Monthly Archives: May 2015




Springvale South to Barcelona via Doha

I am putting it on record that Barcelona is a very long way from Melbourne.  Maybe I am getting old but I think this last flight was the most tiring I have ever done.  We flew Qatar Airways and it was very cramped and the food was truly terrible.  By the time we had located our hostel and showered it was 5.30pm and we decided to take a nap before going for a walk.  We woke at midnight, in spite of setting a two-hour alarm, so slept on and commenced our Barcelona adventure the next day.

Barcelona is a truly beautiful city with marvellous architecture and a nice, relaxed vibe.  We took a couple of bus tours to take in as much as we could and we did a lot of walking.  It was hot, ( 25-29 deg ) – rather different to Melbourne, I gather.  We have fallen in love with Antoni Gaudi and would have loved to have had more time to explore his creations.  He must have been an extraordinary person – it’s easy to see why Spain is so proud of him.  Apparently he lived a very austere life and he was very devout.  Somehow, his buildings reflect his faith and his love of nature, from which he took inspiration, but, at the same time they are full of humour and whimsy.  I love their playfulness.

We took a guided tour through the Sagrada Familia, his most famous and still unfinished work. It was commenced in 1882 and although Gaudi was not the original architect, he played an active role in directing the construction until his death in 1926.  The giant Basilica is extraordinary enough from the outside but the interior is breathtakingly beautiful.  There are more towers under construction including a huge central tower so the building is further embellished with the addition of many huge cranes which is rather appropriate since the old and the new seem to cohabit quite comfortably in Gaudi’s world.  We also visited Park Guell, which is a magical place of amazing buildings and sculptures and tile work designed by Gaudi. Everything is so colourful. It’s great fun.

We generally had lovely food in Spain and quickly realised that it would take longer than we had to work our way through all the tapas possibilities.  I am also a sangria convert.  It’s a lovely summer drink.