Barcelona: The Adventure Begins

Written by Harold McNeill on November 18th, 2013. Posted in Travelogue


Gruel Park Barcelona

Gruel Park Entrance:  The marble pillars above, give way to rock structures that support much of
hillside.  Photos in the attached album provide a better feel for the area.

Link Here for Full Set of Photos

With the population rapidly pushing toward 1.75 million, a history that traces back several hundred years, a football team that commands world attention and an architect whose works continues to define many aspects of the city, Barcelona has plenty to offer. Since gaining their freedom barely 35 years ago, Barcelona and Catalan Province have become top tourist destinations of the Eurozone.

Situated in the north-east part of Spain, the port of Barcelona hosts more cruise ships and cargo tonnage than any other single Mediterranean destination. When wandering around this carefree city it is hard to believe that it was only 1976 when the Catalonian people emerged from 40 years of brutal repression under the iron fist of the Franco regime.

civiwarmainDuring that dictatorship, the Catalonian people were not allowed to use their language or practice many of their cultural traditions. Each day, summary execution was a fact of life. Today, you can feel the sense of freedom as millions of tourists fill the streets, shops and resturants, or wait for their turn to view the classic works of art and architecture that fill the city.

Photo (Web): Catalonian rebels fight Franco’s troops.  For decades, the whereabouts of thousands executed in Spain under Franco’s rule have remained a mystery. Now the exhumation of mass graves is reuniting relatives with their loved ones’ remains – and revealing the country’s dark history.

As had only a limited time to savour the sights and sounds, we purchased two-day “Hop On, Hop Off” bus passes for $34E (you can take one day at $26E and update the next for $8E if you wish).  The Red (Central), Green (Waterfront) and, Blue (North and West) routes provide easy access to almost every major tourist attraction in the city.

Each of the city owned double decker uses with open top, has a quality sound system that provides an excellent running commentary in a dozen languages. It was lucky for us that we were travelling outside the peak tourist season, as there was plenty of room on the top deck and wait times at every attraction, even the most popular, was no more than a 10-15 minutes.

Almost every area in Barcelona boasts examples of the work of Antonio Gaudi, the most stunning of which is the Sagadra Familia monument, a towering structure designed in the form of a Basilica. This amazing work of architectural art has been under construction for over one hundred years and is not likely to be completed for another fifty.  As for the few photographs posted, it was extremely hard to capture the splendour.

The second example of the amazing work that flowed from the mind of Gaudi’s was the buildings and walls in Guell Park. In addition to the flowing mosaic of the walls and rooftops, large areas of the hillside park is supported on pillars of either marble or rock in the style of that build in ancient Rome.

Antonio Gaudi was clearly a man who loved to design his works of art as places in which people could work, play, pray and love in a setting that helped them to break the bonds of the more mundane aspects of their lives.

Perhaps one day we will again have an opportunity to return to this wonderful City and Province.

(985)

(Visited 192 times, 1 visits today)

Trackback from your site.

Leave a comment

 

Comments

  • Andrew Dunn

    May 14, 2019 |

    Thank you so much for all your help thus far Harold, aka. Tractor guy! I could not have done without you!

  • Harold McNeill

    April 25, 2019 |

    I find it interesting to contemplate how a small community evolves in general isolation from the rest of the world. We have a similar situation in the northern communities in Canada to which access is limited. The inclusion of the world wide web and mass media has changed things, but these communities are still left pretty much to their own devices when it comes to personal interaction.

  • Harold McNeill

    March 19, 2019 |

    Hi Dave. Not that I am aware and I have a fairly comprehensive family tree for the McNeill side of the family. I will pull it up and scan. Cheers, Harold. Great chatting with you and I will give Ben a nudge.

  • Dave Cassels

    March 16, 2019 |

    Were you related to Guy McNeill who owned the Bruin Inn in St. Albert in the late 40’s or early 50’s? Guy was a close friend of my father-in-law who was the first President of the Royal Glenora Club. My phone number is 780 940 1175. Thank you.

  • Harold McNeill

    March 15, 2019 |

    So glad you found the story and enjoyed. Indeed, they were memorable times. I did a fair amount of searching but never managed to contact any of the Murffit kids. However, it was neat to make contact with the Colony and someone I knew from back in the day. I have enjoyed writing these stories from back in the 1940s and 50s and have made contact with a lot of friends from those early years. I will give you a call over the weekend. Cheers, Harold

  • Yvonne (Couture) Richardson

    March 7, 2019 |

    I enjoyed your story. I too, lived in Pibroch in 1951, as my parents owned the hotel there. I was a very close friend of Bonnie Murfitt at the time. I moved to Edmonton in 1952, however, and have not seen her since. I would like to be in touch with you to talk about your story. My email is listed above and my phone number is 780-475-3873.

  • Laureen Kosch/Patry

    March 5, 2019 |

    I grew up in Pibroch and would not trade those years for anything. “ Kids don’t know how to play anymore” Never was a truer statement made. During the summer we were out the door by 8am, home for lunch, and back when it got dark. For the most part our only toys were our bikes and maybe a baseball mitt. I will never forget the times when all the kids got together in “Finks field” for a game of scrub baseball. Everybody was welcome, kids from 8 to 18. I didn’t know it then but I guess I had a childhood most dream of. Drove thru town last summer. It all looked a lot smaller.

  • Harold McNeill

    January 13, 2019 |

    Well, my dear, it’s that time again. How the years fly by and the little ones grow but try as you may you will have a hard time catching up to your Daddy. Lots of love young lady and may your day be special
    Love, Dad

  • Harold McNeill

    January 5, 2019 |

    Guess what? My response went to the Spam folder. Hmm, do you suppose the system is trying to tell me something?

  • Harold McNeill

    January 5, 2019 |

    Thanks, Terrance. Your comment came through but went to the Spam folder. Have pulled it out and approved. Can you send another on this post to see if you name is now removed from Spam? I’m not sure why it does that. Cheers, Harold