A Travellerspoint blog

Spain

TORREMOLINOS, LA ALHAMBRA GARDENS. MIJAS, RONDA SPAIN

6 Week Trip


View 2011 Europe & Morocco on aussirose's travel map.

FAVOURITE PHOTO

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SPAIN WAS HUBBY'S CHOICE.

THIS WAS OUR LAST COUNTRY IN AN AMAZING 6 WEEK
ADVENTURE THROUGH EUROPE STARTING IN ZURICH AND
DRIVING THROUGH GERMANY AND BELGIUM TO AMSTERDAM.

THEN FAST TRAIN TO PARIS WHERE WE HAD AN AMAZING
TIME INCLUDING A BIG VIRTUALTOURIST MEET.

THEN TO MOROCCO WHERE WE EXPERIENCED A TASTE OF
THE EXOTIC... INCLUDING A 5 DAY SAHARA DESERT TRIP TO
DIE FOR!

IF YOU ARE THINKING OF VISITING ANY OF THE ABOVE
PLACES THEN PLEASE CHECK OUT MY BLOGS. MAYBE I CAN
BE OF ASSISTANCE IN HELPIING YOU PLAN YOUR TRIP :)

WE FLEW FROM CASABLANCA TO MALAGA AND PICKED UP
OUR HIRE CAR TO DRIVE TO TORREMOLINOS.

TORREMOLINOS

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OUR VIEW FROM HOTEL APARTAMENTOS BAJONDILLO.
SUGGESTED BY VT VETERANS HANSI AND LORI WHO STAY
HERE REGULARLY EACH FEBRUARY TO GET AWAY FROM THE
COLD IN CANADA :)

TORREMOLINOS WAS A GREAT PLACE TO BASE OURSELVES.

THE 2 THINGS THAT WE CHOSE TO DO WERE LA ALHAMBRA PALACE
AND GARDENS AND RONDA IN THE ANDALUCIA MOUNTAINS.

LA ALHAMBRA

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I HAD HEARD THAT THE PARKING HERE WAS DIFFICULT, SO
I BOOKED OUR DAY TRIP THROUGH VIATOR INCLUDING
PICKUP FROM A HOTEL IN GRANADA.

WE DROVE TO THE HOTEL IN GRANADA AND PARKED OUTSIDE.
WE WERE PICKED UP FROM THERE. THIS WORKED WELL.

HUBBY STUDIED THE GARDENS OF LA ALHAMBRA AS PART OF
HIS LANDSCAPE DESIGN COURSE IN HORTICULTURE.
HOWIE WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS DAY :)

I MUST ADMIT, THE BEAUTIFUL GARDENS, WATER PONDS AND
FEATURES WERE A DELIGHT TO SEE. THERE'S SOMETHING SPECIAL
ABOUT GARDENS AND THE SIGHT AND SOUNDS OF RUNNING
WATER :)

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WE WERE DAZZLED BY THE INTRICATE TILE WORK INSIDE.
THERE WAS OBVIOUSLY A DISTINCT MOROCCAN INFLUENCE.
WE HAD SEEN SIMILAR TILES IN KASBAHS IN MOROCCO.

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AND THE SCENERY THROUGH A WINDOW ARCH.

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WE EXPERIENCED ANOTHER FIRST HERE IN SOUTHERN SPAIN.
THERE WERE MANY FIRSTS ON THIS BIG HOLIDAY LIKE HUGH
CHIMING CLOCKS, QUAINT COBBLEDSTONE STREETS, CRUISING
CANALS, MANY CASTLES, A GRAND PALACE, RIDING HORSE AND
CARRIAGE, OLD HISTORICAL KASBAHS, SLEEPING UNDER THE
STARS IN THE SAHARA.

TODAY WE WERE ABOUT TO RIDE A CONVERTIBLE CAR THROUGH
THE ADNALUCIAN MOUNTAINS. YES, OUR HIRE CAR WAS A
BLACK CONVERTIBLE :)

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MIJAS

THE MOUNTAIN SCENERY WAS STUNNING. WE PASSED A BIG
TORO BULL STATUE ON THE HILL.

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MIJAS AND IT'S GLORIOUS WHITEWASHED HOUSES WAS LOVELY.
UNFORTUNATELY, AS WE DROVE SLOWLY THROUGH TOWN, WE
COULD NOT FIND A PARKING SPOT, SO WE KEPT HEADING
TOWARDS RONDA.

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FUNNY AUSSIROSE STORY.

WE ARRIVED IN RONDA AND THE PLACE WAS FLOODED WITH
LIKEMINDED TOURISTS. WHERE TO PARK?...

AS THERE WERE NO PARKING SPOTS IN TOWN, WE DROVE
OUT A BIT AND FINALLY FOUND ONE. WE STEPPED OUT,
LOCKED UP AND HOLLERED FOR A TAXI.

WELL ALL WENT WELL. A TAXI TURNED UP IN ABOUT 10
SECONDS...... GREAT! :)

WE JUMPED IN AND A BIT OF SIGN LANGUAGE LATER,
FINALLY GOT THE TAXI DRIVER TO TAKE US INTO THE TOWN
CENTRE.

BUT THEN...... OMG!!.... WE DIDN'T HAVE A CLUE WHERE WE
HAD LEFT OUR CAR!.... AND NO WAY OF FINDING IT!!
WHAT TO DO?!!..... nervous lol.

WELL THANKFULLY WITH THE HELP OF THE TAXI DRIVER'S
PHONE AND GOOGLE, WE WERE ABLE TO TRANSLATE TO THE
LOVELY DRIVER TO MEET US AGAIN AT 3.30PM TO TAKE US
BACK TO OUR CAR. PHEW!!! :)

RONDA

WHY RONDA?... WE HAD NEVER HEARD OF THIS PLACE BEFORE
READING ALL ABOUT IT ON LORIPORI's PAGE ON VIRTUALTOURIST.

THIS IS WHAT RONDA IS FAMOUS FOR....

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STUNNING HEY!! :)

PUENTE NUEVO (TRANSLATED NEW BRIDGE), SPANNING OVER A 120M CHASM
THAT SEPARATES 2 PARTS OF THE TOWN, TOOK 34 YEARS TO BUILD.

IT IS NOT THE ORIGINAL BRIDGE. THAT ONE WAS NOT BUILT SOLIDLY
ENOUGH AND COLLAPSED KILLING 50 PEOPLE.

OUR FIRST LOOK AT A BULL FIGHTING RING.

I AM NOT IMPRESSED WITH WHAT I HAVE LEARN'T ABOUT THIS SPORT.
IT'S ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE WHAT THEY DO TO THE POOR BULLS.
I AM GLAD THAT IS HAS BEEN RULED OUT NOW IN MOST PLACES IN SPAIN.

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THE CENTRE OF TOWN NEAR THE BRIDGE WAS A HIVE OF ACTIVITY.
WE TOOK A SHORT STOLL ACROSS THE BRIDGE AND DID A BIT OF
GIFT SHOPPING INCLUDING A NICE LEATHER BELT FOR HUBBY.
THEN FOUND A QUAINT CAFE JUST ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE
BRIDGE AND SAT OUTSIDE UNDER THE SHADE SALE AND HAD A
NICE LIGHT LUNCH WASHED DOWNS WITH A COUPLE OF SAN MIGUELS.

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LUCKY FOR US.... OUR FRIENDLY TAXI DRIVER ARRIVED ON TIME
AT 3.30 :)

A STROLL AROUND TORREMOLINOS

THE BEACH HERE REMINDED US OF OUR GOLD COAST BEACH
IN AUSTRALIA.

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SPAIN IS RENOUN FOR FRESH SEAFOOD SO OF COURSE WE HAD TO
GIVE IT A TRY. WE CHOSE A RESTAURANT RIGHT ON THE BEACH -
PESCAITOS. UNFORTUNATELY, THE SEAFOOD WAS A BIT TASTELESS.
WE ARE TOO SPOILT FOR FRESH SEAFOOD IN AUSTRALIA :)

BUT WHERE THE FOOD LACKED, THE STAFF AND SERVICE CERTAINLY
MADE UP FOR THAT. THE OWNER WAS HAPPY FOR A PHOTO.

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A LOVEL FLOWERING BOAB TREE. I RECOGNISED THIS BECAUSE
WE HAVE THEM IN AUSTRALIA.

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I ENJOYED OUR TAPPAS DINNER HERE AT EL DORADO.

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AND OF COURSE EVERYWHERE WE GO, HUBBY AND I ENJOY
TASTING THE LOCAL BEER :)

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NEXT STOP - VALENCIA. BY FAR MY FAVOURITE PLACE IN SPAIN :)

Posted by aussirose 14:33 Archived in Spain Tagged gardens landscape palace scenery bridge alhambra spain la europe mijas ronda convertible torremolinos 2011 aussirose Comments (2)

VALENCIA

6 Week Trip


View 2011 Europe & Morocco on aussirose's travel map.

FAVOURITE PHOTO

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VALENCIA WAS MY FAVOURITE CITY IN SPAIN. WE STAYED
ON THE CORSO AT THE BEACH AT HOTEL APARTAMENTOS
BANJONDILLO. IT WAS AN EASY BUS RIDE INTO THE CITY.

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IT WAS THE ARCHITECTURE IN VALENCIA THAT BLEW ME AWAY.
THERE WERE SOME UNIQUE BUILDINGS HERE WITH GORGEOUS
ORNATE DESIGNS.
A GOOD WAY TO SEE ALL OF THIS IS TO TAKE THE HOP ON, HOP OFF BUS.

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CITY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

THIS WAS A REAL HIGHLIGHT. THERE ARE PLENTY OF UNIQUE
BUILDINGS HERE IN THE CITY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES.

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AND AT NIGHT, IT BECOMES A PHOTOGRAPHER'S DREAM :)

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LAKE ALBUFERA

IF YOU GET A CHANCE TO GO TO LAKE ALBUFERA, THEN I WOULD
STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT YOU DO.

WE WERE LUCKY ENOUGH TO MEET UP WITH VIRTUALTOURIST FRIEND
MAHESH WHO KINDLY OFFERED TO DRIVE US THERE :)

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THERE WAS A WEDDING HAPPENING AT THE TIME. WHAT A LOVELY
BACKDROP FOR WEDDING PHOTOS :)

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MAHESH TOOK US TO HIS LOCAL TAPAS RESTAURANT FOR DINNER.
BEST MEAL WE HAD IN SPAIN!! :) AND THE SPANISH RED WINE THAT
MAHESH CHOSE WAS VERY GOOD TOO.

WE WERE EVEN TREATED LIKE CELEBS.... HAVING OUR PIC TAKEN WITH
THE STAFF.

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VALENCIA HAD A WARM HOMELY ATMOSPHERE. THE PEOPLE WERE
VERY FRIENDLY AND GREETED OR SMILED AT YOU IN THE STREET.
SOMETHING MOST CITIES SADLY LACK THESE DAYS.

IT EVEN FELT SAFE WANDERING AROUND AT NIGHT.

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OCEANOGRAPHIC

I'M NOT A REAL ANIMAL PERSON. I PREFER PLANTS AND FLOWERS.
WE SAW ANOTHER UNUSUAL BUILDING AND WANDERED OVER FOR
A LOOK.

WELL IT WAS AN UNDERWATER WORLD. HUBBY COULDN'T RESIST....
SO I TAGGED ALONG :)

WE HAD A LOVELY AFTERNOON WANDERING AROUND IN HERE AND
THE DOLPHIN SHOW WAS PRETTY GOOD TOO.

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WE TRIED OUT A COUPLE OF RESTAURANTS ALONG THE BEACH CORSO.

EL COSO WAS FINE DINING AND ATTACHED TO OUR HOTEL. THE FOOD
HERE WAS TASTEFULLY PLATED AND TASTED REAL GOOD.

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SAL MARINA HAD AN OPEN AIR ATMOSPHERE AND LOOKED
OUT ONTO THE CORSO AND BEACH. WE AGAIN TRIED THE
SEAFOOD. MY SEAFOOD CHOWDER WAS TASTY.

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AND OF COURSE A LOCAL CRUZCAMPO OR THREE TO WASH IT DOWN :)

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NEXT AND LAST STOP ON OUR BIG 6 WEEK TRIP - BARCELONA.

Posted by aussirose 16:58 Archived in Spain Tagged night travellerspoint architecture and restaurant marina hotel of lake scenery city spain el valencia arts europe photography sal apartamentos 2011 sciences aussirose albufera bajondillo oceanographic coso Comments (2)

BARCELONA

6 Week Trip


View 2011 Europe & Morocco & 2011 Morocco Sahara Desert Roadtrip on aussirose's travel map.

FAVOURITE PHOTO

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BARCELONA, OUR LAST CITY OF AN AMAZING 6 WEEK TRIP -
OUR FIRST BIG OVERSEAS TRIP. 10 YEARS IN THE MAKING, SAVING,
PLANNING, LOTS OF GOOGLING, MAPPING, MORE GOOGLING FOR
OFF THE BEATEN PATH PLACES. EVERYTHING WORKED OUT WELL.

I HOPE YOU HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING ALONG BECAUSE I WANTED
TO SHARE WITH YOU SOME AWSOME ADVENTURES, FUNNY STORIES,
TONS OF FIRSTS FOR US, DIFFERENT LANDSCAPE, MOUNTAINS,
CANELS, ARCHITECTURE, CULTURE, FOOD. ....BEERS HAHA :)

AND GREAT MEMORIES OF MEET UPS ARRANGED THROUGH
VIRTUALTOURIST.COM WHICH IS SADLY NO LONGER HERE.
HOWEVER, I AM PRESERVING MANY VT MEMORIES HERE, MY NEW
HOME TRAVELLERSPOINT.

BARCELONA

IF IT WASN'T SUCH A BIG CITY WITH IT'S CROWDS, SCAMMERS,
PICKPOCKETS ETC... I WOULD HAVE REALLY ENJOYED THIS PLACE.
UNFORTUNATELY, EVER BEING VIGILENT AND GUARDED..... TOOK
SOME OF THE FUN OUT OF IT FOR ME.

DON'T GET ME WRONG. I DIDN'T DISLIKE BARCELONA AT ALL.
ON THE CONTRARY, I JUST LOVED THE GAUDI ARCHITECTURE
EVERYWHERE AND OTHER INTRICATE DESIGNED BUILDINGS.
BARCELONA IS A TOP DESTINATION IF YOU LOVE ARCHITECTURE.

NOT ONLY THAT, BUT THE HOP ON HOP OFF BUS ROUTES WERE
WELL THOUGHT OUT. YOU SIMPLY CANNOT VISIT BARCELONA
FOR THE FIRST TIME AND NOT DO THE TOURIST BUS. IT'S A
GREAT WAY TO GET YOU TO THE VARIOUS MAJOR SIGHTS.
HEY.... BARCELONA IS A BIG CITY!
JUST MAKE SURE YOU GET THERE EARLY TO AVOID THE LONG
LINES.

OK.... SO WE CAME FROM VALENCIA ON THE TRAIN TO BARCELONA.
THAT TRIP IN ITSELF IS WELL WORTH IT! THE TRAIN TRAVELLED FOR
A LOT OF THE WAY VERY CLOSE TO THE SHORE LINE SO WE GOT TO
SEE SOME LOVELY BEACHES ALONG THE WAY.

ARRIVING IN BARCA.... THE FIRST THING WE NOTICED WAS THE
BLACK AND YELLOW TAXI CABS :) WE JOINED THE LINE AND THERE
WAS AN OLD LONDON STYLE ONE COMING UP. I COUNTED THE
PEOPLE IN FRONT OF US..... HOPING TO GET THAT CAB!!
AND YES!! AWESOME!! WE DID!! LOL :)

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LIKE PARIS, BARCELONA HAS EXPENSIVE ACCOMMODATION. I CHOSE A
QUAINT HOTEL RIGHT IN THE CENTRE OF TOWN, A MINUTE WALK FROM THE
CENTRE SQUARE - PLACA DE CATALUNYA. THAT WAS WHERE WE ALSO
BOOKED OUR HOP ON HOP OFF BUS.

HOTEL LLEO

I WOULD MOST CERTAINLY STAY HERE AGAIN. IT WAS VERY GOOD FOR
THE PRICE AND VERY CLEAN. FRIENDLY STAFF TOO. I COULDN'T HAVE
ASKED FOR MORE.

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PLACA DE CATALUNYA

BEING CLOSE TO PLACA DE CATALUNYA, THE CENTRE SQUARE OF
BARCELONA AND WHERE THE FAMOUS LAS RAMBLAS STARTS,
WORKED OUT GREAT. WE COULD EXPLORE BEFORE THE CROWDS
INVADED.

I HAVE NEVER SEEN SO MANY PIGEONS!! I SUPPOSE THAT IS WHAT
TRAFALGAR SQUARE LOOKS LIKE LOL.
WE HAD FUN LAUGHING AT PEOPLE LAYING DOWN AND BEING
SWARMED BY PIGEONS! GEE!... LUCKILY THE ONLY DANGEROUS
THING ABOUT PIDGEONS IS SLOPPY BIRD POOP! HAHA :)
JUST KEEP YOUR EYES AND MOUTH SHUT LOL.

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LES RAMBLAS

FAMOUS TOURIST STREET FULL OF QUAINT GIFT SHOPS, TAPPAS
BARS AND BUSKERS. UNFORTUATELY IT ALSO HAS PICKPOCKETS.
WE DIDN'T STAY AROUND TOO LONG.

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GAUDI

ARCHITECTURE DESIGNED BY GAUDI IS WHAT BARCELONA IS
FAMOUS FOR.

WHEN GAUDI GRADUATED IN 1878 FROM BARCELONA'S SCHOOL OF
ARCHITECTURE, THE DIRECTOR ANNOUNCED: "GENTLEMEN, WE ARE
HERE TODAY IN THE PRESENCE OF EITHER A GENIUS OR A MADMAN."

GAUDI IS MOST CERTAINLY A GENIUS! HIS ARCHITECTURE IS SIMPLY
STUNNING!! HE WAS A NATURE LOVER AND A LOT OF HIS DESIGNS HAVE
OBVIOUSLY BEEN CONSTRUCTED WITH THAT IN MIND.

WHEN LOOKING AT HIS BUILDINGS THEY REMINDED ME OF LAVA CAVES.
IT IS NOT A SURPRISE TO LEARN THAT OTHER ARTISTS LIKE PICASSO AND
ORWELL THOUGHT THAT GAUDI'S DESIGNS WRE CR@P.
I THINK THEY WERE JUST JEALOUS OF HIS AMAZING TALENT.

GAUDI NEVER DESIGNED ON PAPER BUT CONSTRUCTED 3D MODELS TO
BUILD BY. SO IT IS NO SURPRISE THAT THE COUNCIL DID NOT APPROVE
OF MOST OF HIS WORKS AS HE WAS KNOWN FOR FLOUTING THE
BUILDING REGULATIONS WITH HIS EVOLVING ADDITIONS :)
HE JUST IGNORED THAT AND CONTINUED. I LIKE THE MAN'S STYLE :)

CASA BATLLO

OFTEN CALLED THE HOUSE OF BONES, CASA BATLLO WAS DESIGNED
BY GAUDI FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS BATLLO FAMILY.

THE DESIGN IS EQUATED TO A GIANT DRAGON WITH THE BASE
GRIDDED BY HUGE ABSTRACT BONES CROSSED BY WHAT LOOKS LIKE
PATTERNS THAT LOOK LIKE BLOOD VESSELS AND MUSCLE. THE ROOF
LOOKS LIKE THE SCALY COVER OF A BACK OF A GIANT DRAGON.
INGENIOUS NONETHELESS!! CASA BATLLO WAS MY FAVOURITE :)

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CASA MILA

A RICH BUSINESSMAN LIKED THE CASA BATLLO SO MUCH THAT HE
HIRED GAUDI TO CONSTRUCT A BUILDING ON THE VACANT BLOCK
ACROSS THE STREET. THIS BUILDING TURNED OUT TO BE LESS
CONVENTIONAL THAN THE CASA BATLLO. EVERY ROOM IS IRREGULAR.
THE WALLS AND CEILINGS DIFFER FROM ONE ANOTHER. IN FACT THE
WHOLE BUILDING IN CONSTRUCTED ON PILLARS AND ARCHES TOGETHER
WITH THE USE OF STEEL.

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PARC GUELL

I LOVED OUR VISIT HERE. THIS IS UNDOUBTEDLY AN AMAZING WORK OF
ART FROM THE BUILDINGS, TO THE INTRICATE TILE WORK, SO THE
ASTETICALLY PLEASING GARDENS - ALL WITH THE SPECIAL GAUDI
DESIGNOR TOUCH.

GAUDI WAS EMPLOYED BY GUELL, A WEALTHY BUSINESSMAN TO DESIGN
THIS PARK AS PART OF A NEW GARDEN SUBURB ON THE HILL DESCRIBED
AS 'THE TREELESS MOUNTAIN'.

AND WHAT A STUNNING CREATION THE PARK HAS UNUSUAL HOUSES,
ONE IN WHICH GAUDI LIVED, TASTEFULLY DESIGNED PILLARS THAT
BLEND INTO THE NATURAL SURROUNDINGS, LOVELY MOSAIC TILE WORK
AND AN AMAZING DRAGON MADE ENTIRELY OUT OF TILES.

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I COULDN'T RESIST A VT FLAG PIC WITH AN ACCOMMODATING
BUSKER OUTSIDE :)

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HOP ON HOP OFF BUS

AS SAID PREVIOUSLY, THERE'S NO BETTER WAY TO GET AROUND
BARCELONA BUT ON THE HOP ON HOP OFF TOURIST BUS. WE
ARRIVED AT THE PLACA DE CATALUNYA EARLY WHEN THE LINE
WAS NOT TOO LONG.

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TIP, TRY TO GET A GOOD SPOT ON THE TOP DECK. ONCE YOU HAVE
ACHIEVED THAT..... STAY THERE. YOU CAN PLAN WHERE TO
GET OFF THE NEXT TIME AROUND.

WE SPENT A LOT OF TIME LOOKING UP! HAHA :) THERE ARE SO MANY
LOVELY BUILDINGS IN BARCA BESIDES THE GAUDI ONES.

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BEAUTIFUL PORT AUTHORITY BUILDING

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CRISTOPHER COLUMBUS STATUE

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SAGRADA FAMMILIA

I AM NOT A REAL CHURCHY PERSON BUT I MUST SAY THIS
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH DESIGNED BY GAUDI WAS QUITE
IMPRESSIVE.

LOOKING DOWN AT THE BUS SHELTER IT SEEMS THAT THIS IS THE
PLACE WHERE A LOT OF PEOPLE DISPOSE OF THEIR HEAD PHONES.
DIRTY LITTER BUGS!

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TELEFERIC DE MONTJUIC

THIS IS WORTH GETTING OFF THE HOP ON HOP OFF BUS HERE.
THE VIEW OVER BARCELONA IS AWESOME!

THERE IS A HUGE CASTLE HERE AND A CABLE CAR THAT TAKES YOU
ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE PORT.

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Barcelona Port

Barcelona Port

BACK IN THE CITY CENTRE, WE HAD A CHUCKLE AT THE
TAXIS TRYING TO COMPETE WITH THE TOURIST BUS :)

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BEER O'CLOCK.... AND A GOOD RESTAURANT TIP.

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CAFE CATALUNYA

MY FAVOURITE. NICE AND QUIET, CLEAN SURROUNDINGS,
ATTENTATIVE STAFF .... BUT NOT IN YOUR FACE.

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SADLY OUR BIG 6 WEEK EUROPE AND MOROCCO HOLIDAY WAS AT AN END.

WE FLEW HOME VIA MILAN AND SINGAPORE.

MILAN..... LAKES OF NORTH ITALY.... AND VENICE....

NOW THERE'S A PLACE TO COME BACK TO NEXT TIME.... :)

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Posted by aussirose 17:16 Archived in Spain Tagged architecture barcelona hotel spain gaudi las ramblas de europe catalunya cafe mila parc guell casa batlló placa 2011 aussirose lleo Comments (0)

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