Remind me never again to complain about the cold weather in London. The weather in Barcelona this week has been more than hot, by the time I walk to my flat from the metro stop (only about 5 minutes) I am dripping with sweat.
Since Thursday I have been going out and about enjoying all that Barcelona and the surrounding area has to offer. Thursday evening I went out to Park Guell (pronounced whey) which was desinged by Gaudi.
It was intended to be a garden community but nobody ever bought any houses there so now it is just a large park. Going with the school I was able to learn a bit about the history of the park that many people wouldn't normally know. As this was supposed to be a private community a lot of the constuctions were designed to trap water, there were supposed to be a number of underground tunnels that all emptied out into the central area so residents could escape from their houses if needed. During the trip I was quite proud of myself as I could understand a lot of what the guide was saying when he spoke in Spanish - now I know that he was speaking slower than he normally would but it's a start.
Friday was a night tour of Barcelona with stops at La Sagrada Familia and some other structure that I keep forgetting the name of. Here I spent more time taking pictures than listening to the guide. What I do know about the structure that after 100 years it is still not completed as you can tell by all the cranes around the building, estimates are that it will take another 30-40 years to complete. It is an absolutely amazing structure with all sorts of symbolism 3 different doors one representing the birth of christ, one his death and one his resurrection. In total there will be 12 towers 1 for each apostle.
Look closely at the towers you can see the names of the apostles written. Guess which photo represents his birth and which his death.
After getting in late on Friday I had an early start to go to Montserrat, probably one of the more beautiful, tranquil places I've been in a while. I could have spent days walking around, enjoying the scenery and taking photos. As it was we were only there for a couple of hours as there was a second stop at the beach. I know I've said it before but I'll say it again - I hate organized bus tours as you are on somebody else's timetable. I didn't feel like I had much of an option here if I wanted to see Montserrat the only way to do it was with the school.
Walked around the cathedral a little bit primarily to see the black madonna then it was a tram ride up to the top to get a birds eye view of the place. From here there are a lot of hikes you can do however with the limited time I wasn't able to do too many. I only walked down from the top. There were a couple of side paths off the main path down which I think the guide led the group down however I got separated from the group.
I had walked down a path to get a shot from the top and happened to stumble across some butterflies and birds eating at some flowers. I got rather engrossed in taking photos of them (surprise, surprise) and missed the meeting time by a few minutes. I quickly caught up with a few other people that were taking their time walking down so I wasn't too far behind and probably could have caught up with the whole group but instead enjoyed a peaceful walk down the mountain at my own pace with many stops to take photographs. And now for the photos that delayed my return to the group: