Barcelona I: the city

Of course by “soon” in the previous post I meant two weeks later.  We have been crazy busy here with work related stuff, housing related stuff, and trying to not get deported (seriously).  I hope it all settles down in the next couple of weeks, but until then things might be a little thin here at  However, I did figure that before we could take our next holiday, I should at least share some of our experiences from our previous one.

Three weekends ago Chelsea and I took our first official “holiday” from work here in Oxford to visit our friend Nathalie in Barcelona Spain.  One of the bonuses of living so close to London, is that we can connect to many of the places we want to visit, for relatively cheap.  We took a four day weekend to visit Natsy and see what Barcelona was all about.  I have put up a picasa web album of a bunch of pictures, but I’ll try to highlight some of them here in the next few posts too.

We took the picture above in the center of the city (sort of) but because it represents a lot.  There wasn’t a ton of green space, but it did appear to be clean and pretty nice overall.  The red and white bicycles you see are part of a bike sharing program with the city that seemed to be pretty effective.  There were also tons of motorcycles and scooters buzzing around all of the streets.  Another thing I noticed, not a ton of really tall buildings.  There were plenty of 6-7 story buildings, but not very many that were skyscraper variety.

Like many European cities, the streets were pretty narrow too.  We also noticed the high percentage of apartments that had balconies.  It seems like a good way to enjoy the good weather.

Nathalie also took us to an amazing market.  We have a famous covered market here in Oxford, but that looks like a small corner store compared to the market above.  There were probably at least four or five fruit stands that looked just like this one, all packed with people.  Apparently people find one they like and just go back.  The seafood section of this market was spectacular, check the picasa gallery for a picture of that.

Of course a city tour would not be complete without a few impressive structures.  Above is the National museum of Catalonia art, and again more pictures in the gallery.  I hear the water fountains leading up to this place put on an amazing show once it gets dark.  Perhaps on our next visit we’ll check them out.

I grabbed this outside the art museum.  I can’t really appreciate the history behind this statement, but I can say that as far as languages go, Catalan is not Spanish.

I took 400+ pictures and 10+ videos in the short 4 days we were in Barcelona, and the picture above is probably my favorite.  It is a composite I stitched together in Photoshop of 5 pictures.  We are at the extreme top of Park Guell (more on that later) and the view was incredible.  Click the picture above for a much higher resolution version of this picture.  You can see what I mentioned earlier, not a lot of really big buildings, which I think is interesting for a city of approximately 9 million people.  We did WAY too much to put into a few posts, but stay tuned as I’ll get some more pictures in soon.

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