Day 2: Barcelona – Met Antoni Gaudi

The second day in Spain was planned to stroll in Barcelona to see many beautiful buildings designed by a famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi.

I woke up at 6am on the day to get the earliest AVE from Madrid to Barcelona, which departs at 7:30. I walked to Atocha station for 10 or 15 minutes from the hostel. A Brazilian guy, who checked out the hostel at same time as me, was funny because he carried his staffs with a Zara paper bag instead of the backpack that he lost a week ago. He had continued the travel with the Zara bag. Hahaha.

Unexpectedly, regular seats for 7:30 train was already full and had to wait for three hours if I want. The first class for the train was still available, but it cost 173 Euros which was about 60 Euros more expensive than the regular seats. I was wondering for a minute. I thought the three hours were really valuable and decided to get the first class. Come to think of it, the day was December 24, Saturday, which could be the first day for winter holidays for lots of people. I should have reserved the train before coming to Spain.

The first class included breakfast like in the airplane.

The AVE stopped at Zaragoza station on the way, which looked quite big with a roof same as other terminal stations. We arrived at Barcelona Sants station at 10:48. The distance between Madrid and Barcelona on AVE is 621km according to Wikipedia AVE. For reference, the distance between Tokyo and Osaka, Japan is 552km. Both lines are connection its capital city with the second biggest city in the countries, so I had similar feeling with them.

It was nice weather when I got to Barcelona.

I checked in Itaca hostel around 11:30am. The hostel was located near the Catedral, only a minute away from it. You can see the yellow banner on the second floor balcony.

Cathedral of Santa Eulalia

The Cathedral looked under maintenance, but I was able to get inside the building.

After strolling inside the Catedral and around that, I walked toward Palau de la Musica Catalana. I found rental bicycles. If it was a warm season, biking in Barcelona would be nice.

Palau de la Musica Catalana is a world heritage site. You need to join a guided tour if you want to see inside. I just saw the appearance of the building.

Sagrada Familia

Then I took Metro at Passeig de Gracia to Sagrada Familia stop. There was a long queue for entering Sagrada Familia, but it moved fast actually. This is frequently called Antoni Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece.

The Sagrada Familia shot from different angle.

Parc Guell

After quick lunch, I took Metro to Vallcarca stop to visit Parc Guell which was designed by Antoni Gaudi as well. Escalators were available to climb the hill to the park.

You have beautiful views from top of the hill in the park.

Panoramic view of the city of Barcelona contains Sagrada Familia.

There was a peaceful square in the center of the park.

I reached the entrance of the Parc Guell and came to know I entered at another entrance of the park.

Leaving the park, I walked to Metro station, Lesseps. I got off at Diagonal and walked to Casa Mila, which was another work by Antoni Gaudi.

Another Gaudi’s architecture, Casa Batllo, was only five or ten minutes walk away from Casa Mila. On this day, I just looked the appearance of the building and thought coming back next day to join a tour.

Then I took Metro to Plaza Espanya.

Walking to Museu d’Art de Catalunya that you see at the end of the street in the following picture.

Nice view from the square in front of the museum.

Walked to Olympic Stadium on Monjuic hill. The summer Olympic was held  in 1992. One of the legendary athletes, Carl Lewis, got gold medals in the long jump and in the 4 x 100m relay.

Baseball stadium was located in the middle of the hill. Japan national team won the bronze medal.

Went down the hill by funicular to Paral-lel station. One of Gaudi’s works, Palau Guell, was closed due to restoration works.

I got back to the hostel around five and was exhausted with walking so long distance. I went to a bar near the Catedral and had some tapas and beer.

I was afraid my digital camera was getting dead. I cleaned it up with alcohol that I got in glasses shop, but it didn’t work well at all…

The day was Christmas Eve, so the hostel had a reception at 8pm. Enjoyed champaign and some snacks with other guests. Then went to bed around 10. What a long day.

Map

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