Barcelona

Barcelona. What does it mean to you? Coming off the train we all had mixed ideas.  Mum thought it might be three days of exploring beautiful Antoni Gaudi architecture and I was ready for three whole days of football, football and football. But as we walked out of the station one thing shone (literally), the weather! The sun was shining and no rain clouds could be seen in the sky. This was looking like a good three days for the 4wheatleys.

We had to wait a bit before we checked in and in that time we thankfully made a compromise of both Gaudi and football. During the time we were waiting, we decided to tick Gaudi’s Casa Batllo (which was just across the road) off our list. Now if you’re like me you know that all old buildings and art are boring right? Wrong! Only MOST old buildings and art are boring. What makes Gaudi’s work special is that his inspiration is nature which makes his architecture different, more interesting and full of of natural light. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

The dragon back roof of Casa Batlo

The dragon back roof of Casa Batllo.

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One of the rooms.

the Light-well of Casa Batlo

The light-well of Casa Batllo.

We then settled down into our apartment and Dad managed to get tickets to Barcelona vs Elche the next night. We were so excited!

The next morning, Dad and I went for a run down the famous Ramblas. At the end there was a beautiful harbour sparkling in the sunlight. Later that day we rambled down the Ramblas as a family and Ele got her face drawn. There was a huge market which we decided to explore. All kinds of food was sold there including chocolates, vegetables, seafood (dead and alive) and more. We went home with some meat filled pastries for dinner.

Rambling Down the Ramblas

Rambling Down the Ramblas

Eleanor getting her face drawn

Eleanor getting her face drawn

That night was match night. I was eagerly anticipating my first ever Barcelona football match. Kick off was 10pm!! First stop; merchandise store. This was no ordinary store, it was the one and only FCB Official MEGASTORE!!! ( dramatic, huh?) I was now fully equipped with my home jersey and official home scarf, and ready to enter the stadium. The atmosphere was amazing. The Barça song was played over the speaker while Dad and I effortlessly hummed and somethinged along to the tune. I was super excited when I first saw Messi, Neymar and Suarez in real life! In the end the score was Barça 5-0 Elche the first goal being a defense-dissecting set-up by Suarez and Messi and a cracking finish from Neymar. It was an unforgettable experience.

In the stands.

In the stands.

Camp Nou, the third biggest football stadium in the world.

Camp Nou, the third biggest football stadium in the world.

Day 3 was Gaudi day. One thing I must mention is that when your dad wakes you up on holidays, it’s not pretty. After a lot of yawning and tired-teenager noises I was ready to start Gaudi Day. In the morning we visited Park Guell, a beautiful park, designed and built by Gaudi. The park had all natural beauty and the structures echoed the natural environment.

The leaning path in Park Guell.

The leaning path in Park Guell.

Nature and Man (made) together.

Nature and Man (made) together.

Not your' ordinary park bench eh?

Not your ordinary park bench eh?

In the afternoon we traveled to the most famous of Gaudi’s works, the massive cathedral, the Segrada Familia. Sounds familia?

A few fun facts about the Segrada Familia

  1. It isn’t finished! Many designers have taken up the task to imitate Gaudi in the design so the church looks like a mish-mash of different styles.
  2. The Segrada Familia is all about light. Gaudi has perfectly tinkered with the light levels and colours of the stained glass windows so the church looks its best.
  3. The pillars inside the building are designed to look like trees and the roof is decorated like palm fronds.
  4. The Massive cathedral has been under construction since 1882!
The Segrada Familia under construction.

The Segrada Familia under construction.

The breathtaking interior of The Segrada Famila.

The breathtaking interior of The Segrada Famila.

the light through the windows.

The light through the windows.

Saturday. Our last day in Barcelona 😥 .  On that day we decided to climb the mountain Montserrat. To get there we had to take an hour train trip. Some nuns on the train went to the toilet ( which was right next to us) and I think they might have had too much of Sister Catherine’s Curry Surprise…  To reach the town from the ground we took a cable car that was really steep up to the town on the middle edge of the mountain. This mountain had a whole monastery for nuns on it and lots of little chapels dotted on the steep rock faces. We scoffed down some lunch and caught the funicular railway to start off on our hike up the mountain. The scenery was stunning. Mountains glowed a hazy blue in the distance and valleys rolled into picturesque villages and towns. There were lots of steep stairs, and challenging climbs that I really enjoyed. We loved the mountain, the weather and the hike. It was a great day.

The cable car up to the mountain.

The cable car up to the mountain.

I must say, whoever took that shot is probably a great guy

I must say, whoever took that shot is probably a great guy.

 

A beautiful Monserrat vista.

A beautiful Montserrat vista.

Gee, who new nuns were so into climbing!?

Gee, who knew nuns were so into climbing!?

We bade a sad farewell to the sunny city of Barcelona. It was one of our favourites so far and we were sorry to say goodbye.

Posing at Casa Batlo.

Posing at Casa Batllo.

Casa Batlo.

Casa Batllo.

Pre-Match anticipation.

‘Can’t wait for DJ Bruce Lee!’

Park Guell.

Park Guell.

The dribbling lizard statue in park guell.

The dribbling lizard statue in Park Guell.

Park Guell.

Park Guell.

The Segrada Familia Nativity Facade.

The Segrada Familia Nativity Facade.

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Two hikers that conquered Montserrat.

The Monestary on the mountain. Home of Sister Catherine's infamous Curry Surprise.

The Monastery on the mountain. Home of Sister Catherine’s infamous Curry Surprise.

The fenicular railway of Monserrat. Pick up your game Scenic World!

The funicular railway of Montserrat. Pick up your game Scenic World!

 

 

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3 Responses to Barcelona

  1. Bianca Bolger says:

    i Hola familia Wheatley !
    What a great post Will…I absolutely loved reading about your Barcelona highlights and seeing your brilliant pictures. It is such a terrific city with a great vibe. How was the food? Good tapas?? Any tips for Craig??? I did also wondered how many Manuel (Faulty Towers) jokes were cracked as you tried out your Spanglish with the locals…

    So great to hear about the Barcelona v Elche match. We were thinking of you all as we watched Australia thrash Oman at the Asia Cup this week and comparing stadiums…Craig, Xave and my brother Garth were definitely wishing they were at Camp Nou instead of Stadium Australia. But live football is always good. We are thinking of getting tickets to the semi finals on Australia Day. Would you guys be back by then to join us???

    We are off tomorrow to Fraser Island for a week. Last week of holidays for us all before we properly get into the year. Definitely are looking forward to it but the forecast is for a week of thunderstorms 😦 Fingers crossed your Barcelona weather makes its way to Fraser.

    So…I have counted 8 blogs out of the “10 Cities” series and am trying to work out what the last two will be. Am anticipating there must be one from your time in the snow, but your final destination is…?? I will no doubt have to wait!

    Thanks so much for putting these blogs up. They are so great to read and just bring smiles to all our faces as we live vicariously though you guys.

    We are so looking forward to welcoming you home. Downtown Gordon will feel like a small country town in comparison to the crowds of those Euro-Cities. Safe travels and enjoy your last week abroad…

    Lots of love,

    Bianca xx

  2. margwheatley says:

    Another fabulous blog – well done Will! We loved reading about all your Gaudi experiences – and of course the soccer stadium! What an atmosphere that must have been! You have packed a lot in to another city – and we agree Barcelona is a wonderful city – even the small amount we have seen of it. Hope the skiing is as enjoyable as all your other adventures. Love to you all.

  3. Grandad says:

    Great post Will. Isn’t Barcelona just a wonderful city? Loved your anticipation of the game. Also loved the photo of Ele. It took me straight back to the day your mother was drawn in Paris when she was just a few years younger than Ele. This trip will give you memories that last a lifetime. Keep on enjoying!!!!!!

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