Walking Barcelona on a Sunday morning

Barcelona Travel Blog

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Casa Oriental La Rambla and loads of running women

We checked out of the hotel at 10 am and let our luggage stay in the hotel lobby behind the counter. The check-out went as smoothly as the check-in: maybe because it was the same girl doing it and she was both friendly, quick and service minded. We decided to walk to 2 km in to the city centre and start at La Rambla, due do the fact that we missed the grossery and meat marked there the day before. We stepped outside and as soon as we left the hotel, we were greeted by a fantastic morning sun and a blue sky; this was going to be yet another wonderful day in Barcelona, the weather was awesome.

We walked the same way as the day before and we were both still taking pictures of loads of details, because new angles were to be discovered. The streets were not silent like in Paris on a Sunday morning; there were people out walking everywhere just like us, and most of them were locals carrying their bread of grosseries in green or white plastic bags.

The closed market

We passed again the church of Sant Pau del Camp and also the sports centre on the way to La Rambla. This time there was a huge crowd hanging by the windows; the day before it had been a quite modest crowd, maybe because it was young boys playing basketball; this time it was different, it was late teen girls or women playing volleyball and it attracted some other guys than yesterday.

When we arrived to the Rambla, we were met by a blue carpet of women walking or running for a cause of another woman. I didn’t really get the details because it was written in Spanish on the back of their blue T-shirts and my lack of Spanish understanding kept me from getting closer to the issue. There were a lot of women and girls running! I have no guess but we were talking about thousands.

Plaça de Catalunya; Baloons and a fabulous sky setting
We followed the scenario for some minutes before we walked towards Placa de Catalunya.

We had hoped to find the market St Josep La Boqueria open but to our disappointment it was closed on Sundays. This had completely slipped my mind, other places the most traded days on markets are the Sundays, but I guess everybody needs a day off.

Placa de Catalunya was crowded as usual and there were doves filling the square, the doves were as always jumping around while young kids were trying to catch them with a colorful balloon in their hand. Things had luckily not changed. We crossed the huge square and walked towards Passeig de Gràcia where there are so many wonderful buildings.

Passeig de Gràcia is nowadays regarded as the most expensive street in Barcelona and also in Spain, ahead even of Calle Serrano in Madrid.

Wonderful waves
We slowly walked and enjoyed every inch. The buildings were truly outstanding like, The Casa Lleó-Morera designed by modernism architect Lluís Domènech, The Fénix Español building, The Casa Rocamora, The Comalat House, designed by Salvador Valeri, I could go on and on.

Besides the mentioned buildings there are naturally also the main attractions like the ones where Guadi has put his mark; the Casa Batlló, also known as (Casa dels Ossos - House of Bones), and indeed it does have a skeletal organic look, the Casa Milà, also better known as (La Pedrera - 'The Quarry').

The Casa Lleó-Morera is a building designed by noted modernisme architect Lluís Domènech
It is a totally amazing street and it is like walking an outdoor museum and I haven't even mention the wonderful lampposts a long the road.

We didn’t walk all the way to the end of Passeig de Gràcia, but we turned to the right just after having passed Avinguda Diagonal which is the longest street in Barcelona. We went right at Carrer de Corsega and it is here you can find the fabulous Comalat House which designed by Salvador Valeri; if you are looking at this house remember that both the front and the back are amazing. We took loads of pictures of the backside before taking the small and narrow streets uphill on our way to our target for the day.

We walked into the neighbourhood La Vila de Gràcia, or better known as just Gràcia, we had been following the small streets Carre de Santa Tecia and Carrer de Francisco Giner before arriving at the wonderful little square of La Plaça de Rius i Taulet.

Long night!! or a hard wife!

The neighbourhood here reminded us both so much about place were we live in Belgium that I for my part could have put my mark down here and settled for good; a neighbourhood like this in Barcelona, it must be close to heaven.

The square was just wonderful, we arrived there around 11am and people were all enjoying a late breakfast and a cup of coffee in the warm October morning; what a life. The temperature was passed beyond 22 degrees already and the sun was quite powerful; to find this in the end of October just made my month!

We walked the square very slowly, trying to notice every detail. The square was closed by buildings all the way round and there were no cars; there were just wonderful old houses in warm colours, all almost leaning over to keep its people warm and protecting the squares local ambiance and atmosphere.

La Plaça de Rius i Taulet; enjoying the sun

In the middle of the square there was a tall belfry like tower, Torre del Rellotge, reaching for the blue sky; it was almost impossible to take pictures of the mighty tower from the square. Around the tower two large dogs linked to each other, were trying to catch a ball that a young boy was throwing against the Belfry, while he was smiling all over his face and keeping eye contact with his mom to secure that it was alright. Everything was just so calm and relaxed; if we had not just started our adventure of the day it could have ended here in a café watching the quiet life pass by. This was it!

On the ground floor of the neat and colourful houses, small cafes and restaurants were inviting you inside with the looks of history. There were no ugly kebab stores here, only the real old stuff, that one looks for in every large city; no commercials no bla, bla - just things that belonged here. Along the whole outercircle of the square trees were giving shade for the outdoor service and enforcing the cozy atmosphere.

The wonderful Plaça del Diamant
This place was fantastic.

We left both knowing that we would be back, together or apart it didn’t matter; we both liked it so much that a return to this area was evident, we even took pictures of some of the local hotel to get close next time.

We strolled along the Carrer de Francisco Giner for a couple of hundred meters before coming to yet another magnificent little square. It was amazing; I could not belive I had not seen this quarter before. I felt that we were on a roll suddenly, everything was just so beautiful and nice, that even half of it could have been enough.

We had arrived at Plaça del Diamant, a place known for giving name to a novel by the catalan writer Merce Rodoreda, and again to the film of the same name in 1982.

Room with a view
 All about a woman during the civil war in the 1930th; grief, death, poverty, love, war and so on! 

The square Plaça del Diamant was not as perfect as Plaça de Rius i Taulet, but it had its own charm too. The houses were not as homogeny in their coverage around the square, some of the houses were standing alone waiting for their neighbours to appear, but there was a mix around the place which gave it something special. Like when you manage to mix something new and old in one place and it looks like it was meant to be. I just adored this square too.

This place was not really awake yet that was obvious, the outdoor service tables and chairs were mostly stacked up still, only in a small place in the corner the café was open.

Head of a dragon
Some people were sitting there but not many; the were the super regulars. The place was just waiting to wake up, it was evident, it was like the houses wanted to show that this place could party too.

We left also this square happy to have been there; we followed Carrer de Cano to its end laughing at one of the houses there. It had been built 50 cm from another one and it had both windows and balconies. The people were looking directly in to a wall. We turned left shortly before following Carrer del Torrent de l’Olla until it ended at Travessera de Dalt; we were getting close to our goal, we had aimed was to walk to Parc Grull.

We walked along the busy Travessera de Dalt with all its small shops and cafés until we reached Carrer de Larrard; here we started to run into fellow tourists again, but this time they were in huge numbers.

Peep-hole
Bus after bus pounded in the uphill direction, there was no doubt, we were on the right way, as the huge signs had not given us any indication. 

Park Güell is a garden complex with architectural elements situated on the hill of el Carmel in the Gràcia district. It was designed by the Antoni Gaudí and built in the years 1900 to 1914. The park was originally part of a commercially unsuccessful housing site, and the idea of Count Eusebi Güell, whom the park was named after.

The park was inspired by the English garden city movement; and that is why the original English name Park and the name of the place is "Parc Güell". The site was a rocky hill with little vegetation and few trees, called Montaña Pelada (Bare Mountain).

Guadi's fabulous road constructions; made in local stone and shaped to look like trees in order not to be obvious

The park already included a large country house called Larrard House or Muntaner de Dalt House, and was next to a neighborhood of upper class houses called La Salud. The intention was to exploit the fresh air (well away from smoky factories) and beautiful views from the site, with sixty triangular lots being provided for luxury houses. Count Eusebi Güell added to the prestige of the development by moving in 1906 to live in Larrard House. Ultimately, only two houses were built, neither designed by Gaudí. One was intended to be a show house, but on being completed in 1904 was put up for sale, and as no buyers came forward, Gaudí, at Güell's suggestion, bought it with his savings and moved in with his family and his father in 1906

It has since been converted into a municipal garden. While entrance to the Park is free, Gaudí's house, "la Torre Rosa," can be only visited for an entrance fee.

A view of Barcelona

Parc Güell is skillfully designed and composed to bring the peace and calm that one would expect from a park. The buildings flanking the entrance, fit in well with the use of the park as pleasure gardens and seem relatively inconspicuous in the landscape when one considers the flamboyance of other buildings designed by Gaudí.

The focal point of the park is the main terrace, surrounded by a long bench in the form of a sea serpent. To design the curvature of the bench surface Gaudí used the shape of buttocks left by a naked workman sitting in wet clay. The curves of the serpent bench form a number of enclaves, creating a more social atmosphere.

Gaudí incorporated many motifs of Catalan nationalism, and elements from religious mysticism and ancient poetry, into the Park.

These girls were not dressed to walk in a park but more for a night out. Funny to watch then walk down in their high boots; they walked like ducklings!
The visitor was originally greeted by two life-size mechanical gazelles, but these have since been lost during the turbulence of war.

Roadways around the park to service the intended houses were designed by Gaudí as structures jutting out from the steep hillside or running on viaducts, with separate footpaths in arcades formed under these structures.

This minimized the intrusion of the roads, and Gaudí designed those using local stone in a way that integrates them closely into the landscape. His structures echo natural forms, with columns like tree trunks supporting branching vaulting under the roadway.

The large cross at the Park's high-point offers the most complete view of Barcelona and the bay.

Gaudi window
It is possible to view the main city in panorama, with the Sagrada Familia and the Montjuïc area visible at a distance.

We walked around in the park for quite a while; the park was full with fellow tourist; to our opinion too many, you could hardly take a picture without having hundreds of strangers on them. We walked higher and higher up in Park; to get some loneliness and benefit from the view. There were loads of artists playing their instruments and some of them were really good and attracted huge crowds. We had decided to take a taxi back and we tried to find one at the top entrance at the park but found that place too remote for success, so we walked all the way back to the main entrance where loads of taxi´s were available.

People were still coming in huge number when we left and we were pretty happy to leave before the park was full.

Getting ready to dance
The taxi driver was one of the fast guys with a lot of short cuts and fancy corners, so it did not take us long time to reach our destination at Placa Reial. Our time in Barcelona was coming towards an end and we wanted to have a good lunch and some sangrias before we headed back to our hotel and the airport.  

We arrived at the square at 14, which gave us a bit more than one hour to have lunch and some sangrias. We decided to go to Taxidermista, where I had been eating numerous of times, the place is especially nice when you have the possibility to sit outside in the sun like we could.

We got a table in the first row towards the square, the waiter was not the fastest in the world and after a while we got the menu to choose from. We started by ordering two sangrias while we checked out the menu. Babs went for a salad and some shrimps and I went for something light as well.

Just after we ordered some action started at the square, first one guy started to dance to the music one guy with guitar was making.

Drunken people
A bit later a very loud guy arrived with a bottle of coca cola in one hand and a bottle of vodka in the other. He started to argue with some of the other types walking the square and after 15 minutes he was picking a fight with one drunken guy. Suddenly the drunken guy started to fight with the dancing guy instead. They had a totally tragic comical fight that lasted for long time. The entertainment continued for our entire meal.

The meal was good and we would have liked to avoid the trouble on the square, we walked to the Rambla and took a taxi there that brought us to the hotel where we picked up the bags and then to the airport. We were getting ready to leave Barcelona.

KeikoCreative says:
I'll be back to continue the reading and photos:P
Posted on: Nov 12, 2009
KeikoCreative says:
Wow really a long story:P So u enjoy watching the girls volleyball match:P
Posted on: Nov 12, 2009
sylviandavid says:
Hi Christian, fun to read...sounds like you did it all..... Love your pictures. sylvia
Posted on: Nov 01, 2009
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Casa Oriental La Rambla and loads …
Casa Oriental La Rambla and loads…
The closed market
The closed market
Plaça de Catalunya; Baloons and a…
Plaça de Catalunya; Baloons and …
Wonderful waves
Wonderful waves
The Casa Lleó-Morera is a buildin…
The Casa Lleó-Morera is a buildi…
Long night!! or a hard wife!
Long night!! or a hard wife!
La Plaça de Rius i Taulet; enjoyi…
La Plaça de Rius i Taulet; enjoy…
The wonderful Plaça del Diamant
The wonderful Plaça del Diamant
Room with a view
Room with a view
Head of a dragon
Head of a dragon
Peep-hole
Peep-hole
Guadis fabulous road construction…
Guadi's fabulous road constructio…
A view of Barcelona
A view of Barcelona
These girls were not dressed to wa…
These girls were not dressed to w…
Gaudi window
Gaudi window
Getting ready to dance
Getting ready to dance
Drunken people
Drunken people
Overviewing the street
Overviewing the street
A women race on La Rambla
A women race on La Rambla
Casa Oriental La Rambla
Casa Oriental La Rambla
Inside a bar at La Rambla
Inside a bar at La Rambla
A wonderful shop
A wonderful shop
An art boat
An art boat
I want a picture
I want a picture
Making a living
Making a living
Plaça de Catalunya; birds and chi…
Plaça de Catalunya; birds and ch…
Plaça de Catalunya;
Plaça de Catalunya;
Plaça de Catalunya;
Plaça de Catalunya;
Casa ROCAMORA at Passeig de Grácia
Casa ROCAMORA at Passeig de Grácia
Banco Español de Crédito
Banco Español de Crédito
Casa ROCAMORA at Passeig de Grácia
Casa ROCAMORA at Passeig de Grácia
La Unión y el Fénix Español bui…
La Unión y el Fénix Español bu…
La Unión y el Fénix Español bui…
La Unión y el Fénix Español bu…
The Casa Lleó-Morera by architect…
The Casa Lleó-Morera by architec…
The Casa Lleó-Morera
The Casa Lleó-Morera
Another model and another house
Another model and another house
Great house
Great house
Passeig de Grácia and a wonderful…
Passeig de Grácia and a wonderfu…
The house behind
The house behind
Passeig de Gràcia is nowadays reg…
Passeig de Gràcia is nowadays re…
Passeig de Grácia - almost empty …
Passeig de Grácia - almost empty…
Windows at Casa Batlló
Windows at Casa Batlló
Casa Batlló
Casa Batlló
Detail of Casa Batlló
Detail of Casa Batlló
Casa Batlló, The local name for t…
Casa Batlló, The local name for …
Modern and old
Modern and old
Casa Batlló
Casa Batlló
Wonderful side street
Wonderful side street
Beautiful balcony
Beautiful balcony
Sunday setting
Sunday setting
Like an outside elevator
Like an outside elevator
A wonderful street lamp in front o…
A wonderful street lamp in front …
Casa Milà, better known as La Ped…
Casa Milà, better known as La Pe…
Modern Barcelona
Modern Barcelona
Casa Milà, better known as La Ped…
Casa Milà, better known as La Pe…
Casa Milà, better known as La Ped…
Casa Milà, better known as La Pe…
El Riu
El Riu
El Riu
El Riu
Casa Milà, better known as La Ped…
Casa Milà, better known as La Pe…
Casa Milà, better known as La Ped…
Casa Milà, better known as La Pe…
Edifici, 2006, arquitecte Carles F…
Edifici, 2006, arquitecte Carles …
Street lamp
Street lamp
ET phone home!
ET phone home!
Plaça de Joan Carles I and Deustc…
Plaça de Joan Carles I and Deust…
Plaça de Joan Carles I
Plaça de Joan Carles I
Street number
Street number
Carrer de Carsega and back of Babs
Carrer de Carsega and back of Babs
The flip side of Comalat House, de…
The flip side of Comalat House, d…
The flip side of Comalat House, de…
The flip side of Comalat House, d…
The flip side of Comalat House, de…
The flip side of Comalat House, d…
The flip side of Comalat House, de…
The flip side of Comalat House, d…
The flip side of Comalat House, de…
The flip side of Comalat House, d…
Bobcating Barcelona
Bobcat'ing Barcelona
Carrer de Mozart
Carrer de Mozart
La Casa de Cuba - Mojitos
La Casa de Cuba - Mojito's
Living streets
Living streets
The Balconies!
The Balconies!
Roof plant
Roof plant
Being just here
Being just here
La Plaça de Rius i Taulet - Le Ch…
La Plaça de Rius i Taulet - Le C…
La Plaça de Rius i Taulet
La Plaça de Rius i Taulet
La Plaça de Rius i Taulet
La Plaça de Rius i Taulet
La Plaça de Rius i Taulet; calm a…
La Plaça de Rius i Taulet; calm …
La Plaça de Rius i Taulet on a Su…
La Plaça de Rius i Taulet on a S…
La Plaça de Rius i Taulet and bre…
La Plaça de Rius i Taulet and br…
La Plaça de Rius i Taulet and a s…
La Plaça de Rius i Taulet and a …
La Plaça de Rius i Taulet; the Be…
La Plaça de Rius i Taulet; the B…
La Plaça de Rius i Taulet; a smal…
La Plaça de Rius i Taulet; a sma…
La Plaça de Rius i Taulet
La Plaça de Rius i Taulet
Café Aroma at Carrer del Montseny
Café Aroma at Carrer del Montseny
Wonderful streets
Wonderful streets
Wonderful entrance at Plaça del D…
Wonderful entrance at Plaça del …
Plaça del Diamant
Plaça del Diamant
Plaça del Diamant
Plaça del Diamant
Plaça del Diamant
Plaça del Diamant
Plaça del Diamant
Plaça del Diamant
Plaça del Diamant
Plaça del Diamant
Plaça del Diamant
Plaça del Diamant
Plaça del Diamant
Plaça del Diamant
Plaça del Diamant
Plaça del Diamant
Plaça del Diamant
Plaça del Diamant
Carrer de Verdi
Carrer de Verdi
Carrer de Verdi and Casa Palestina
Carrer de Verdi and Casa Palestina
Still staying old
Still staying old
The entrance to Parc Gruel
The entrance to Parc Gruel
Park Güell is a garden complex wi…
Park Güell is a garden complex w…
Part of the mosaik
Part of the mosaik
Gaudís multicolored mosaic drago…
Gaudí's multicolored mosaic drag…
Gaudís multicolored mosaic drago…
Gaudí's multicolored mosaic drag…
The foot of the dragon
The foot of the dragon
Entrance building
Entrance building
Top tower
Top tower
The park beside
The park beside
Doric columns support the roof of …
Doric columns support the roof of…
The two building at the entrance
The two building at the entrance
The entrance
The entrance
The entrance and some other people
The entrance and some other people
One of the two entrance buildings
One of the two entrance buildings
The Entrance
The Entrance
Bird nests built by Gaudí in the …
Bird nests built by Gaudí in the…
Barcelona sky
Barcelona sky
A view of the top of the park
A view of the top of the park
A view of Barcelona
A view of Barcelona
Bird nests built by Gaudí in the …
Bird nests built by Gaudí in the…
A view over Barcelona
A view over Barcelona
Bird nests built by Gaudí in the …
Bird nests built by Gaudí in the…
Birds are there too
Birds are there too
Birds nest
Birds nest
Flowers in great colours of October
Flowers in great colours of October
Doric columns support the roof of …
Doric columns support the roof of…
Doric columns support the roof of …
Doric columns support the roof of…
Doric columns support the roof of …
Doric columns support the roof of…
Doric columns support the roof of …
Doric columns support the roof of…
Gaudi roads
Gaudi roads
View of park and Barcelona
View of park and Barcelona
Gaudi house and museum
Gaudi house and museum
Torre Agbar
Torre Agbar
Gaudi wall
Gaudi wall
Nice house in the park
Nice house in the park
Barcelona sky
Barcelona sky
Going good so far
Going good so far
Music party
Music party
View of Barcelona
View of Barcelona
Catching - probably high too!
Catching - probably high too!
They looked like  they had fun
They looked like they had fun
Party band playing
Party band playing
Nice view
Nice view
Palms of the park
Palms of the park
They could hardly walk down
They could hardly walk down
Dressed for more than a park
Dressed for more than a park
Duckling on the move
Duckling on the move
Happy go lucky
Happy go lucky
Feeling the wibes
Feeling the wibes
Babs - enjoying life
Babs - enjoying life
Placa Reial
Placa Reial
The dancing guy, waiting for the s…
The dancing guy, waiting for the …
The dancing guy
The dancing guy
The dancing guy
The dancing guy
Shrimps - they were good
Shrimps - they were good
Fight at Placa Reial
Fight at Placa Reial
Barcelona Airport
Barcelona Airport
Flying home
Flying home
Barcelona Hotels & Accommodations review
Silken Concordia
The hotel is situated about 15 min walk from La Ramblas, in a quite okay neighbourhood. The hotel is nice and was one of the better offers which were … read entire review
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photo by: fivepointpalm