Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Brash Barcelona and Melodius Madrid

I arrived in Barcelona at a train station which due to a brilliant piece of urban planning did not have a connecting subway station. So I had to walk a bit to a nearby station to catch a train to my hostel, which was actually most of an apartment building. My room was on the 6th floor, well out of the range of the wifi. It was a pretty good place with a lounge and a kitchen that I actually made use of.

In the afternoon I walked to the Sagrada Familia. It's a pretty impressive structure. The passion facade did tend to remind me of volume 9 of The Sandman, The Kindly Ones. After leaving the church I had lunch and then headed towards one of the big hills of town that was the location for a few old buildings and art galleries, and the stadium and other buildings for the Barcelona Olympics. I visited the main stadium and the nearby sports museum. The museum was pretty good, and cheap at four or five euros (I can't remember exactly). I then made my way down the hill towards a subway station to return to the hostel.200904288037.JPG

My second day in Barcelona I started by visiting a park designed by Gaudi which was also the site of his old house, which is now a museum. The park was nice, but I don't think it would get anywhere near as many visitors if the name Gaudi weren't attached to it. Then I went downtown and walked along La Rambla, a pedestrian zone that goes down to the bay. I strolled down La Rambla, and finished by taking a lift up the column at the end of La Rambla. A nice view, but not for the claustrophobes. For dinner I cooked up another batch of just add water and heat packet mix spaghetti carbonara.200904298150.JPG

On Thursday I caught the train for my brief stay in Madrid. I arrived in Madrid around one and was checked in by two. I then walked around town for a while. I saw a statue of a bear, a cathedral, the Palace Real, some gardens with statues of kings, an Egyptian temple that was given to Spain, a beggar with a website, and other various miscellanea.200904308244.JPG

My second day in Madrid was nice, but a bit disappointing. I found out the reason I'd been unable to book a room for Friday night was because Friday was May day, a national holiday and the start of a long weekend. It also meant that all the museums and galleries were closed. I spent the morning walking through a large park that was moderately crowded. In the afternoon I had a bit of a nap on the edge of the park before going back to the hostel to pick up my bags and catching the overnight train to Lisbon.200904308241.JPG


David Barry said...

The Sagrada Familia is probably the ugliest building I know of... is it as horrid from up close as it looks in the photos?

Hewhoblogs said...

I like the Don Quixote statue.

Esonlinji said...

The Sagrada Familia is pretty impressive up close. There's a lot of detail you just can't see from a distance.

I don't know why it has taken quite so long to build though. A hundred years was alright back in the middle ages, but nowadays is just being slack.