My European Travel Pt. 16, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Renxkyoko Iglesias here, HI !

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Someone commented here, ” Where are you? You’re MIA ! ” Don’t worry. I’m still here, lurking.  Actually, I’m on semestral vacation, and I go back to school last week of  January. So, what have you been doin’, Ren?  Well, 1. I have 2 jobs, and I’ve been given more work  hours. 2.  Playing Resident Evil 5. My brother ‘s Christmas gift is Resident Evil 6.  I want to finish RE 5 first before I start with the 6th.  Problem is, I ‘m bad at aiming.   I need a high powered assault weapon than can fire 100 rounds of ammunition without reloading. Freakin’ zombies.    7. And, instead of reading some blogs from my email folder, which has  6, 247 unread ones already, it makes me not do anything at all…  a totally complete opposite effect on me. I mean, I’m…..completely overwhelmed.  It’;s a daunting task, I know, but, * shows a determined look *  I vow I won’t lose to it. I’ll read up ,  every last post of it, and I  bet all my Pokemon card collection I SHALL OVERCOME AND I WILL WIN ! !  FTW ! !

Now, where was I? Oh , yeah, Part 16 0f my European tour….. Barcelona, Spain.  Ah, Spain ! The land of my ancestors .  My great grandfather came from Sta. Maria  la Nueva , Segovia, Spain.  He went to the Philippines  to work  in Spain’s so – called Tobacco Monopoly in the Philippines.  I don’t know the economics of that, but , it ‘s not a nice heritage , in my book.  I mean, tobacco ?  And to this day, our family is still involved in this business. It is , in fact, a family corporation.  Well, not directly my own family here in the US., but , kind of…. we still get our share from the produce.  I think  our folks there should  stop producing that . Diversify . Plant garlic or something , or sell off the land and stop acting like some absentee fuedal landlords or whatever they call them.   Anyway,  I don’t know  if  our Spanish relatives are still living or have disappeared . My grandmother  and some relatives from the Philippines  did go  to  Spain  in 1970 to attend a grand reunion  given by  great – grandpa’s  folks in Segovia, one of whom was a mayor of  their town,  named Bruno ( funny name, that ). And  Senor Bruno was honest enough to inform grandma , et al, that though most of great- grandpa’s properties were sequestered by Genaralissimo Franco millions of years ago,  there were some real estate left for them to claim.  Ha ! So now I can say, we have some real estate pr0perty in Spain. He he he… Maybe , after subdividing it among great grandpas descendants, we’d be left with one pot of soil each.  Hopefully, one square foot planted with one olive tree. That would be nice, too.

Sorry, I ‘m just musing.

Back to Barcelona.

The city of Barcelona is the capital of  the autonomous region of Catalonia.  Spain has several autonomous communities, much like the US  has 54 states, with its own state laws, and capitals.  Catalonia though has 2 official languages, Spanish and  Catalan.

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.To be honest, I  can’t distinguish anymore which photos are those of Barcelona’s  and of Madrid’s.  But the one above is definitely Barcelona.  Our tour manager, Ruben, who was a Spaniard begged us to go shopping in Spain.  That time, Spain had a 25% unemployment rate.  So, we went shopping.

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.That’s me in black tee , slippers and shorts, already carrying  a shopping bag.

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The place is a pedestrian mall at La Rambla. La Rambla is located in central Barcelona. It consists of a series of short streets, one of which is the pedestrian mall where the photo above was taken.

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.Courtesy of Wikipedia below…… that tree- lined street is one kilometre long.

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.I’m wondering how different Catalan language is from Castillian ( Spanish ) . In Catalan, it’s Placa?, in Spanish, it’s Plaza. Chair is  cadira in Catalan and silla in Spanish. Clean is net in Catalan and limpio in Spanish.  And do you know that Barcelonians are offended when they are referred to as Spaniards?  I was told that when the 1992 Olympics was held in Barcelona, the Barcelonians  wanted to let the world know the event was being held in Barcelona, not Spain.  Hmmm, Spain has a political problem. And it isn’t just Barcelona. Spain is right now having a terrorist problem with the Basque region that wants to secede from Spain.

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Above is the Barcelona cathedral. Gothic style.

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.Architectural details.

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Whoa !  I really did put on so much weight here.  Chubby cheeks.

The photos below are of  Sagrada Familia Church . This church has beenn under construstion since 1882, and  still not done yet.  It is funded by private donations, but they plan to finish it by 2026, the 100 year death anniversary of the Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudi.

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.The church has 3 facades: Nativity, Passion and Glory. The one above is Nativity.

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.The Passion facade

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Courtesy of Wikipedia.

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Above is supposed to be the miniature model of the church.  To be honest, I don’t like it. To me, it’s just a massive oddity, or to be blunt, a massive monstrosity,  and to think, it’s a house of God. Oh, well, there’s no accounting for taste. Each to his her own, y’know?  No offence to those who like it.

There were other places we went to, like places where some  1992 Olympics events were held. They were on top of a hill and following photos were the views of the city of Barcelona from there.  The Olympic structures were, uhm,  just buildings.

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.Oh, by the way, Barcelona faces the Mediterreanean Sea.

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Photos below are some random places and buildings that I took.

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.Walking tour of the city below.

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.The guy looks a bit emaciated, doesn’t he? We thought the guy could use a few Euros for a dinner of  tummy -filling paella.  So, we dropped enough Euros into the hat.

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Lovely wall !

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.I don’t remember what we were gawking at, but I figure it would be interesting, too, to show our backs. To be honest, I feel I’ve become somewhat jaded at this point, about 20 days into the tour. Remember ABC ? lol! ( Another Bloody Church ) Well, there’s another one…. ROB ( Random Old Building) Don’t get me wrong. I loved Europe. It’s such a marvelous and magnificent place. And I hope I can go back , and see more of Europe, especially the ones less travelled.  I want to see Pompeii. I want to go to Naples. I want to see Eastern European countries, like Hungary.

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There we are, waiting for our motorcoach to take us back to our hotel.

.That’s it for Barcelona.

Oh, wait…. right now, I’m watching Pres. Obama’s Inaugural Ball. The First Couple are dancing right now.  * Ah I’m ,so in love with you … la la la , I love this song.   And It’s so cool to be First Lady.  Can I dare dream about that?  Be First Lady, I mean ?

Oh, another thing, I hope you can check out   this blog. It’s about science-based life and I assure it’s so educational and interesting.

http://sciencebasedlife.wordpress.com

Next is Madrid.  Good day to all , PEACE , and yes, Let’s Stay Together !

81 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by supernova on January 22, 2013 at 5:59 am

    Great photo’s, looks like you had a good time! 🙂

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  2. hello, Ren… lovely pic series. love the Barcelona cathedral and the first pic of Barcelona port. lol about the ABC and ROB, haha. they never fail… cheers! 🙂

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  3. Ooooh Lovely¡ Next Madrid? Come to Burgos, please, though it was an only day.
    I am here, and You’ re Precious.
    Blessed Be¡

    Reply

    • Hello, thartac ! Thanks for visiting here. Oh, and we’ve been to Burgos ! Nice place ! Let me see…. is there a statue of El Cid there? And I ate Morcilla in Burgos !

      Cheers !

      Reply

  4. Amazing Architecture! I wonder how they would have build such a beautiful churches 🙂

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  5. I’ve been to Barcelona, and to the Cathedral. Reading this reminds me how fantastic it was. The architect was an amazing guy.

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  6. great vacay trip! and btw… cute chubby cheeks for you! 😛

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    • guess all these walking didn’t compenstae for my heavy breakfast. Really heavy , like 3 servings of buffet breakfast everyday. ( cos sometimes, we didn’t get to eat lunch. Tour manager’s suggestion… eat heavy breakfast coz we won’t stop for lunch.) =_=”

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  7. Cheers!! welcome back! Thank you for taking a *ahem* break from your zombie slaying lol 😉

    Very sweet of you to help the marionette performer with a meal by the way, Must not be easy for him for sure to do what he does. What a great trip though 🙂

    Reply

    • We were aware of the 25 % unemployment rate. That’s huge. And you know what, it was already the middle of the day, but we saw there were only a few coins in the hat. And oh yeah Andy, you asked if I was MIA , lol. I work the afternoon to night shift at work, up to 10 PM. I just want to sleep when I get home.

      Cheers !

      Reply

  8. You went to many of the same places I visited when I was in Barcelona. You should have shown Columbus pointing the wrong way towards the New World. 😉

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    • Oh, yes, we saw that ! Our tour guide pointed that out to us. But there was no mistake there, I think. He was supposed to go East for the spices, not to discover the new World. I think. o.Oa

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  9. Love the pics!!

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  10. Good luck on RE5 & 6! You have a nice brother. I played RE 1 & 2, and loved ’em, but haven’t really played games since. I can only imagine the lightyear advances the industry has made since then.

    And I pray that you don’t lose your Pokemon collection. Some things are just too valuable to risk, you know!

    As always, love the pictures. I’ve never been to Spain (I’ve wanted to, but I’ve wanted to go other places more), but it looks so beautiful. And it’s cool that you have family history there, by way of two continents!

    And again, I love to travel, and I really admire someone who so clearly made the most of her trip. Writing and talking about it help to keep the experience vital for you, and more importantly, reinforce it in your memory (while it’s still relatively recent) so that you have a rich memory to last you the rest of your life.Good on you, Chica.

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    • RE5 is too much for me. I’m not advancing at all, and I’ve been playing for so many hours already, like, 200 hours? TT.TT RE1 and RE 6… oh, my, the graphics is light years away.

      I’ve donated all my kiddie stuff. I want to donate the Pokemon collection ( in an album , complete, hahah), but who would want that?lol

      family history…. we have a family chronicler ( is that what he’s called ) of the family tree. My parents just sent him the latest info about us. Cool.

      You know what, it’s true. Do you know that I’m starting to forget?

      Reply

  11. Love your prologue about Resident Evil. I thought you finished your Resident Evil 5 already. I haven’t play RE6. What do you think? Recommended?
    ABC.. ROB.. hahaha like that.

    Reply

    • I dropped it last summer because of the tour, and didn’t pick up again , until now. My brother has already played RE6. He says RE5 is more difficult.

      Do you know what I recommend? God of War… there are already 3 in the series. Start with the first….. I highly recommend it.

      Reply

      • U told me about GOW before. That makes me amazing to know that fashionable women like you also play Play Station 3. I played GOW 3. Both story and graphic are amazing. Look forward for GOW 4 🙂 Your trip to europe, did you compare scenes in GOW 3 with the real world?
        RE6… oh my.. I am very eager to play it

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        • Sadly, that’s the last, efratadenny ! Although I heard the developers are going to come up with another, but Kratos will go somewhere in Europe to fight other gods like THOR…. but I highly doubt it would be as interesting as the Greek gods. Don’t you think so?

          Oh, my, gosh, yes ! When I was at the Vatican and saw that area where all the statues of Greek gods are exhibited, thae place looks exactly like in GOW…. check out my post on the Vatican and you’ll see what I mean. I talked about that remember? I even mentioned Kratos ! The stairs with the urns……

          Reply

  12. Love all the pictures, and the post! Thanks for the visits always Ren! God bless!

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  13. beautiful architecture.. and again.. i am still envious… *drool drool*

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  14. Posted by ~REBECCA DAWN~ on January 24, 2013 at 4:15 am

    Hello Ren!!! how are you!!! Lovely pictures!!!! 🙂 speaking of zombies are you going to watch Warm Bodies? lol it looks cute I want to watch it.

    Reply

    • What’s Warm Bodies ? I’m so out of touch already. Do you know I ‘d not heard of Walking Dead, until someone told me there was such a show? I just bought Season 1 . I have not seen a single episode of Season 2.

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  15. Amazing, colorfully adored post !
    Fantastic piece of presentation !
    Nice feeling to read on !

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  16. The Sagrada Familia is amazing, it is like a dripping wax candle on a grand stage,

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  17. Your work – and your life in general – blows me away! Every. Single. Time.
    Thank you.

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  18. Posted by WordsFallFromMyEyes on January 24, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Ah jealous!

    🙂 It’s a beautiful world, really, and wonderful to see your photos.

    Reply

    • Thanks, Noelle ! !

      My photos are so amatuerish, and random, but I feel they make it so real. I could have gone on Internet and picked out excellent photos , right ?

      Reply

  19. Very nice place..i know younhad a great time. Hope you could visit manila too..;-)

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  20. When I lived in Italy, my wife and I took a vacation and spent a week in Barcelona. Your article took me back to that time (1980) The cathedral was a little less complete but the Ramblas was so perfect. I loved the houses from Gaudi. I was astounded by the atmosphere of the city. That was one of the best weeks of my life. Oh and the replica of the Columbus ship… did you get to see that?

    Reply

    • The Columbus ship,….. yes, I saw it !

      OMgosh , 1980 ! That’s 33 years ago ! But then , Europe won’t change that much from 30 years ago, heck, it has not even changed from hundreds of years ago ! they preserve everything. There are places where people are not allowed to change anything, except maintain the buildings. And that’s where the charm of Europe comes in.

      Cheers, Lee devine.

      I’m glad you’re posting more often now !

      Reply

  21. Miss your blog posts..

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  22. Sorry, I was a little too fast there…just realized that this is a new one! Great! I’ll start reading:) Love Barcelona..

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  23. Ah Barcelona! I remember my trip here quite well. I should considering I went there about two years ago. I prefer Barcelona over Madrid. I feel like there is so much more to see in Barcelona than Madrid. Also, people seem nicer in Barcelona than Madrid. How was the weather there at the time? I think it was quite cool during the time we went, and it was summer! I had to carry a light sweater with me at the time.

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    • You prefer Barcelona over Madrid? Interesting. I’ve already forgotten a lot, simpleek, and that’s so sad. I now go by the pictures I have. the only place where tons of memories still remain is Italy.

      The weather was fine in Spain. Unlike in Italy where , I swear, it was over 100F.

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  24. Great photography as always my friend 🙂

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  25. Lovely pictures ! And, no you have not put on much weight as such. You are young and will grow. So you do need to eat a lot 🙂

    You know what, I have been thinking. Maybe I should take one country at a time you know. Like a month for spain. I go there after learning spanish and see everything that is there to be seen, stay with a spanish family and…just live the country. I mean this looks so much better than just visiting the place and not feeling the place right ?

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    • Women stop growing at age 16… I’m way past that, ha ha… I won’t grow vertically anymore. From hereon, it’s horizontal all the way. lol

      If you want to really immerse yourself in the culture , I guess one month is okay. Spain, after all is huge. I suggest 2 weeks. But Italy….. you can stay for one month. There’s just too much to see in Italy.

      Reply

  26. Barcelona is a beautiful city. I’ve had the good fortune to visit there a number of times. The architecture is fantastic.

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  27. Yo! I went to Barcelona, so I can relate. Did you actually go in La Sagrada Familia? I did not. Instead I went to the KFC nearby and got a snack box, which was money well spent. I did a lot of Gaudi stuff, also did Park Guell and La Pedrera which were cool. La Rambla was the best part of Barcelona, though. It was dope. You drink some of the sangria Ren? Get a little tipsy? I could have sangria with tapas every day for the rest of my life and I would be the happiest guy on earth.

    Man, your posts make me nostalgic, Ren. Peace girl. Hope you finished Res Evil 5 by now.

    Reply

    • Oppa, what do you mean, “go in La Sagrada Familia”? Do you mean, enter the church ? No, we didn’t. We were just outside. That’s a pity though. I saw the interior on the Internet, and it was amazing. ( The Parthenon in Rome was another Fail. We didn’t get to see the interior. )

      yes, we had Sangria, and Sangria only the whole time we were in Spain. And yes, we had Tapa and Sangria . But you know, Oppa, tapa is our “everyday” food here at home. Mom always buys “tapadera” meat at her Filipino grocery here. tapa is a common breakfast food in the Philippines…. tapa and fried rice together. I’m sure you had that combo when you were in the Philippines. ( tapa , I think , is marinated meat, then air dried )

      RE5…. oh, man…. it’s really difficult… the zombies can run and don’t die easily. lol

      Reply

  28. Oh..the sun and the warmth shown in those photos (people in shorts!) make me want to cry after this week of temps hovering around 10 degrees!

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  29. I lived in Barcleona for 2 years about 8 years back.. Your photos really took me back there! Lovely!!

    Be interesting to see how you think Madrid compares,,,

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  30. Hi RenxKyoko, Barcelona… rather entire Spain is one of the places I have not been to yet, and I really want to go. Appreciated the post. 😀 Fae.

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  31. Thank you for being a faithful reader.

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    • You’re welcome, chuckwells. Although, I must say, I’m getting spoiled, reading it now from the newest to the oldest posts. It’s fine, though, I want to be spoiled.

      Reply

  32. Lovely pictures. I envy you already, though i haven’t quite followed your European trip due to lack of time. Now i am gonna read everything about it, it seems to be really interesting. by the way you look really cute with those chubby cheeks. 🙂

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  33. Thanks for the chubby cheeks compliment, haha…. aaaargh, my cheeks are the first to go down when I put on weight.

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  34. all Photo’s are wow, seems u’re having fun on this trip… I checked out the previous post of your tour and thanks for sharing awesome photos and taking us on your journey…

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    • Thanks, Will of heart !

      It was really an incredible journey for me ! I never thought I ‘d be there at all, but thanks to mother dea, I didn’t have to save up forever. r

      Reply

  35. Once again, incredible pictures! I love going on vacation with you!! 🙂

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  36. Really some lovely photos from the catalan capital Barcelona… 🙂

    I could not help but smile when you wrote that you should grow garlic instead of tobacco – perhaps wisely – but many people find both tobacco and garlic smells bad… 😉

    I like garlic myself and never been told that I smell of garlic… 🙂 😉

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    • LOL ! ! !

      I just realized they both smell. Ha ha ha ! ! So, okay, the reason I chose garlic was, my parents told me that land where tobacco is grown is also great for garlic. So, that wasn’t actually random. lol !

      It’s fun that you pointed that out to me !

      Reply

  37. In Catalonia I can do all those things without speaking Catalan. Like water, I take the easiest route. Everyone speaks Spanish. Whether they like it or not. Only once in a very long while will a Catalan simply refuse to talk to me in Spanish. This reality drives some Catalans crazy – and it’s led to public campaigns to encourage Catalans not to switch to Spanish in conversations with folks like me. But that hasn’t really worked, because ultimately people realize it’s rude to answer someone who’s speaking to you in a language you know – by using a language they don’t.

    Reply

  38. Posted by WordsFallFromMyEyes on June 1, 2013 at 10:33 am

    I love to get the heads-up on a good blog to read – thank you.

    Loved loved loved all of these pictures, Renxkyoko, & your commentary in between. Just fantastic.

    Reply

  39. Glad you enjoy your Barcelona tour
    , for me one of the most beautiful cities in Spain, much more than Madrid and Barcelona has to Antonio Gaudi unique and unmatched, thanks to hin and many other things Barcelona is known throughout the rants and one of the most visited cities in Europe.

    Reply

  40. Thanx for sharing the Barcelona pics. Those church facades reminded me of my sandcastle making days at the beach– the dripped sand mud to make cool steeples. Peace.

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  41. and the food….wow eh? continue…

    Reply

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