Sunday, 24 August 2008

23 August 2008 to 25 August 2008

Rome, Italy to Barcelona, Spain
23 August 2008

We decided to get an early transfer to the airport to ensure we had plenty of time and boy did we have plenty of time. As it was Sunday there was no traffic on the road so we had, about, oh I dunno, 4ish hours to spare at the airport. We managed to fill in the time and I also managed not to go over the 15kg weight limit. Upon landing on our Ryanair flight in Barcelona the Spanyards started clapping and cheering ... bizzare ... do not all flights land well in Barcelona that when they do people get excited?? Has anyone else had this on any of their flights? Me and Debra just looked at each other quizzically... Hmmm...

24 August 2008

This morning we decided to do a bus tour around the city and signed up for two days. We jumped on the bus and headed off. A bus tour or a walking tour is a really good way to go around the city. It highlights the best parts and also includes some history. Barcelona hosted the 1992 Olympics and is just beautiful.

We decided to do a full loop of the bus tour before jumping off at some of the best stops. Our fist stop was the Casa Batlló (dragon house) this house is just amazing so amazing that we decided to purchase tickets and head inside.

It seems that the goal of the designer was to avoid straight lines completely. Much of the façade is decorated with a mosaic made of broken ceramic tiles (trencadís) that starts in shades of golden orange moving into greenish blues. The roof is arched and was likened to the back of a dragon or dinosaur. A common theory about the building is that the rounded feature to the left of centre, terminating at the top in a turret and cross, represents the sword of Saint George (patron saint of Catalonia), which has been plunged into the back of the dragon.

The Casa Batlló was designed by an architect called Gaudi. A lot of Barcelona's architecture is influenced by Guadi and its just amazing. We spent the afternoon looking at some of his other creations the Casa Milà (hotel) - LEFT and the Sangrada Familia - BELOW

Originally designed by Antoni Gaudí (1852 – 1926), who worked on the project for over 40 years, devoting the last 15 years of his life entirely to the endeavor, the project is scheduled to be completed in 2026. On the subject of the extremely long construction period, Gaudí is said to have remarked, "My client is not in a hurry". After Gaudí's death in 1926, work continued under the direction of Domènech Sugranyes until interrupted by the Spanish Civil War in 1936.

Parts of the unfinished church and Gaudí's models and worksho
p were destroyed during the war by Catalan anarchists. The present design is based on reconstructed versions of the lost plans as well as on modern adaptations


For dinner we decided to head to a noodle bar by the sea that Debra had seen advertised. We got to write down our own orders with our selections and names. When my order and name came up I jumped off my seat to go and collect it from the chef the look he gave me was priceless "but your a girl" yes I know and Toni is my name thank you very much!

After dinner we had planned to go to the casino and got all dressed up for the occasion with our two for one voucher, unfortunately though we did not have our passports they wouldn't let us in. We instead decided to go for a wander up the boardwalk before heading back to our hostel for the night.

25 August 2008
We took advantage of our bus tour ticket today and headed off to Gaudi park. A park dedicated to Gaudi. Its wasn't that interesting but this small cottages were nice.

We then hoped back on the bus and headed to Olympic park. It was amazing to see how big it was and imagine what it would of been like (as the Olympics were on at Beijing at the time).

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