let's go to barcelona!

We were woken up in the middle of the night (circa 3am) by the sound of cars honking and people shouting along Gran Vía. Hz wanted to go out to the balcony to see what was going on, but I told him he better get some sleep as we got an early train to catch.

At 8am we left Madrid for Barcelona via AVE, the famous speed train, which I'm on board right now. I have two very important things to buy in Barcelona: a battery and a memory stick for my camera. Last night while we were watching zarzuela I felt something dropped out of my bag, but I couldn't figure out what it was, so I let it go. Later when we returned to the hostel only I realized it was my camera's spare battery. Since we take hundreds of pics a day, it's important to have a spare battery. As for the memory stick, I already knew the spare memory stick was faulty even before we left for Europe, but I brought it along anyway as it seemed to work at times. As the main memory stick was already full, I had to switch to the spare one this morning, but it proved to be cranky. Better not take any chance losing my pics, hence I'm getting a new one.

It's nice riding this AVE train. Our first class Eurail pass entitles us to big seats, on board entertainment and breakfast (served by the cabin crew), similar to services you normally get on a plane. The view outside is great as we leave snowy central Spain and enter warmer coastal Spain by the Mediterranean Sea. Too bad I can't take any pics of the outdoors (blame the faulty memory stick) and my phone ain't designed to snap pics while on the move.

I did take a pic of the breakfast using my phone, after almost half-way into the meal.. hehehe!

Fast forward, I'm in Barcelona now. Wooohooooo!!! My dream destination for AGES! Can't believe I'm finally here! I purposely allocate 5 full days here excluding travel days, which is a lot of time. So much to do, so much to see! Owh, managed to get a brand new battery and 1G XD card for EUR 40. Hope 1G is enough, at the resolution that I've set it should be able to snap about 1,300 pix. +/-11 more days remain of the trip, so that's about 100+ pix a day. Enough, no? Well, if it's not enough I'll get another 1G!

Christmas market in front of Cathedral of Santa Eulalia.

Cathedral of Santa Eulalia @ La Seu. There was some restoration work going on.

A statue on Avinguda Marquès de l’Argentera.

Santa Maria del Mar.

Narrow streets and cute balconies in La Ribera district.

Entrance to Museu Picasso. Didn’t go in though.

Mercat de Santa Caterina and its signature roof.

Palau de la Música Catalana @ Palace of Catalan Music, a concert hall designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner.

Miguel Blay's massive sculptural group symbolizing Catalan music on the corner of the building. Just look at the architecture, amazing!

Surrounded by pigeons at Plaça de Catalunya.

Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, the famous market also simply known as La Boqueria. A friend once told me “Just go there to take photos, don’t buy anything!” which was exactly what I did ;-)

By the way, when we got to our hotel in Barcelona, the early morning incident in Madrid was in the news. Apparently Madrid taxi drivers were on strike against liberalization of taxi fares. Thankfully we didn't need to use taxi when we were there!


Mutiara Pratiwi Djamil said...

Hi Dieya

My name is Muti from Indonesia. It is so interesting to learn your journey. I have a plan to explore Barcelona, Madrid and Malaga. Can you recommend me places to stay? As possibly I will be travelling alone.

Thanks so much!

dieya said...

hi muti,
thanks for dropping by my blog.
wow that sounds like a great plan! i'm sure u'll have a great time.

Madrid: i would advise you to stay somewhere along Gran Via, that's the center of the city, easy for you to go everywhere.

Barcelona: Las Ramblas is the best! everything is within walking distance.

i've never been to malaga, so i can't advise you on that.
if you need further info, just let me know :-)