Sunday, January 21, 2007

Barcelona, Spain - Park Güell

Mysterious walkway

Earlier, we had a couple posts highlighting the architecture of Antoni Gaudí. In the late 1800s, he was commissioned by a wealthy Frenchman, Count Eusebi de Güell, to design his housing site in the manner of an English garden.

Construction took place from 1900 to 1914. The commercial housing project was unsuccessful and the site was converted into a municipal gardens. I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Entrance with stairs leading to the terrace

One of many walking paths

Curved, elevated walkway

Another elevated walkway


A building within the park

Overhead view of terrace

Doric columns supporting terrace

View of house from portico

The curl of a stone wave

The terrace and Doric columns from afar

Barcelona, Spain - Montjuïc

One of the many statues within Montjuïc

From Wikipedia...

Barcelona's Montjuïc is a broad shallow hill with a relatively flat top overlooking the harbour to the southeast of the city center. The eastern side of the hill is almost a sheer cliff, giving it a commanding view over the city's harbour immediately below...

Naturally wooded, the slopes of the Montjuïc were traditionally used to grow food and graze animals by the people of the neighboring Ciutat Vella. In the 1890s the forests were partially cleared, opening space for parklands. The site was selected to host the 1929 International Exposition (a World's Fair), for which the first large-scale construction on the hill was begun. The surviving buildings from this effort include the grand Palau Nacional, the Estadi Olímpic (the Olympic stadium), the ornate Font Màgica fountains, and a grand staircase leading up from the foot of the Montjuïc at the south end of the Avenida de la Reina Maria Cristina, past the Font Màgica and through the Plaça del Marquès de Foronda and the Plaça de les Cascades to the Palau Nacional.

Inside the Olympic Stadium

Fortress wall

The fortress atop Montjuïc

View from the top

Overlooking the harbor

Palau Nacional from a distance

View up the staircase...

...and down the staircase

Hidden passages


A nice looking building

View from afar

From the shadows


Barcelona, Spain - The Statues of Montjuïc

The woman in the grove

While sightseeing through Park Montjuïc, we came across quite a few statues that are located in small gardens, groves and grottos of the park.

A traditional Catalan folk dance

The iron cross

A rather frightening looking flamenco dancer

Moon over Barcelona

Dante Alighieri

A shepherd of some sort

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Barcelona, Spain - Magic Fountain

Magic Fountain

In the southwest part of Barcelona is a park called Montjuïc. It is situated on a big hill. Looking from Plaza de España, you can see the Palau Nacional. (National Palace) A series of fountains and cascades flow downward from the Palau, through a series of plazas, to the Magic Fountain at the bottom. During the day, the fountains lie dormant, but they come to life at night. The flow out of the Magic Fountain is synchronized with classical music and colored lights to create and ever-morphing water and light show. In summer, this display attracts thousands of people. You'll definitely want to click on these pics to enlarge them.

Daytime view from the top towards Plaza de España

Top fountain and cascade just below the Palau Nacional

Magic Fountain with lights of Plaza de España in background

People gather in the plaza between fountains

Water and light

More colors


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Travel Warning...

If you're ever in Barcelona near the Magic Fountain by Plaza de España, watch out for the two young gals in the photo above.

There's this park on the west side of town(Montjuic) that I go to occasionally. When I'm walking back thru the fountain area, I always get stopped by the same deaf/mute chick that shoves a clipboard in my face wanting me to donate money to her deaf/mute cause. She's about 14 and pretty insistent. I always say, "No gracias," and keep walking. The other day, she was there again, but this time with her deaf/mute friend. The friend shoved the clipboard in my face wanting me to write my name, address and donation amount.

3 TIMES I had to say "No gracias" to this chick. The fourth time, I took the clipboard and, in the Name column, I wrote "Rusty Shackleford." I didn't write down anything else, handed her back the clipboard and said, "Gracias." I turned and walked away. She was furious and, since she couldn't curse or scream at me, she decided to SPIT at me. Good times, good times.

I swear, the next time I come across her I'm sweeping the leg. She's going down!

(For those that don't know, "Rusty Shackleford" is the alias used by Dale Gribble in King of the Hill)