched it to Monday in hopes of more things being open.  Malaga is located on the Southern coast of Spain.  We took the train there early in the morning in hopes of seeing as much as we could in our one day there.  We were unsure of what the weather was going to be like as it was on the coast but we quickly learned that it was going to be hot and humid.  We changed into our shorts from jeans as soon as we got there and set off exploring.  Outside of the train station we saw that Malaga had a tourist bus just like Madrid did so we bought one day tickets and waited for the bus.  Malaga is not a very big city so we rode the bus all the way around one time before decided where to get off.  We got off at the bullfighting museum first and decided to take a take a look around after we got some breakfast at a nearby cafe first. 

At the museum we got to see the local bullfighting ring but it was under construction so no fights were going to happen this season.  They had a small museum attached to it that had some bull heads and pictures of famous bullfighters.  It was nice to see but it didn't take very long to look at everything.

The bullfighting ring that is under construction

The sign for the museum

Bull heads hanging in the museum

After the bullfighting museum we got back on the bus.  Our next stop was the City Hall of Malaga.  This was no ordinary city hall.  The outside was an amazing piece of architecture but the inside was so beautiful and the nice security guard let us go in and take some pictures.

The front of the City Hall of Malaga

The amazing window right at the top of the stairs.  All the windows looked like this.

The foyer of the City Hall.  So pretty.  Can you imagine working there everyday?

We then made our way to the Alcazaba which is a major landmark of the city.  It's a fortress that dates back to the 700's.  There is a pathway the leads through gardens and has terraces that give you great views of the city below.  However, the place was closed on Mondays.  So much for hoping to see more on a Monday.  We did get some pictures of the outside though and it was still pretty amazing.

The Alcazaba that was closed

A fountain in the front of the Alcazaba

We got back on the bus and that's where we spent a lot of our time.  The heat was stifling and the breeze on the top story of the bus was so nice.  We did spend some time on the beach but we didn't bring a bathing suit so we just sat there.  We did take some pictures from our nice ride around the city though.

The port of Malaga

The Castillo de Gibralfaro

Playa de la Malagueta
This is where we sat and got really sunburnt

The Malagueta sign on the beach

A beautiful fountain in an intersection

The city of Malaga

A monument but I don't know what it is.  It is really pretty amongst the trees though.

We did walk around the city though for a little while.  Surprisingly there were very few tourists there.  The bus was never crowded like it was in Madrid and the streets were not that busy.  It was a really nice day but hot.  Here are some pictures of mom and I just to prove that we were there.

Me on the streets of Malaga

Mom on the streets of Malaga

We made it back to Madrid pretty late that night and we were tired.  We still had to pack up our stuff and get ready to board another train but this time to Barcelona.  We were excited but moving slow as the sun of Malaga totally kicked our butts.