Part 10: Madrid to Barcelona Day 1


Navigation Links
 Trip Home Page     


The Trip

We expended our allotted time in Madrid, so we took the high-speed train to Barcelona to start the second segment of our trip.  The trip was easy, once we figured out there were two "Number One" cars on the train.  It seems that between Madrid and Barcelona there are sufficient travelers to warrant a double-length train.  But, once we found the correct car, it was a fast, comfortable ride.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

The train left from Atocha station, which as you can see is a very nice place, but also very big.  It is the primary station in Madrid.

There were some very nice plants in the interior garden.

This was not our train, but ours was of similar design with the shovel nose.  At maximum speed we were traveling at 300kph, about 185mph.  It was smooth and quiet.

I spotted this cool bridge from the window of the train at the first stop from Madrid.  I did not note the city name, however.

Just past the bridge, I got a view of this nice structure on the hill.  It looks more like a church than a castle, but since I was not sure what city we were in, it is tough to say.

When we booked our train seats, we discovered that we were late to the party.  The only seats available were in First Class, so we took them.  The whole train was full!

Kathleen had booked us a great room in a very nice hotel on Catalonia Plaza in the center of town.  This is the view out our window of the plaza.

Across the plaza there was plenty of construction in progress.  The blue building had a shroud that had designs painted on it to disguise the ongoing construction.

Next morning, we headed to Sagrada Familia for a tour.  Full.  Next we tried Guell Park.  Full.  At the park, we could walk around for free, so we decided that was an acceptable fall-back and headed out.  Antoni Gaudi was contracted to design the structures in the park.  This is one of Gaudi's structures. 

Gaudi is famous for designing "odd" buildings.  I would say this qualifies.

A walkway built above the park.

The distortion of a wide angle lens did odd things to an odd structure.  Of course, the columns were not vertical anyway, but you can judge the distortion my the people.

The offset in the columns is visible in the photos above.  This is a very odd structure, like something from Middle Earth.

A different walkway.

Nice iron work on the balcony.

The stones look like scales on a reptile.

Another walkway built into the cliff face.

The upper bell tower of one of Gaudi's buildings.

Gaudi likely lived in this house; it has a commanding view of the valley below.

I am assuming that the name means "salvation".

Gaudi's masterpiece "Sagrada Familia" church in downtown was visible from the park.  The structure is still unfinished but as the cranes indicate, construction is continuing.

Another odd, but much more modern, building in downtown.

There were thistles in bloom along the trail.

We returned to the hotel and had lunch in the courtyard.  Old buildings were visible from the seating area.  The hotel, however, was contemporary.

We went up to the 10th floor of the hotel and there was an observation area where we got a nice view of the Barcelona skyline.  Above is one of the cathedrals in the Gothic section of downtown.

Another building visible from the observation deck.

From the deck, we could see the cruise ships in the harbor.  Also note the cableway.

Our cab driver told us about a great place to eat called 7 Puertas, so we got reservations (ah, we ARE getting smarter) and had a great meal.  Afterwards, on our walk back to the hotel we passed a nice fountain near the waterfront.

A long exposure shot of the Barcelona marina.

A 1.5 second exposure of some of the large yachts in the marina.  My shadow from the streetlights is visible.

We walked back via Las Ramblas and saw this statue.

The chairs are bolted to the concrete and used to be for rent.  Now they are free, so Katleen sat for a fast photo.

The weather was overcast and cloudy all day which interfered with the photography process.  But, in the end, it turned out to be a blessing as it kept the temperatures comfortable.  To us, Barcelona seemed more frenetic than Madrid, even though the city is quite a bit smaller.  I think this is due to the fact that more tourists come to Barcelona than Madrid.  Planning is required with regard to seeing the attractions as every one we tried to see was sold out days ahead.  We got skunked on all the Gaudi attractions, so next time we'll plan farther ahead.

Next: More of Barcelona.

Navigation Links
Previous Adventure
Top of this Page
  Next Adventure
Trip Home Page  
Bill Caid's Home Page

Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2017, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.