About Me

I am a 45 year husband and dad, currently adjusting to life back in the United States after living in Italy for a little over two years. I love spending time with my family, cycling, model railroading, mosaics and watching TV and movies.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Barcelona Bound...Again

We had to wakeup at 4:45 this morning and drive to the airport for a second attempt at catching a flight to Barcelona.

When we arrived, our flight had an assigned gate and all was looking good. The flight took off on time and we arrived in Barcelona around 8:30am. We made it!

We had to catch an Aerobus to the Placa de Catalunya in the city center. The bus ended up stopping a few blocks from the placa due to a marathon being held in the city. We made our way to the placa, found the Metro and rode it to the Glories station near our hotel. Our hotel of choice for this trip, Novotel. Its a modern chain of business hotels that offer a great 99 euro per night online price with breakfast included. We've stayed at a couple of Novotel's in Europe.

After getting checked in, we caught the Metro back to Placa de Catalunya, where we transferred to a different line.

Modernismo architecture

Street car that goes up to the funicalar on Tibidabo.

We decided to walk up the hill since our destination, the science museum, was only halfway. This is when I realized how hot and humid Barcelona really is!

This says it all...

Our destination, Museu de la Cie'cia, the city's science museum. We heard about this from one of Brandon's classmates who thought he would enjoy it. It offers many hand on activities.

The spiral walk down several floors to the museum exhibits. Brandon thought it was similiar to a gumball machine.

This was a giant pendulum, hanging from several floors above. It slowly, very slowly knocked these pins over, all the way around the circle.

How tall is Brandon...really?

Is it real or an illusion?

Playing with electricity

Giant ice block demonstrating three phases of water

Display showing how the techtonic plates have shifted

This chamber demonstrated how gases move.

Very cool display of tubes with seeds from all over the world

Rainforest display

When we were finished at the museum, we headed uphill to the funicular. The neighborhood was steep and filled with all kinds of interesting architecture.

Beautiful architecture

We rode the funicular up to the top of Tibidabo, which overlooks all of Barcelona. At the top is Parc d'Attractions, an amusement park that opened in 1908.

Figuring out what there is to see at the top

Sitting above the amusement park is the Temple Expiatori del Segrat Cor (Church of the Sacred Heart) built in 1911.

Large antenna tower on Tibidabo

One of the original 1908 rides.

Except for the fact that its a church, this almost feels like Disneyland.

Views of Barcelona

Inside the church

Brandon tries to get some relief from the heat.

We wandered around for awhile, had a snack, then headed back down into Barcelona. The walk down took us past the science museum and to the Metro, which we caught back to Placa del Catalunya.

Trolley passes us as we head back down into Barcelona

Submarine on display outside the science museum.

Once we were back in the city, we hit the Ramblas. The Ramblas is the city's main pedestrian drag. It is a vibrant area full of shops, restaurants, street performers, pet stands, artists, flower stands and pickpockets.

Street performers

Your friendly neighborhood demon. We watched one little girl have her picture taken with the demon while her baby sister began to cry.

We wandered down the street a little bit and found a nice place for dinner. Katrina had a chicken dish while I had some sausage. We both really enjoyed a couple glasses of sangria.

Brandon enjoys some Caprese for dinner - tomatoes, mozzerella, olive oil and a little pesto.

We spotted this car near the Ramblas. The brochures said that you can rent these little cars and tour the city. They are equiped with a GPS system that tells you which way to go and narrates information about the sights.

It was getting dark and we were tired. We woke up at 4:45am to get here! It was time to call it a night. We caught the Metro to our hotel. I think all three of us took showers to cool ourselves off. Did I mention how humid it is here?!

Our hotel is across the street from this tower, Torre Agbar.

This is for Katey and Errol. Brandon and I spotted this store in the mall.

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