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.

(980)

(Visited 177 times, 1 visits today)

Trackback from your site.

Leave a comment

 

Comments

  • 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

  • Terrance

    January 5, 2019 |

    A VERY COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS. ALL POLITICIANS SHOULD READ THIS.

  • Harold McNeill

    December 23, 2018 |

    Thanks Sis. I will be uploading as Hi-Def so the photos can be viewed full screen. Brother

  • Louise

    December 21, 2018 |

    Amazing collection of photos of the weekend ❤️❤️

  • Harold McNeill

    December 21, 2018 |

    Hi Dave,

    Not sure if you are the same Armit as was at Oak Bay PD or not. Interesting to see your comment on Danny Cain and your birthdays and family friendships. Cheers, Harold

  • Harold McNeill

    November 19, 2018 |

    Thanks, Lynn. It appears there was a problem with the comment system. Cheers, Harold

  • lynnmcneill

    November 19, 2018 |

    Hi Harold – looks great!

  • Maurice Smook

    August 13, 2016 |

    Hi Jillian,

    I don’t know if you are still checking this site but I had to respond again. February of 2017 it will be 72 years since this battle occurred.

    What caught my attention about this incident was on the Go Deep Documentary that aired on the History Channel. First of all I never known that this battle having ever occurred.

    According to my grade 3 teacher WW2 had never occurred. That grade 3 teacher stated that the WW2 and the holocaust was all propaganda. All of my classmates they believed her. I hate to say this but all I knew was that soldiers shooting at each other.

    I almost was expelled from school. My

    Mom my Dad my brother and my Uncle would have been arrested for propaganda. I paid the price. It was ironic a grade 5 teacher told me that Smooks are all commies. Dad was Conservative.

    All the Smooks that I known are all Conservative. If I had the money I would have loved to sue those two teachers.

    As I said I never heard of this Battle. If it were not for that program I would have never had known.

    I started to do more researching to find out more about the history of this battle. The narrator of Go Deep mentioned the names of the pilots who died that battle.

    I missed 20 minutes of that program but the camera crew had the camera’s pointed towards the sign with the names of the deceits. That is how I known.

    According to the narrator There are three who are still missing. W.J. Jackson, Harry Smook and A. Duckworth. A couple of months ago the staff of Go Deep have located Harry and A. Duckworths aircraft. This is on you tube. Harry and A. Duckworth craft is approx 650 feet deep in the Fjord. The individual who is heading this expansionary mission made it known he will not rest until all three of the missing pilots
    will be retrieved. I am sure that A. Duckworth’s kin are hoping for the same.

    What really puzzles me is that I have sent emails to the Smooks. Not one ever replying. I presume its the same with you. Sad. Dad rarely spoke about his family. It appears there is a big secret of the Smooks. I too assume Harry is a kin to my Dad. Harry maybe a 4th 5th cousin to my Dad. I too would like to know. Harry and A. Duckworth served and died for our country. The other is W.j. Jackson – who is also still missing – having died for our Country.

    In conclusion I still ask myself why is this a huge secret.

    If you are still checking this site please contact me. Maybe we may be kin.

    Take care.