Sunny Catalonia

Catalonia feels distinct from the rest of Spain, its four provinces enclose an impressive wealth of natural splendour.

The Catalonia region, in northeastern Spain, is known for the lively beach resorts of Costa Brava as well as the Pyrenees Mountains. Barcelona, the regional capital, has a historic Gothic Quarter, La Rambla pedestrian mall, museums and several beaches. Antoni Gaudí’s distinctive modern art and architecture can be seen at the Sagrada Família Basilica and in the colorful outdoor mosaics of Park Güell.

 By hearing this I thought it was time to pack my bags  again and go on a new adventure.

 

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Cadaquez

Its azure-blue waters and piercing sunlight famously drew painters such as Magritte, Matisse and Picasso, but  the peninsula’s best-known adopted son is Salvador Dalí, who for decades kept a home studio in nearby Portlligat. Upmarket, but not snooty, its exclusivity is safeguarded by its being cut off by the arid slopes of the Cap de Creus national park.

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Getting in to town is via a treacherous coastal road that winds and dips wildly. Those who make it are rewarded with stunning cliff-edge walks, a picture-book waterfront that’s made for sundowners and the run of one of the most beautiful and unspoilt villages on the Mediterranean.

Whe you visit cadaquez, you must go for a walk. The view out over the ocean 🌊 is amazing and it feels like you are at the moon or mars because of the surroundings (bare rocks).

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After a day Cadaquez we took are bags and drove to figueres, the birthplace of Dali;

Figueres

Figueres is the birthplace of Salvador Dali and home to the Dali Museum, one of the most-visited Spanish museums. Not surprisingly, it is the place for the lovers of fine art just like  ME .

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This town is the birthplace of artist Salvador Dalí, and houses the Teatre-Museu Gala Salvador Dalí, a large museum designed by Dalí himself which attracts many visitors.

This  wonderful Museum displays the single largest and most diverse collection of works by Salvador Dalí. Many artworks are from the artist’s personal collection. There are paintings from all parts of his career, sculptures, 3-dimensional collages, mechanical devices and other strange items! You could easily spend a whole day here.

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Just a 2 hour drive from Figueres and you’ll come to the capital of catalonia:

 

Barcelona

Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, is known for its art and architecture. The fantastical Sagrada Família church and other modernist landmarks designed by Antoni Gaudí dot the city. Museu Picasso and Fundació Joan Miró feature modern art by their namesakes.

 

La Sagrada Família

If you have time for only one sightseeing outing, this should be it. La Sagrada Família inspires awe by its sheer verticality, and in the manner of the medieval cathedrals it emulates, it’s still under construction after more than 130 years. When completed, the highest tower will be more than half as high again as those that stand today.

Unfinished it may be, but it attracts around 2.8 million visitors a year and is the most visited monument in Spain. The most important recent tourist was Pope Benedict XVI, who consecrated the church in a huge ceremony in November 2010.

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Port olympic

Before the 1992 Summer Olympic Games, Barcelona was a city that had lived turning its back to the sea. This changed dramatically when Barcelona was chosen to host the 1992 Olympic Games.

Plans were announced for the development of a new sports marina, several docks, a new neighborhood to house the athletes and two skyscrapers (Hotel Arts & Mapfre Tower).

The image of the two skyscrapers and Frank Gehry’s golden fish became the symbol of the Olympic Port. Besides redefining the Barcelona skyline, it also became one of the most exciting areas of the city, with plenty of leisure activities to choose from.

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Park Güell

Park Güell was commissioned by Eusebi Güell who wanted to create a stylish park for Barcelona aristocracy. The park contains amazing stone structures (see below), stunning tiling and fascinating buildings. You can see from this picture the Gaudí dragon fountain that is at the entrance to Güell park. This dragon is adorned in beautiful coloured tiling and there is something rather hypnotic and magical about it.

Here you can see a walkway supported by twisting rock pillars that seem to be growing out of the ground like tree trunks. Although these are rather irregular in shape they do feel strangely natural too. Gaudí was strongly influenced by natural shapes and used them in his work.

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Palau de la Música Catalana

The building was designed by architect, Lluís Domènech i Montaner and built between 1905 and 1908. It was designed as a home for Barcelona’s choir, the Orfeó Catalá. The amateur choir still perform at the venue today.

The largest and most well-known space in the Palau is the Concert Hall. This is a 2,146 seat venue with an ornate glass roof – the main setting for concerts and recitals.

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The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia

The cathedral certainly is one of the most beutiful Gothic buildings in Barcelona. It stands at the Pla de la Seu, almost in the centre of the Barri Gòtic, which directly borders to the famous Rambla. The forecourt of the cathedral is often used for parties and events. Saturdays at 18.30 and Sundays at 12.00 people dance the Sardana, the traditional circle dance of the Catalans.

Be sure to look at the Cloister with small chapels, gardens, fountains and even geese cackling around. You can hear the loud cackling of the geese from the church building. The geese used to fulfill an important task: they warned against intruders and thieves. Especially on hot summer days, the cool cloisters are a joy.

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Montjuïc

19512246_1384918938294757_1715586811_nThe Montjuïc is a hill located near the center of Barcelona. It features a large number of attractions including the Spanish Village, the Magic Fountain and MNAC, one of the city’s most important museums.

Several thousand years ago, Iberic Celts settled on the Montjuïc, a 213 meter high hill southeast of Barcelona’s current city center. The hill was later used by the Romans as a ceremonial place.

Today the Montjuïc is a mostly recreational area with a large number of sights and attractions, most of them originating from two major events that took place here: the 1929 International Exhibition and the 1992 Olympics.

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Palau National

One of these sights is the Palau Nacional (National Palace), originally built as the central pavilion for the International Exhibition. The majestic building in neo-Baroque style is home to the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC). Its collection includes Roman, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque art as well as nineteenth- and twentieth-century works of art.

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Olympic Tower

This structure is from the 1992 Olympics. Built by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava in a typical curved white style, the sleek tower was built as the main communications tower for the coverage of the Olympic Games.

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The Barcelona Pavilion

The Barcelona Pavilion, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, was the German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain. This building was used for the official opening of the German section of the exhibition.

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