Park Güell

One of the appeals of returning to Barcelona once again is to finally make a visit to Park Güell, another place I missed during my last visit to the city.

I schedule my visit at the opening so I can maybe have a visit that isn’t uncomfortably crowded.

My travel instructions have me exit at the metro stop at the bottom of the hill. I am not excited about a morning sweat.

Once at the top of the hill, I am still early and I have views of the city.

Once inside the park you can stay inside as long as you want but to see some of the more fabulous features of the park you must visit in one direction only. I start my visit by heading to the most popular spots. I am not completely alone but I have photos mostly void of people that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

Like anything these days it gets more busy as the day goes on so I visit all the highlights, sometimes multiple times, and then leave. I imagine at one time this might have been a great place for a picnic, when perhaps the crowds were not as bad.

After my visit to Parc Guell I decide to walk back towards my hotel since I want to explore the artsy neighborhood of Gràcia.

Beautiful Tree on my walk back

I still have half a day left so on the walk back I detour over to another of Gaudì’s works – Casa Vicens. This house is the first important commission he received, said to even begin Modernisme movement in Catalonia and Europe. I am just pleased to view the interesting tile choices and wild ceilings that are in almost all the rooms. Its current layout is different than its original configuration since it is now used as an event and exhibit space.

The classy gal I am, I decided to try a local delicacy. (Well not really since it is worldwide chain and I might have fallen to peer pressure to take a picture “for the gram”.)

Finished the evening at wandering around Las Ramblas. I head back to my hotel with the most confusing lobby. You can only tell the elevator is there because I catch the door partially open in a photo. Tomorrow I visit the inside of another of Gaudì’s great works, La Sagrada Familia.

Arrived in Barcelona, land of dance

Bulla ‘N ‘Barna festival

I’ve been to Barcelona once before: the trip started off well but my then husband and I soon developed some kind of gastrointestinal illness and were hotel bound the rest of our visit. I always vowed to someday return and explore all that I had missed. Therefore this visit is a little bit of a make-up trip. My immune system feels good so far so looking forward to the next couple days in Barcelona.

I arrive in town late enough to check into my hotel to freshen up. I really have nothing on the agenda today except go watch the Sardana dance and maybe try to visit la boqueria, one of my favorite places.

I am staying once more in a nicer hotel. I like this chain, Room Mate Pau.

I wander around my hotel.

During my last visit to Barcelona I fondly remember catching the Sardana, the traditional Catalan dance. My current visit is timed just right for me to catch the dance again.

Now I head to La Boqueria via some of the Gothic Quarter.

First I stop for a pizza and a beer. I cannot resist the pizza with mortadella on it, a topping rarely seen on pizza.

Stopped by La Boqueria but most of the stalls are closed but nearby is a street party called Bulla ‘N ‘Barna put on by four local dance schools. They are doing the traditional dance of Ball de Bot. I stay here for a while to watch and buy my first vermouth in Barcelona. It is so much fun to watch all the dances.

I end the afternoon with a stroll down Las Ramblas. It is nice to just stroll with no destination in mind. Tomorrow I finally get to see the famous Park Güell.

Last hours in Girona

I am leaving Girona today to head to Barcelona. It is a quick train ride – less than an hour. Barcelona hotel check-in is later so I have some free time in Girona this morning. I take a morning walk and order a breakfast and a coffee. There is a flower market down the main shopping district. It seems like this market might have had more vendors in the past, perhaps another covid casualty?

There is a laundromat close to the hotel. This is a great opportunity to clean all my clothes one last time this trip. There is a nice view out the back window. I drop my bag with clean clothes back at the hotel to hold while I go out.

The Cinema Museum or Museu de Cinema has caught my eye so I decide to visit.

The museum starts with an introductory movie then you follow a series of interactive exhibits that build chronologically with the technical advancements.

The first exhibits are about the use of shadows.

I learn how they discover how to take images and make movement appear.

There are so many different cameras and projectors on display.

After the museum I walk around the city and notice a foam party in the park. Kids are digging it (no pictures out of respect).

I couldn’t resist one more stop at the Rocambolesc. I later discover this is an international chain so I have a feeling I’ll see this place again.

I stroll back to my hotel to grab my bag and head off to Barcelona. I will miss Girona. I like this quiet non-crowded town.

Day trip to Figueres

Dalí Theatre-Museum main atrium

Today I am taking a day trip to figueres. The draw in this small city is the El Teatro-Museo Dalí, an interactive art museum created by Salvador Dali. The museum contains traditional art pieces and some interactive pieces are coin activated or that you have to view at different angles to see the “trick” (for lack of a better word). It really is a sight to see. I spend most of today exploring the museum.

During this trip to Spain I have been booking tickets for major attractions in advance because I have feared things would sell out, but I didn’t really need to pre-book the Dali – Museum since there are tickets still available when I arrive and I end up waiting around a while for my start time – in this case I wish I would have waited until last minute.

While I am waiting I step into a nearby church and wander around the Teatro building.

Finally its time for my entry. I get to begin the wonderful Dali playhouse.

When you first enter the directions take you straight out to a courtyard where there is the first interactive exhibit. The museum quite busy inside but if you are patient enough you may get some alone time with certain exhibits. There is an order to the museum but no one really stops me when I decide to backtrack to revisit exhibits that were super crowded earlier. This exhibit, the rainy Cadillac starts a rain shower inside a Cadillac filled with mannequins when one puts a coin in the exhibit.

Naval Car. rainy cadillac

In the corridor circling the courtyard there are a number of sketches I found interesting.

In the large hall there is a picture off in the distance. When viewed up close it looks like a ladies behind from far away it looks like President Lincoln. The effect is hard to see with photos so I included a video.

There are a number of small galleries with other works of art.

Also Dali is entombed on site. You can find him in a darkened room.

One of the highlights of the museum is the Mae West room. From certain angles the room looks full of mismatched nonsense. If you climb up a set of stairs and look in just the right spot, all this nonsense forms a Mae West likeness. Initially I waited in a long line to see this effect. I later returned to the room almost empty. It pays to wander back and forth through this museum slowly.

Also in the Mae West room and other interactive rooms …

Example of artwork looking differently when reflected in metal
Photographs of Dali

Like I mentioned earlier there is no time limit so I walked through the entire museum a few times. Eventually I am tired and hungry so I find a place nearby and order an enchilada like dish.

I head back toward the train station. I’ve seen all I really want to see today in Figures.

Example of the reflection of a painting in the metal

Its been a long day. When I arrive back to Girona I don’t have it in me to walk back to my hotel from the train station. I decide this is a good time to rent a bike for the trip. It is easy enough to rent the bike and I take the same path that I walked previously. The only problem is finding a place to return the bike. The return station isn’t quite as close to my hotel as I would like.

At little later I grab a quick meal nearby. I head back to my room and enjoy the free champagne and try to figure out the room lighting system one last time. Tomorrow I make my last hotel change for this trip when I travel to Barcelona in the afternoon.


I am up early this morning in Granada. I have a flight to Barcelona and then shortly after taking a train to the city of Girona. I planned to take the cheap airport bus that arrives outside my hotel just a little down the street but that plan fell through last minute. My hotel had an outdated bus schedule because when I arrive at the bus stop this morning I realize I must have missed the bus and another doesn’t come for two hours. Since I will not make my flight on time if I wait I head back to the hotel and have them call me a taxi.

When I arrive at the Barcelona airport I don’t quite understand the instructions I have written down. Last time I was here was ten years ago and even then I was flying home and recovering from some sort of a norovirus/food poisoning. I take the wrong train initially and end up wasting a fare since I basically go to another airport terminal and then back again. Eventually I discover I have to take a regional train into Barcelona Estació Sants and switch to take my train to Girona. Luckily there are many trains daily to Girona so I don’t have to stress about missing one. Barcelona is highly connected by trains and metro stations. It is complex for a new traveler to the city, at least in my opinion. I am used to traveling in cities so I eventually wrap my head around the system after a day or two.

The ride to Girona is quick at around 40 minutes. At Girona there are two train terminals. They are pretty close together but it is real important to know the appropriate one to be at.

My hotel is a 20 minute walk from the train station. There is a foot and bicycle path that follows under a regional train. It is shaded and has some interesting art work along the way.

I chose Girona as a location to visit because it is a smaller city and I like visiting cities that aren’t popular and crowded. There are not too many must see things in Girona but it is a nice relaxing way to spend a couple days.

I cross a foot bridge to enter Barri Vell, a gothic quarter. I have a view of colorful buildings reflected in a river as well as a large basilica greets me as I cross the bridge. My hotel is practically around the corner from here.

The hotel I chose, Hotel Museu Llegendes de Girona, is a nicer hotel. I didn’t have as much luck locating a decent discount hotel in Girona. The hotel is a strange art museum/hotel. My room is simply designed except the lighting system – there are so many buttons in the room and only in one place are marked what they are; but not clearly though. I have a nice but complicated room.

After check in I walk the medieval streets of Girona. It is not crowded in this town and that is why I like it.

I decide to go for the fancy avocado toast plus halloumi for a late lunch. It feels slightly healthier than what I’ve been eating lately.

Federal Cafe

After lunch there is more wandering around town.

I stop at the famous ice cream chain Rocambolesc and try one of their creations. Very interesting flavors.

I walk down to the shopping district and do some window shopping. I am not a big shopper in general and especially when I am traveling but I eye a brand of shoes I must have. I note to myself to look them up online later (Update I did and there are a little more than I want to pay).

I see that there are old city walls that circle the city. I climb them and get a view of the city in the late afternoon. I almost have the walls to myself.

I find small gardens after small gardens hiden down alleys surrounded by old churches. I spend some time in Jardins dels Alemanys. I try to identify the fruit tree there with some other visiters of the park.

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I arrive at another very large church. There are very loud and active birds around that I stop to admire. I turn the corner and realize this is the famed church that was used in the Game of Thrones, a show I never really watched.

I walk up to a garden that is supposed to have a John Lennon memorial but I can’t find any such thing in the garden. I want to do a tapas crawl but I am tired from waking up early. I stop by a café for a quick drink for the evening then I head back to my hotel. Tomorrow I take a day trip to Figueres to visit a Dali wonderland.