Resort at Pedregal | Cabo San Lucas
Galapagos | Lindblad Expeditions
Wharekauhau Lodge | New Zealand
Chief's Camp | Botswana
Peninsula | Hong Kong
Le Laperouse Ship | Ponant


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We were up early for a very nice breakfast at the hotel and off on the tour to Montserrat, about an hour out of Barcelona.   Other than the munchkin room; the hotel is very nice, and the staff is very friendly and helpful.

Some impressions on the way out of the city....

Mornings start late here, not many stores are open as we head out after 9:00 AM.  The Spaniards are late to rise and very late to retire!

Most of the streets are divided, with wide paseos that have trees, flowers and benches. There, you see the walkers, joggers, and the few early morning risers sitting out enjoying the morning.

Barcelona has beautiful architecture that varies from section to section of the city but unfortunately there is much graffiti everywhere.

In the last few years, most of my trips have been to third world countries; so, it is interesting to see a modern, thriving city with up to date amenities.

The public bathrooms, especially the toilet paper, have improved 100% since  I was here in the 70's.

Bullfighting has been outlawed in Catalonia the providence of Barcelona.  It is still allowed in some parts of Spain and southern France. The old bullring is now a shopping mall.

Montserrat is a huge mountain with beautiful stone formations and fantastic views of the surrounding countryside.  Other than the stone formations a claim to fame is the Benedict Abbey, Santa María de Montserrat, which houses the Virgin of Montserrat, called the Black Virgin.

In year 880 there was a vision from God which led to the discovery of the Virgin in a grotto since then, the site has been sacred. 

We went from the Montserrat Tour directly to the Orange Line Hop On Hop Off bus to see the rest of Barcelona.

Barcelona is the number one port for Mediterranean cruise ships.  Plaza Catalonia is the nerve center of the commercial city.  It is interesting that all the industries were relocated outside the city.  When buildings are demolished the chimneys are left to show the locations.  There are many sticking up around the city.

We went to Monjuić Mountain which is an integral part of the  Miramar Gardens.  This area affords a beautiful panoramic view of the whole city. This is the area of the 1992 Olympic Games with the stadium.

There are many interesting streets with museums, shopping centers, the Plaza of Colón (Columbus), the MNAC Museum and too many other places to mention here.

Once again we saw the facade of Casa Milà, which is popularly known as La Pedrera, a house that Gaudí built for a client. It is considered one of his greatest works.  The stone facade suggests the movement of the waves.  Unfortunately it is covered in scaffolding.  We did not enter.

On the Block of Discord (an avenue) there are three houses built by famous architects; the houses are famous for their disharmony.  Casa Batlló is one of Gaudí's most characteristic works.  The facade is topped by ceramic tiles reminiscent of fish scales.   The other houses were built by Joseph Puigi Cadafach and Lluís Domènech.  

For the sports fans, we stopped at the FC Barcelona Stadium which is the "futbol" (we call it soccer) team of Barcelona.

After a full day, back to the “munchkin" room to find we had free drink tickets to the rooftop bar.  What a surprise that was!   A lovely outside bar that overlooked a large part of the city had an infinity swimming pool.  What a pleasant way to start out the evening.  Guess a munchkin room has some advantages.

We had a typical Spanish dinner at a little outdoor restaurant called Cheese near the hotel.  A real bargain for 15 euros each plus wine and pepsi.  Actually the very different Cesar salad with whipped parmesan cheese was interesting.  We both had a very favorable steak plus a great baked potato.  Fun times in Barcelona!! 

Off to bed...after all....tomorrow is another day.  Who knows what the day will bring???

Buenas noches from Barcelona.


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