When we stopped to take a look at our surroundings from the Ferry Terminal, we saw a hill in the distance and as per usual, we make it our mission to conquer it. Unfortunately there was a lack of street signage so we relied our phone map to find our way. Equivalent to about 50 floors, we weaved our to the top and discover an interesting historical site. Not a castle, as the title states, this a military fortress that dates back to the 1600s.
We could have taken the gondola but we always find that part of the fun in reaching a destination, is how you get there.
From the ferry terminal, we see the hill
External Surroundings and Gardens
Interior of the Fortress
The Terrace and Watchtower
From the hill, we see the Ferry Terminal that started this whole thing
We start our 1.2 km walk down Las Ramblas at the northern point of Placa de Catalunya and end at Mirador de Colom at the southern point. I’m assuming that being February, there wasn’t much happening along this supposedly famous boulevard. Crowds and crowds of people was the only thing we experienced. Maybe my expectations were too high. However, I did enjoy watching the children with the pigeons.
Placa de Catalunya
Some sights along the way
Mirador de Colom and Museu Maritim de Barcelona
Carrying on the Gaudi architecture, we visit Parc Guell. After a slow climb up Carmel Hill, we find the public park in the residential neighborhood of La Salut. It wasn’t until after we departed the park, we discovered an outdoor escalator that would have saved us from climbing the equivalent of 40 stories.
We found the park interesting with unusual landscaping. However, we shouldn’t have been surprised with Gaudi. As per our usual style, we opted to stay outside the pay area to avoid the crowds.
Turo de les Tres Creuse – located just south edge of the park. It is the highest point of the park. Due to the discovery of prehistoric remains, Gaudi built a monument instead of a planned chapel.
Some areas were under renovations which gave us limited access
The avoided pay area. Everyone jostling for a view.
Background music during the visit
More background music
Gaudi House Museum
Casa Marti Trias
The view from a residential area
Either you hate it or you love it. I’m stuck in the middle…I can’t say I hate it but I can’t say I love it.
So many detailed creations, it would take all day to see it all. Hopefully, I captured enough photos to appreciate the workmanship. I recommend to take the time to look at each photo to see all the detail. It wasn’t until I started sorting through the pictures before I realized how intricate it was.
Construction started in 1882 and anticipate the completion by 2026, 100 years after the architect’s death. Gaudi’s architectural plans, which were partially destroyed in the Spanish Civil War, are being redrawn, using today’s technology.
With the long line-up to get in, we decided to stay external.
As we make our way back to the train station from the beach, I captured a few photos of how lovely this place is.
Eateries on the edge of the beach
A large plaza outside of the Casino. Casa Carbonell in the background left (a historical residential landmark). We make our way to the end of the plaza where we find Explandada de Espana.
Explandada de Espana, a large walkway along the Mediterranean
The curved tiles on the Explanada gives an illusion that you are not walking on a flat surface
Moving away from the coastline we come across Av. Federico Soto, a pedestrian boulevard that runs North/South from the beach to the inner city
Even the garbage containers are pretty
Seeing the beach and the sea from the castle, we were intrigued and made it our mission as a destination. When we made our departure, we discovered a complimentary elevator ride that took us down the hill. Once we exited the elevator, we walked through a narrow tunnel that ended at the beach.
Looking back up at the castle, it would have been interesting walk down. Good thing we discovered the elevator, otherwise I’m sure we’d still be wandering around somewhere.
The start of a kite-surfing competition
Pretty colourful as they make their way out into the Mediterranean
It’s amazing the distance they go out
The Castillo de Santa Barbara is located on Mount Benacantil beside the Mediterranean Sea. The walk through the remains of this huge castle area was quite surreal. Well maintained to keep that historic feel, we see things that existed back in the Bronze Age. It was very thought provoking.
The slow climb up
Ruinas de la Ermita de Santa Barbara
Inside the main entrance, wall displays different coat of arms that presided
There was a sign that says this was the oven in the kitchen
Ruinas de la Tahona – the grain mill
A wonderful outdoor resting place where we took a break with a cool drink
Macho del Castillo
Tunnel to the elevator that would take us to the Beach