Escape from everyday life !

«Something something with something special»

Vi sov litt utpå i dag og holdt nesten på å miste frokosten – som var like god som vanlig. I dag skulle vi ha den store sightseeingdagen, så etter frokost tok vi metroen til Placa de Catalunya. Der kjøpte vi billetter til Barcelona Bus Turistic på turistkontoret under Catalunyaen. Vi bestemte oss for rute Nord (rød) først, og da fikk vi med oss følgende (fra busssetet):

Plaça de Catalunya: That’s right the city center and also the connection point for all the city metropolitan communications. The square is the departing point of the most important streets and avenues such as the Rambla, Rambla Catalunya, Passeig de Gràcia… It was built in 1927, works undertaken by Francesc Nebot. The surface is 50.000 m2, comparable to other big squares like San Pietro di Roma. The most appreciated characteristics are the gardens and fountains. But the stairs and sculptures such as that of Francesc Macià are remarkable.

Casa Batlló- Fundació Antoni Tàpies: The Passeig de Gràcia links the Plaça de Catalunya with the old village of Gràcia (from which it gets its name). Since the construction of the Eixample, important urban planning project designed by Cerdà in the 19th century, it has been a district of the city. At this stop, you will find some of the finest examples of Catalonia ‘s home-grown art nouveau movement modernisme, such as the Casa Batlló (UNESCO World Heritage), Antoni Gaudí’s unique and outstanding architectural jewel, which was built between 1904 and 1906. More than just a building, it has become a legend of the art and architecture of all time. This year marks its centenary. Now you can visit the mezzanine floor, which contains the former apartments of the Batlló family, and the building’s most magical spaces, such as the attic and rooftop with its undulating chimneys. Nearby is the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, housed in another interesting building of early Modernisme that the artist himself crowned with an extremely original wire sculpture. Inside, you can discover the creative trajectory of Tàpies, one of the greatest exponents of contemporary art.

Passeig de Gràcia – La Pedrera: The Casa Milà, popularly known as «La Pedrera» (the Catalan word for stone quarry), was built by Gaudí between 1906 and 1910. It is a mature work, and the architectural genius has imprinted the movement of the waves onto the imposing stone façade, with its multiform wrought iron balconies. The visit to this amazing building includes the exhibition about Gaudí’s work on the top floor, the incredible roof space and the recreation of a period apartment. On the Passeig de Gràcia, stop to take a look at two unusual elements: the hexagonal paving stones, designed by Gaudí, and the magnificent benches and street lamps that line both sides of the avenue. Close by La Pedrera, you will find the Museu Egipci de la Fundació Arqueològica Clos, with its holdings of Egyptian art and artefacts. It is the only museum of its kind in Spain, and takes visitors on an interesting thematic tour of the civilisation of the Pharaohs. It is also an information, study and research centre. UNESCO has declared La Pedrera as a World Heritage.

Sagrada Família: The Sagrada Família is the only «Cathedral» in the world which is still under construction. It is only funded by churchgoers and devotees, and through ticket revenue from visitors like you. It is Gaudí’s dream, to which he devoted much of his life. At the time of his death in 1926, only one of the towers had been completed. The continuation of Gaudí’s project has become an unmistakable symbol of Barcelona , not just because of its spectacular size, but because it also reveals the spirit of a city which always been committed to building its future. Walk from here up the Avinguda Gaudí, a pedestrian boulevard which leads to the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, another of Barcelona’s modernista buildings.

The Sagrada Família

Gràcia: The old district of Gràcia was an independent town until 1897, the year it was amalgamated into Barcelona. The urban layout of the neighbourhood, with its narrow streets and small squares, contrasts with the grid layout of the Eixample district. Today, Gràcia retains the village atmosphere of bygone years and, at the same time, is one of the most popular neighbourhoods with young people. Traditional shops stand side by side with unique bars and restaurants, and houses featuring outstanding examples of Catalan art-nouveau architecture, such as Gaudí’s Casa Vicens and Domènech i Montaner’s Casa Fuster. The lively atmosphere of the neighbourhood culminates with its main festival – the festa major – held in mid-August.

Park Güell: The Park Güell is named after Gaudí’s great patron, Count Eusebi Güell. Although initially planned as a residential garden city in the English style (hence the name «Park»), the initiative was unsuccessful and only one showhouse was built, like the one which was Gaudí’s home and today houses the museum devoted to the architect. Finally, Güell donated the park to the Municipal Council in 1923 and since then it has belonged to the municipality and been a unique public park enjoying a prime location. Nowhere else so successfully integrates Gaudí’s work into nature: his main source of inspiration. It was declared World Heritage in 1984 by the UNESCO.

Tramvia Blau – Tibidabo: Two charming means of transport await you: the Tramvia Blau, or blue tram, a much-loved jewel of the past which is still running, and the Funicular, which connects with the former and covers the final steep stretch up the mountain. Theese two will led you to Tibidabo, the oldest amusement park in Barcelona (1899). Nowadays it occupies 70.000m2, offering about 30 attractions. Next to the park is the Sagrat Cor Church, modernistic temple neogothic inspired. The temple was started in 1902 by Enric Sagnier and works lasted 60 years. Frederic Marés was the author of the monumental sculpture located at the top of the church. Other interest attractions at the Tibidabo are La Torre de Collserola and The Science Museum.

Vi bestemte oss for å undersøke vitenskapsmuseet CosmoCaixa, så vi hoppet av bussen på Tramvia Blau – Tibidabo. Vi ventet på at den blå trikken skulle komme, men det gjorde den ikke. I stedet kom det en vanlig buss som fraktet oss til toppen – eller det vi trodde var toppen. Vi skjønte raskt at toppen ikke var der og at en annen trikk/jernbane skulle frakte oss de siste metrene opp til toppen. Vel oppe på toppen oppdaget vi at vitenskapsmuseet var mye lengre ned og at der oppe var kun en kirke som kunne besøkes.

Tibidabo
Tibidabo

Fornøyelsesparken var også stengt selvfølgelig. Så vi gikk litt rundt der før vi kjørte ned igjen. Vitenskapsmuseet ligger bare tre – fire hundre meter fra der vi stanset med turistbussen, men det var da en fin tur opp til toppen av Barcelona.

Vel fremme på vitenskapsmuseet kjøpte vi oss litt mat, ettersom vi begge var litt sultne. En pils, en cola, en chipspose og en berlinerbolle senere ruslet vi inn i museet. Mange tekniske duppeditter gjorde besøket verdt pengene, selv om det mot slutten ble litt mye vitenskap. Vi avsluttet besøket og kom oss ned til turistbussen og videre på dagens guiding.

Submarine
Submarine
CosmoCaixa
CosmoCaixa

Sarrià: Sarrià, just like the neighbourhood of Gràcia, was also an independent town before it became part of Barcelona in 1897. If you get off at this stop you can discover the old part of Sarrià, whose historic value remains unchanged. Today it is the heart of the neighbourhood, where you will find the market, the church and the town hall. The atmosphere of the squares, where there are weekly book and antiques fairs, the pedestrian streets with their typical shops, and the variety of small restaurants, make this area the perfect place for a stroll. The cake shops in the neighbourhood are renowned throughout the city, and with good reason.

Monestir de Pedralbes – Col.lecció Thyssen: Located at Pedralbes Avenue, next to the Creu de Pedralbes. The church and the monastery were built in the XIV century and they are totally gothic. The compound is formed by a backyard, where we can find a beautiful garden and a renaissance draw-well. Inside the building, there is the monastery museum, with enshrine medieval painting and sculpture collections. There is also an important Thyssen collection, which is one of the most complete exhibitions in the world, acquired by the Spanish State.

Palau Reial: A royal palace was built in 1924 for the then king, Alfonso XIII, long before the university colleges and faculties which stand on either side of this stretch of the Avinguda Diagonal. The palace is set in beautiful gardens and houses two unique and interesting museums: the Museu de les Arts Decoratives, which is devoted to the decorative arts, and the Museu de la Ceràmica, which showcases ceramics ranging from Arabic glazed wares to pieces by Picasso and Miró. Nearby are the Pavellons de la Finca Güell, the two gatehouses which were the first commission Gaudí undertook for his patron Eusebi Güell. The gatehouses, which stand at the entrance to the Güell family estate, were the home of the caretaker and also housed the stables. The magnificent iron railings in the shape of a dragon fiercely protect the estate.

Futbol Club Barcelona: This stop is a must for all football lovers: the place where players such as Kubala, Cruyff, Maradona and Ronaldinho have made footballing history. Since Hans Gamper founded the club in 1899, the story of the club has gone way beyond a mere passion for football, extending its influence to all corners of society throughout the country. The trophy cases of the Museu FC Barcelona showcase the impressive list of achievements of one of the clubs in the world which have won the most titles. If you sign up for a guided tour, you can also discover some of the secrets of the Camp Nou stadium: the dressing rooms, the director’s box, the pitch… The FCBotiga Megastore covers a surface area of over 2,000 m2 and sells all the official Barcelona merchandise.

Francesc Macià-Diagonal: This square, which is named after the former president of the Catalan government, Francesc Macià, is one of the city’s most elegant shopping and business areas. The most famous internacional brands have their boutiques on this part of the Diagonal, which is part of the city’s shopping line. The Turó Park, which is near this square, maintains the charm of the early thirties when ¡t was opened. A statue of Pau Casals, the world’s best- known Catalan musician, stands at the entrance. The avenue which links the Diagonal to the park is named after him.

Ved Francesc Macià-Diagonal byttet vi til rute Sør (blå). Men før det var vi innom Starbucks og kjøpte oss kaffe, eller det vi trodde var kaffe. Vidar fikk egentlig det han bestilte, en kaffe med smak, mens Marielle fikk en is! Det var vel ikke egentlig det vi bestilte.

Starbucks
Starbucks

Etter «kaffen» gikk vi bort på en fastfoodrestaurant, Patstafiore Tarradellas, som serverte take-away pasta. Maten var ikke all verden, men det var da mat. Vi spiste i alle fall en Rigatonis Bolonesa og en Rigtonis Carbonara og skylte det hele ned med et par cola. Fra en kiosk på gaten kjøpte vi en cola og en pose chips før vi var på vei videre med guidingen på blå rute.

Estació de Sants: You’ll find it at Plaça dels Paísos Catalans. Trains to surrounding towns, regional destinations as well as the French border. Next to it is Parc de l’Espanya Industrial, with its small lake surrounded with stairs, bridges, and its watch towers, as well as Sant Jordi’s iron dragon (by Andrés Nagel). Next to it is a park dedicated to Joan Miró, with the famous and colourful sculpture la «Dona i l’ocell» (the Lady and the Bird)

Creu coberta: The Carrer de la Creu Coberta, which connects the Plaça d’Espanya with the Carrer de Sants, is the main artery in the Sants district. It was formerly a rural area on the Barcelona plain, which became an industrial suburb during the 19th century and was annexed to the city in 1897. The district was the site of the city’s first textile mills and major factories: one of them, the Vapor Vell, is now a major public library, and the site of the factory, the Espanya Industrial, is now a city park. From this stop you can discover one of the city’s most popular shopping areas. The Sants district has the charm of a genuine neighbourhood with the market as its focus and many shops around it.

Plaça d’Espanya: 1929 International Exhibition changed the City, and example of such a change are Plaça d’Espanya, with its twin Venetian towers, Avenida de María Cristina (rebuilt in 1985); Palau de Victoria Eugenia i Alfons XIII (1923); Mies van der Rohe’s building or Palau Nacional, where MNAC is found (Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya). At Av. María Cristina are the trade fair premises (Fira de Barcelona) and Palau d’Exposicions i Congressos where all year round are held important fairs and congresses. Remarkable are, at the end of the avenue, the Montjuïc fountains, which offer on special occasions a water, light and music show quite unique.

CaixaFòrum-Mies van der Rohe: CaixaForum, the social and cultural centre of the «La Caixa» Foundation, is housed in a former textile mill built in 1911 and designed by the modernista architect Puig i Cadafalch. Following the painstaking restoration of the building, it now hosts a wide variety of interesting cultural activities and exhibitions. It also showcases a rotating exhibition of works from the Foundation’s contemporary art collection, one of the most important in Europe . The Pavilion Mies van der Rohe is the germany nacional pavilion designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition is a key reference for the 20th century architecture for its structural simplicity, the creation of free inner spaces and the use of basic and elegant materials, such as marble, glass or iron. You can also see the Barcelona Chair, which Mies van der Rohe created exclusively for the pavilion, as well as the sculpture Dawn by Georg Kolbe. The Fundació Mies van der Rohe is responsible for the preservation of the pavilion since it was rebuilt in 1986.

Poble Espanyol: It was built for the International Exhibition on 1929. The aim of this building it was to show the best examples of popular spanish arquitecture. That’s a work from Francesc Folguerola and Ramon Raventós and that’s surrounded by a replica of the Avila walls. There are two musuems in the park: The musuem of Arts, industry and popular traditions and the museum of graphic arts. The first one has an ethnologic value and the second one shows us the graphic enginery.

Anella Olímpica-MNAC: It has built for the olimpic games on 1992. Next to that there are also a set of sports instalations; palau Sant Jordi, work from the japanes arquitect Arata Isozaki, which is a multifunctional pavillion where a lot of different activities can be hold. It has a capacity of 17000 people. We can also distinguish the Picornell pools, built on 1970, and reformed later for the Olimpic Games. The Art Nacional Museum of Catalonia (MNAC) holds very important paint and sculpture collections of the medieval, renaissance, and baroque periods. We can distinguish the romanic and gothic paintings.

Fundació Joan Miró: It connects with the Avenue Miramar cable car and it takes you to the Montjuic Castle. Where you can apreciate a good panoramic view of the city and of the harbour. The Miro fundation was inaugurated on 1975 and it offers one of the best collections of the contemprany art of the world, a part of the permanent exhibition of Miró. The musuem was enlarged on 1988 by the arquitect Jaume Freixa. The fundation also provides rooms appropiated for culturals activities, conferences, congresses, cinema, music, theatre….

Funicular de Montjuïc: The Montjuïc Funicular is the most environmentally friendly, economical and quickest way to get to Barcelona’s true green lung: Montjuïc Park. From this stop, in the summer, you can visit the swimming pool on Montjuíc and have a swim while enjoying spectacular views of Barcelona. Also from here it takes just two minutes to travel to the city centre with the Funicular. This unusual means of transport, which was inaugurated for the 1929 International Exhibition, was completely modernised for the 1992 Olympic Games. The funicular connects with the Paral·lel metro station and is part of the integrated transport tariff which enables passengers to use the entire public transport network with just one ticket. The most convenient and environmentally friendly link between the city and the Montjuïc.

Vi hadde planlagt å avslutte guidingen med en tur med kabelvognen som går fra Montjuïc og ned til havnen. Dessverre kom vi tre minutter for sent! Dermed måtte vi nøye oss med en pils hver på Miramar og noen bilder før vi hoppet på bussen som guidet oss ned til La Rambla.

Miramar-Jardins Costa i Llobera: At the avenue Marques de Comillas there is this institution dedicated to the study of the botany and ecology. It has a library specialzed on that theme. We can find more than 600.000 plants from all around the world and more than thousand species are hold on its botanic garden. Mirarmar has been of the best romantic and specials places for viewing Barcelona. lf you want to experience even dizzier heights you can take the cable car from here down to port.

World Trade Center: The emblematic «World Trade Center» business complex is composed of four buildings, one of which houses a luxury hotel, distributed around a central plaza. Built by the team of architects of the famous pyramid of the Louvre in Paris, its form brings to mind a ship, getting wider as it rises from the ground. This effect is strengthened by the location of the complex at the end of the pier, almost as if it were floating in the water. In addition to offices, an auditorium and other business services, there is also a shopping center and several restaurants. The steel tower that rises in the center of the pier is the station of the aerial tramway, the red cable cars that run between Miramar and Barceloneta, crossing the entire port high in the air. Between the ferry terminals stands the enormous tubular sculpture composed of seven steel structures that suggest waves on the sea, work of the artist Andreu Alfaro from Valencia.

Colón – La Rambla: That’s a monument dedicated to a Cristobal Colon. That’s at the end of the Rambles and it longs 51,30m. That’s a work from Gaietà Buigas I Monravà, built on 1886. A lift connect the base of the monument with the superior viewer, where we can appreciate great viewers. Right in front of Colon there are the «Golondrines» which you can take them for going round the Olimpic Port and the harbour. Next to the Colon statue there is the Royals Drassanes were nowadays there is the Maritim Museum of Barcelona.

Etter rundreisen var planen å spise middag. Vi ruslet litt oppover La Rambla og tenkte at vi skulle spise i El Raval området i dag også. Vi tok dessverre av for tidlig og havnet midt i hore- og fattigmannstrøket. Vi ble relativt nervøse av alle de «skumle» typene som hang på hjørnene, så vi kom oss raskt inn på La Rambla igjen. Vi fant igjen det området som vi vandret i dagen før og havnet etter hvert på et sted som het Dos Trece.

Restauranten hadde i følge Marielle en «kul fantastisk smårevolusjonær radikal atmosfære». Her spise Marielle «Costillas de cordero a la plancha con patatas fritas caseras y ensalada verde», som er grillet lam med hjemmelagde poteter og en liten salat. Til det drakk hun en Cosmopolitan drink og «Vinos Cantara», som var dette husets vin. Vidar spiste «Pescado del dia al vino blanco, ajo limon, romero, boñiato y ensalada», som var dagens fisk med en vinsaus, hvitløk, sitron, rosmarin, babypoteter og en grønn salat. Han drakk også husets vin og en Caipirinha. Til dessert spiste Marielle en «Tarta casera de chocolate caliente con helando de vainilla», som var varm hjemmelaget sjokoladekake med vaniljeis. Vidar spiste en «Tarta casera de plátano caliente con helado de coco», som var varm banankake med kokosnøttis.

Det ble etterhvert flere drinker, og her er en oversikt over de ulike vi drakk:

  • Marielle: Moscow freecooler (vodka, sweet ‘n soury lime, gingeale, mint).
  • Vidar: Negrosky (vodka, campari, Martini Rosse) – smakte helt forjæ#@€¤.
  • Marielle: Mamas Vision (tequila, licor de mora, licor de cassis, lima)
  • Vidar: Fidel Castro (rom, lime, gingerale).
  • Som en avsluttende drink bad vi om at de skulle mikse en god drink til oss, og servitøren vår kom da tilbake med noe grønt. Da vi spurte om hva det var, svarte han: «Something something with something special». Vi fant ut etter hvert at det var en Dostrece (vodka, kiwi, azucar, pamelo).

I løpet av kvelden ble vi spurt av de som satt ved nabobordet om hvor vi kom fra. De hadde hørt oss snakke og le masse, og de trodde vi kom fra Nederland, eller kanskje litt lengre nord. Marielle har lenge lurt på hvordan norsk høres ut for utlendinger, og da fikk hun svar på det. Etter restauranten vandret vi mot Placa de Catalunya for å fange den siste metroen hjem, men den hadde selvfølgelig gått. Vi stoppet på McDonalds og spiste en meny m/øl før vi danset oss over Catalunyaen. Marielle fant frem til riktig nattbuss, og litt fingerspråk, en god dose sjarm og litt promille var alt som skulle til for å få oss hjem den natten.



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