July 2014 – We spent a short holiday in Sta. Susanna, Barcelona, Spain. It was a last minute decision but we found a reasonable deal. We needed some sun and a week would be plenty.
We arrived at Girona Airport in Costa Brava from London Gatwick Airport. We then picked up our hired car from Goldcar at the airport and off we drove to Sta Susanna for about 40 minutes. Having a base outside the city is a much cheaper option. We have to be careful with our hard-earned money. We were not disappointed with our hotel and the area.
Waiting for our drinks at this nice beach gazebo near our hotel. It was a busy beach resort with mixed crowd, mostly families and couples.
On our first night we went out for paella dinner. There were many choices of cosy places to eat in this long stretch of pedestrian walkway near our hotel. It was quite handy.
Whilst looking for a paella place, we passed by this gift shop and who can’t smile with these very happy looking ladies? I have never seen a shop mannequins like these. I had to take home these happy faces with me, so here you go 🙂
And we also passed by this quite exotic free street entertainment along the same stretch. This place is all good!
On another night we went to this open-air restaurant with a space for a disco. Holiday-makers were happily dancing and just chilling out for the night. We decided to have some food here. For dessert, I had to order churro with hot dark chocolate dip, one of my favourites!
Whilst watching the people dancing, I chilled out with this big beer mug that almost cover my face! No, I am not a beer fan actually, just tasting a Spanish beer 🙂
During the next few days we drove to the city. We went to see the famous landmarks of this city. Signposts in Spain are good, we did not need a satnav.
First stop was the Basilica of Sagrada Familia. We managed to park nearby, which was convenient. This historic skyscraper is huge! We had to walk away from it to capture the full structure. It’s a shame there were cranes around it and maybe the cranes will be a permanent feature of this creation until around 2026.
The Sagrada Familia – a large Roman catholic church at the heart of Barcelona. According to Wikipedia it was built in 1882 by a Spanish architect, Antoni Gaudi. Some says the work begun in 1883.
“Gaudí died while still working on the Sagrada Familia on June 10, 1926, in Barcelona, Spain. He died after getting hit by a trolley car in Barcelona, only a few weeks shy of his 75th birthday. While the structure remained unfinished at his death in 1926—only one transept with one of four towers was built—the extraordinary structure has a final completion target date of 2026, to mark the 100th anniversary of his passing.” (Source: Biography.com)
One of the city streets. Taken from the car on our way to the Picasso Museum at Montcada Street.
The museum, we realized when we got there is not accessible by car. We had to park the car somewhere nearby. On foot we passed by few narrow alleys like the one below to get there.
One of the alleys (If you are in this photo and you want this removed, please do not hesitate to email me).
I had not found a way to photograph the museum from the outside because it is within narrow alleys. But I took a photo of the tablet just by the entrance (I am not sure whether this is just one of the entrances)
The Picasso Museum entrance. According to the museum info, ‘The Picasso museum is very rich with the work from the formative years in the life of the artist’.
The museum guards did not like photographing the exhibits, so I did not have a photo of any exhibits there.
An interesting roof in one of the museum’s showrooms.
My souvenir photo inside the museum.
On another day we drove to see the Salvador Dali Theater Museum in Fuigeres, Girona. It was about an hour drive from Sta Susanna via AP-7 route, mostly motorways but it was a pleasant drive.
Without a satnav it was was a bit of a challenge when we arrived at Fuigeres but after few turns we found a promising signpost.
And here it is – the museum of the famous Spanish surrealist painter in his birthplace of Figueres.
“The only difference between me and a madman is that I’m not mad. ” – Salvador Dali
Entrance at the back. It was a busy day, we had to join the long queue.
I took few photos of some exhibits but there are more to see. I’m not really a surrealism fan but my partner is kind of a surrealist artist but did not pursue his artistic talent.
The glass geodesic dome
The Court yard
This painting here is the biggest of all I think as it dominates most of the size of this viewing room.
More surreal displays here
I love these figures in the museum’s windows. The actual color is gold.
Back outside and needed a short rest and the usual souvenir photo.
It was time for food and drinks. We found a cosy tapa place in the vicinity in one of the alley ways. We had mixed tapas and a desert cooked in a tiny round terracotta pot. I can’t remember what they call it.
After the late lunch we headed back home. The museum was worth a visit. We had a great few days but since we only had few days to spend here, we have not seen a lot.
To know more about Barcelona, here’s a useful blog from a travel and food blogger who moved to Barcelona from Wales, UK – http://www.driftwoodjournals.com/
The one place that we wanted to visit whilst in Barcelona but we ran out of time was Andorra. It was only a little more than 3 hours drive from Sta Susanna. We hope to visit this place one day.
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