Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Monday, 20 April, 2015:

We enjoyed a good night's sleep after attending the Spanish guitar concert.

This, combined with the knowledge that our favorite Spanish city, OK-OK, make that our favorite Catalunyan city, was waiting outside our El Raval barrio hotel door to be rediscovered, started to make Sunday's loss to the Búfals begin to fade.

So, full of animos, we headed to one of our favorite spots via a ten minute walk down Career Nou la Rambla and then up Las Ramblas, La Boqueria Market, for breakfast.

 Laurie is bubbly too

 Laurie: "Let's add a turret window to
our home like the one on the right."

 Las Ramblas Umbrella Building

 Same building also has a dragon

 A Food Lover's Wonderland
La Boqueria Market

 Breakfast at the Pinotxo Bar
with high energy Juan as our waiter

I can think of no better place to start your day than this little bar just inside the main entrance to La Boqueria. Juan and the Pinotxo Bar are both institutions in Barcelona.

The food is good and the energy great in this small, 12 stool bar that serves good food at reasonable prices.

Sated, we were now ready to explore the market.

 Great Fruits

Nuts and Dried Fruits

Fresh juices hit the spot

Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Good for la Salud

 Delicious Fresh Fruits

 Peppers of every kind


Popular Dragon Fruit

Our energy stores were now maximized, thus we boarded Barcelona's efficient Metro for the quick ride from Las Ramblas to . . .

The Basílica de la Sagrada Familia

Architect Antoni Gaudí's futuristic and astonishing Basílica is still not finished after breaking ground in 1882.

After 133 years of building, it will still take another estimated 20 years to finish. The final plan calls for another tower half again taller than the towers you see now.

Close up of the Nativity Façade

We first visited this amazing Basílica in 2008 and have seen lots of progress each time we revisit the site, especially on the inside which featured nothing but trucks and busy workers seven years ago and no altars in sight.

 Trash Window in the Ticket Line

We arrived at about 9:25 a.m. to stand in the relatively short, 20 minute line to buy tickets to enter this popular tourist site. 

Our Jubilado (Senior Citizen Discount) tickets would allow us entry at 1:45 p.m.

New White Columns on the
Passion Façade

Lots of Towers

Across from the Basílica

I started obsessing again about our Wild Card Playoff game against the Las Rozas Black Demons in two weeks.

We had lots of time to kill
before our tickets were valid 

 Sports in the park across the street

Good Form

Another bowling-related game

No ball to throw, you launch
one of those little clubs instead

We opted to re-board the Metro and head to the Eixample district's Passeig de Gràcia to do some more Antoni Gaudí and Modernista sight-seeing at La Pedrera and the Block of Discord.

La Pedrera, aka, Casa Milà

This Gaudí structure is called La Pedrera (The Quarry) because of it's jagged, rocky façade. It was completed in 1912 and built for wealthy industrialist Pere Milà i Camps.

A chimney

 La Pedreda balcony railing

The Passeig de Gràcia is an upscale area with upscale shopping.

Laurie liked a couple of baubles in this storefront window.

Not a Cobra


University of Barcelona skylight

 Guarding the U of B students

 The Block of Discord

There are three separate Modernista buildings on this block, designed by three different architects, Antoni Gaudí, Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Lluís Domènech i Montaner.

 Gaudi's Casa Batlló

 On the left, Casa Amatller
On the right, Casa Batlló

Josep Puig i Cadafalch designed the Casa Amatller.

 A Modest Balcony

Adding to the Discord

What are you looking at! . . .

. . . Oh . . .

 Students learning about
Modernista Architecture

 St. George

Beats me

Casa Lleó Morera

 Dragons on Casa Lleó Morera

 Laurie still wants a Turret Window

 The Fundació Antoni Tàpies

It is closed on Mondays but we liked the building itself.

 Catalunyan Separatist Movement Flag

 We hungered

A few tapas and an adult beverage were called for before returning to the Sagrada Familia for our 1:45 p.m. entry time.

We're in!!!

We entered via the Nativity Façade side of the Basílica.

Here are a few close up views of the artwork on the Nativity Façade.

 Hammer Time!!!


Holy Family

Adoring Shepherds

 Slatter of the Innocence

Escape to Egypt

Lady Bugs

It was time to enter the Basílica, remember again that seven years ago when we first visited the Basílica the interior was far from being a functioning church.

Above the Main Altar


The Organ's pipes reflecting
the stained glass lighting
High above the Main Altar

 Gaudí's vision of the proper
use of natural light



 Laurie basking

Now let's look at some views of the Passion Façade.

 Honor - Power

 Passion Façade Towers

 Add any four adjacent numbers
and the answer is always 33

That was Christ's age as the time He was crucified.

The Shroud of Turin?

Storm Troopers?

 The Judas Kiss

 Christ on the Cross

The Alpha and the Omega

Roman Dominators

Christ being scourged

 On a small Passion Façade door

More of the Passion Façade Towers

The Glory Façade is full of Nature scenes and has a long way to go it seems.

Here are a few pictures of the Glory Façade for you.


Lots of . . .

Fruits and vegetables!!!

BIG Champions League game
Tuesday night vs. Paris St.-Germain

A bit too rich for our blood plus our train for the return to Murcia was leaving about six hours before the match's start.

Plaça de Catalunya

Where to go next?
How about the Barri Gòtic?

 It has lots of small streets,

 Memorabilia stores,

Bakeries and . . .

. . . even a SHOE store

The Barri Gòtic had something fun for each of us!

 We continued to wind our way
to the El Born district

Nothing says Barcelona like this . . .???

A Café Cortado did sound good 

 St. George at it again

St. Jordi in Catalan who is Barcelona's patron saint.

Flags at half staff

A teenage student at a local secondary school shot and killed a teacher today.

Love this highly detailed street sign

 Catalan Pride

Styling Stroller

 Santa Maria del Mar

Santa Maria del Mar's door

Shall we enter?

But of course!

Nice but no Sagrada Familia
to be sure

 Laurie likes REAL candles like these,
not the electronic ones so in vogue

 People actually live in Barcelona,
it's not just for tourists like us

 Laurie and a BIG paella pan

We need a better door knocker
back home

Announcing Barcelona's Harbor Front

 Government Building Door

A big Republican supporting party
in the Spanish Civil war days

That pretty much sums up our feelings

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