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    Barcelona, Spain – the must-see Tourist Attractions

    I just had to share with you the other places we saw that were amazing. This will be my last post about Barcelona, I promise.

    Sagrada Familia: No question, this place is incredible.

    Park Gaule: Fantastic place to wander, watch the parrots and take a picnic.

    The La Boqueria Food Market, off Las Ramblas (a tourist attraction in it’s own right):

    Take a half day trip to Montserrat – you can do this easily by train or with a coach tour:

    Nb: Definately catch the Furnicular/Cog Train up to the Monastery:

    Listen to the oldest established boy choir in Europe and explore the Monserrat Basilica:

     

    Explore Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter – discover all some of the nooks and crannies:

    Check out the Barcelona Cathedral:

    … say ‘Hey’ to the 13 Geese there

    See some Picasso artworks in the Museum and on the buildings:

     

     Above all, enjoy the amazing weather, the tasty Tapas, Slurp Sangria and relax. We also managed one of our 101 in 1001 – no phones, no internet for 4 days.

    Really good Tip: Pickpockets are rife on the Metro; don’t have you valuables easy to snatch, try and keep to the middle of the tube trains (Pickpockets tend to haunt the ends as they can get away quick) and above keep a really good eye out. If someone stands really close to you or asks something out of the ordinary (especially in English) be really aware that they may be pick pockets.

    We really enjoyed Barcelona, it’s a great city break.


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    Barcelona, Spain and the glory of Gaudi

    We started with a walking tour of Gaudi’s most famous works and our tour guide asked us: Genius or Madman? (Warning, you may want to make a cup of tea and get a biscuit, this is quite a photo heavy post, sorry!)

    Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926) was a Spanish Catalan architect and figurehead of Catalan Modernism. His architecture reflected his passions of architecture, nature and religion. (Wikipedia)

    He created/modified some of the most amazing buildings, using nature as a basis for everything he designed. The Sagrada Familia was his masterpiece, and is still not finished nearly 100 years after his death, even though he spent the last 12 years of his life exclusively working on it.

    Casa Batlló (1904–1906): My only regret of the holiday – running out of time to see the internal rooms of this house.

    Casa Milà, better known as La Pedrera (1906–1910):

    Gaudi’s one and only public commission: two lamp posts in the Plaça Reial

    La Sagrada Família: we took 5 hours to wander around. It’s really funny, we meant to spend a couple of hours max (including the tower tour) but it just sucked us in. Hint: book your entry tickets online in advance – the entry queues are phenomenal otherwise, and book your tower tour when enter the site.

    The Passion Facade:

     

    The Nativity Facade

     

    Up the on the bridge between the Nativity Facade towers:

    Park Güell: (great views over Barcelona, and fantastic to take a picnic to)

    Sorry that was so Photo heavy – the buildings were just out of this world. I think he was both a genius and a madman – you have to be both to be great I think.

    We also took a walking tour whilst there with Running Bean Tours, who show you around the city (but don’t include internal tours) who work on a no fee basis – you tip the guide how much you think they earned. They have a Gaudi tour, and an Old Town tour. It was great.
     

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    Barcelona, Spain – Sangria, sunshine and the Sagrada Familia

    Founded by Hercules, (or Hamilcar Barca depending on who you ask) is a city with a rich cultural footprint and by and large, great weather. We have just returned from a 4-day city break there, enjoying exploring it’s twists and turns.

    Favourite memories include;

    Sun, Siestas, Gaudi, Sagrada Familia, Spanglish, Views, The Mediterranian, Unplanned Picnics, Chess!?, Sangria, Monasteries above the clouds, Paella, Gothic Architecture, Flan and more sunshine.

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    Cultural Differences

     

    One of the downsides to living in London – the amazing weather elsewhere in the world;

    We’ve gone from sitting this morning in an 11th Century Catalonian Mountain Monastery under a cloudless blue sky in 26°C sunshine…

     

    to 10°C rain. Welcome back to London.

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    Mort – Book and Theatre Review

    I have a confession to make. I am a huge Terry Pratchett fan. I love his combination of fantasy, wit and comments on life.

    His fourth book is Mort is a witty, cynical parody romp through perils of a first job, but this is a first job with a difference – Mort’s boss is Death himself. We’ve all experienced first days, but at least our first day’s couldn’t destroy the very fabric of reality. “As Death’s apprentice, he’ll have free board and lodging, use of the company horse, and he won’t need time off for family funerals. The position is everything Mort thought he’d ever wanted until he discovers that this perfect job can be a killer on his love life.”

    With great character development of Death (an otherwise shadowy bit-figure in the Discworld Series), once Mort thinks he gets the hang of being a Grim Reaper, Death takes a working holiday discovering dancing, drinking and his skills as a short-order chef until – inevitably – he has to be summoned back to fix the problems that compassionate Mort causes.

    What I liked there is a rich seam of British humour running through all of Terry Pratchett’s books, and this is no exception. With some fabulous one-liners, but a saddening dearth of footnotes, and footnotes of footnotes (my favourite part of Terry Pratchett books) it’s a great easy read, that has you laughing out loud.

    The only problem is it is a wee bit patchy with a couple of spectacular leaps in the narrative, but it’s such a crazy idea in the first place, all is easily forgiven.

    Mort: (Discworld Novel 4): A Discworld Novel (Discworld Novels)

    Terry Pratchett

    What I really loved: Mort the Musical

    Photo Credit: Rose Theatre Kingston

    Yeah, you read that right! One of my work colleagues (another bookworm) mentioned in passing that she was going to see Mort: The Musical, and I had to go, dragging hubby all the way. Whilst the edges were a bit raw, it was so much light-hearted fun. Brought to the stage by Jenifer Toksvig and performed by Youth Music Theatre UK’s production, it’s neat little adaptation of the book. As ever, it doesn’t cover the whole book but to be honest I didn’t expect it to.

    With some amazing prop use, and a few natty dance numbers & songs, we grinned from start to finish. They way it’s been adapted was also quite successful – leaving in enough ‘in-jokes’ to keep the Pratchett fans happy, but un-convoluted enough to appease the non-fans (read better halves dragged along).

    (Please note any links to Amazon are through my Amazon Associates account, which means I make a little money (less than 5%)
    from any purchases made after clicking through these links without adding any cost to your purchase. This helps support
    my book addiction, so if you are interested in buying the book, please click through the top link)

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