Friday, September 28, 2012

Tibidabo

One of my favourite places in Barcelona is Tibidabo, the mountain on the top of the city. 


In my opinion, the best views in Barcelona can be enjoyed from Tibidabo, 
amazing panoramic views all over Barcelona. 


But Tibidabo is more than just brilliant views! At the top of the mountain there is an old amusement park. The oldest in Spain actually. It’s so old, and oh so charming.


And strange as it might seem, at the back of the amusement park, there is an incredibly beautiful basilica.



When you climb up to the basilica, at your back you have Carretera de leg aigües and Sierra de Collserola, said to be the biggest metropolitan park in the world, (to give a comparison- it is 22 times bigger than Central Park in NYC), perfect for walking, running, biking. The air is pure, and the views breathtaking.  



And well, the views give you a great perspective of the city. The towers of La Sagrada Familia, The Mediterranean, the green hills of Montjüic, Torre Agbar, Barca’s football stadium – you name it.
It’s really wonderful to see the whole city in one panoramic,
place every little park and tourist attraction in one phrame. 



To me, Tibidabo is a bit magical. Just lovely! 

How to get there? 
Get the FGC (Ferrocarils Catalans) from Plaza Catalunya to Av. Tibidabo. It's L7. 


Then get a bus or the tramblau (the old blue tram), or walk up to where the funicular is. 
It's a steep but beautiful walk, among the big villas of Barcelona. 
At the top of Avinguda Tibidabo, you get the funicular up to the top...
Great views from the funicular already.
 ...and you are ready to enjoy the views, the rides or the tranquility of the basilica!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My favourite from La Merce 2012...

....was definitely the light projections on the Sagrada Familia. Fantastic! Just look at the pictures! 


via
I am a huge Gaudí-fan and have been as long as I can remember. Sagrada Familia itself is beyond what words can describe, but these light projections called ”Oda a la vida” (Ode to life), a tribute to the genious Gaudí was, made it come alive even more and it was breathtaking. 


The end of it, when they projected the mosaiks of Parque Guell, another of Gaudí's great works, 
was just spectacular. 

The lightshow was a gift from Moment Factory, Montreal, Canada to Barcelona.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fiestas de la Mercé 2012 ... and the virgin behind it all.

It’s time for another round of big fiestas here in Barcelona. We never get bored here, as one event  follows the next almost all year round. This time, it’s the Patron Saint of Barcelona who’s being celebrated. La Virgen de la Merced (Spanish) / Mare de Deu de la Mercé Vendrell (Catalan).

Her day is September 24th. But the celebration starts on September 21st with yet another festival with lots of things happening all over the city. Concerts, entertainment, castellers, correfoc’s, fireworks and more- all free to the public.

This virgin was taken out around the old barrio gotico on Sunday in a procession and me and my friend who were visiting happened to stumble upon it. It reminded me of the procession I was so lucky to experience in Málaga last year in September, at the Día de Nuestra señora de la Victoria, for the patron saint of Málaga.

I had never seen a catholic procession like this before and it certainly made a deep impact on me. The one in Málaga was definitely bigger and more impressive, but it was interesting to see how they do it in Barcelona too with the city's Patron Saint. 




The complete program for the Fiestas de la Mercé can be found here.I just read through it and am super excited about the wide cultural offer for the next days. Happy weekend all!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Good Old Friends


A friend has been here visiting over the last few days and it has been great! We’ve known each other since the first time I took the travel bug out for a spin, 16 years old, on one of those summer English courses in England. All alone in this big big world, young and innocent, we met and had the time of our lives in Brighton, England for a month.

Since then we’ve kept in touch, visiting each other when we have been able to. Our hometowns in Norway were quite far apart and we hadn’t seen each other in a long time. It’s so wonderful then, to meet again and see that our friendship doesn’t take damage to not seeing each other all that regularly and everything is just like before. We’ve had such a great couple of days, and it’s been so much fun taking her around Barcelona, showing her some of my favourite spots, and some must-see tourist attrtactions, in between great conversations over a lovely glass or two of vino.



I love all the details, how you can keep discovering new things the longer you stare..


Casa Milá / La Pedrera:


And while we were at it with the mastermind Gaudí, we had to go by Casa Battló too didn't we?


I am such a fan of Gaudí's work. I love things that stand out from the average, things that are unique, and his designs definitely are.

I had to take her to la Boquería too... Such a colourful party! 


...and to the beach and the sitting chairs there...

 

We were also lucky to bump into some talented street musicians. You know my weakness for the Spanish guitar...


...they are often found in the maze of the old town, sitting at some beautiful spot where the acoustics are just fantastic. 


On Sunday we were lucky to bump in to one event after the other. I LOVE this about Barcelona, there is so much going on, and it certainly is not the first time I happen to bump into cool cultural events I had no idea existed, but am so glad I found! 

Like the procession of la virgen de la Merced.  


More on this on Friday!

There was also some neighborhood party in el Born, with a jazz/blues-concert just behind Santa Maria del Mar, (the church from the book Cathedral of the Sea). Stunning location!

 
And I could go on and on. We've had some great days together here and seen a lot of things. 
Barcelona has so much to offer and I love this city dearly!