Barcelona, Spain (3) – Las Ramblas

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

 

Vendors

 

Mirador de Colom and Museu Maritim de Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain (2) – Parc Guell

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

 

 

Barcelona, Spain (1) – La Sagrada Familia

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alicante, Spain (4) – From the Beach to the Station

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alicante, Spain (3) – Kite Surfing on the Mediterranean

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

 

 

 

 

Alicante, Spain (2) – Castillo de Santa Barbara

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Palm Fig

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Alicante, Spain (1) – From Mount Benacantil

Unlike our past holidays where we would partake in about half dozen days trips, Alicante was the only day-trip we took this time around.  A short two hour train ride south of Valencia, it was no brainer to visit this community.  However, what I thought was going to be a small lazy village along the Mediterranean ended up being a large city full of active life.

The slow climb on Mount Benacantil to Castillo de Santa Barbara awarded us with stunning views of Alicante.  We start by looking northwest and working around clock-wise 360 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The yard of Castell de la Santa Barbara in the immediate foreground and the neighborhood of Cap de l’Horta in the distance

 

 

A solitary boat against a gorgeous turquoise mediterranean

 

 

At first we thought these were surfboards, later to discover they are kites

 

 

Tall residential highrises along the beach

 

 

There are a number of casinos along the marina…fancy boats and gambling

 

 

Behind the tall tower (which is the Estudiotel Hotel) is the train terminal.  That is where we started the visit and that is where we will end the visit.  It was a 14km day for us that included a climb equivalent to 34 floors (at least that’s what my phone says).