Dear friends,

last week was truly packed with tours and further long and extensive walks – I hardly know where to start…

Sunday we rented a car and drove to Montserrat and Sitges. The rock formations of Montserrat are really impressive from near and far. For some 10 kilometers you need to drive up hair pin turns in order to reach the Montserrat abbey parking area. From there the famous abbey can be visited and it is the ideal starting point for hikes and climbing tours. Unfortunately we were by far not the only ones who thought about going to Montserrat on a Sunday at all… the amount of company we had was sufficient to make us queue for about 90 minutes far before we reached the parking… at least almost. We turned around before. Nevertheless, it was worth it as we had beautiful vistas.

View on Montserrat -1

View on Montserrat -1

Abbey on Montserrat

Abbey on Montserrat

In the beautiful coastal town of Sitges we spent the afternoon. We roamed through the streets, walked alongside the beach and promenades and had an excellent lunch – and we returned back to Barcelona all relaxed.

Family picture Sitges

Family picture Sitges

Flower Power Girls!

Flower Power Girls!

In Barcelona the so called Modernisme (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modernisme) – Art Nouveau present all over the place. The best known representative is probably Antoni Gaudi, but there are more – such as Lluis Domenech i Montaner who have left their marks. And the marks of both we have followed this week.

We visited Sagrada Familia – including 2 of its towers (by A. Gaudi) and the Palau de la Musica Catalana by Lluis Domenech i Montaner.

Sagrada Familia, which is supposed to be completed by 2030 is very interesting to see from time to time. The changes and the increasing impression it makes are exciting to witness. So we ordered the tickets online (which was pretty effortless) and just bypassed the queues, showed the Smartphone/tablet and in we were at the scheduled time. Very handy.

Windows of Sagrada Familia

Windows of Sagrada Familia

Stairs in a tower of Sagrada Familia

Stairs in a tower of Sagrada Familia

But when it comes to the towers it has to be mentioned that the stairs are seriously not for people suffering from vertigo. The famous photographs where the stairs look like snails are very real and I admit we all were breathing heavily when we eventually reached the bottom…

Stairs in a tower of Sagrada Familia (looking down)

Stairs in a tower of Sagrada Familia (looking down)

View on Barcelona from Sagrada Familia Tower

View on Barcelona from Sagrada Familia Tower

Stairs in Sagrada Familia -2

Stairs in Sagrada Familia -2

The Palau de la Musica Catalana is another building listed by the UNESCO World Heritage.

Building the music palace has been a historic enterprise. It was financed privately in order to give the choires of Barcelona an opportunity to practise and present themselves – which was not possible before. The Palau gave a joint home both to bourgeoise and classical music.

Ceiling light in Palau de la Musica

Ceiling light in Palau de la Musica

Palau de la Musica Catalana

Palau de la Musica Catalana

And as we were in the middle of a rush of culture we enjoyed La Traviata in the Liceu – in an opulent and gorgeous building. What an environment for a wonderful opera! I can’t remember when I last had a week so filled with culture and “landscape” at a time….

The next post will most likely come from The Hague (The Netherlands) where I will be for the coming 14 months. And I am sure that there will be a lot of stories to be told.

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