A third and final blog on my quick trip to Barcelona (a couple of days of sightseeing and one day of work). I hope you enjoy the pictures. After a career full of wonderful experiences and opportunities, I am very grateful and always some surprised that I might have something to say that would be of interest to others. And being able to do that in Barcelona, well, that’s some wonderful. As far as providing information of interest to others, I haven’t seen the participants’ evaluations so who knows.
Four thoughts on travel to (from North America) and a visit to Barcelona:
- Flight Itinerary. If you consider a flight itinerary that sees you transfer from, say, La Guardia airport to Newark International when travelling, try to avoid it. You go through downtown Manhattan as you transfer and even on a Sunday afternoon, the traffic is a nightmare. I had almost three hours between flights and it took two hours to get picked up and across town. Have you ever transferred between the three main airports around NYC? Perhaps you have some knowledge about rapid transit you could share.
- Gaudi’s Barcelona. While there are many places you can visit buildings that were designed by Barcelona’s most famous architect, Antoni Gaudi, I was only able to visit the Sagrada Familia in my limited time there. I received a valuable tip from friends who had just visited Barcelona. Buy an admission ticket on-line beforehand. Great idea for even in a somewhat off-season (October), the line for tickets was almost three blocks long. Those who had pre-purchased tickets had to wait less than 10 minutes to enter.
I chose the self-guided audio tour and would recommend it. There’s plenty written about the Basilica that you can find online. Of note, the construction began in 1882 and this year (2012), the construction is only 60% complete. I have toured churches, cathedrals, basilicas in a number of countries and found the interior of this basilica to be breathtaking. Gaudi believed in providing diffused light and rather than the dark interior you often see, this church is bright and airy. The ceiling is magnificent. A sunny day makes it even more amazing. My pictures don’t do it justice but there are plenty of images available online.
3. St. Josep Market and environs. Worth a visit. It’s just off La Rambla, an impressive pedestrian mall in old Barcelona. Hint: make sure you ask how much things cost if the prices aren’t posted (says she who paid what seemed to be a lot for a few sweets).
Have you been to Barcelona? What your favourite spots and memories?