"" Writer's Wanderings: Barcelona - The Blue Line

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Barcelona - The Blue Line

Segrada Familia

After contemplating several transportation options, we decided it was in our best interest to buy a two day pass from the Barcelona Bus Turistic (there is also a Gray Line hop-on-hop-off that does pretty much the same routes). Somehow it works out that you can buy a coupon for 4 euros off the price of 31 euros for 3 euros thereby saving 1 euro. Confused? We were too but it did work out and we got a book full of discounts as well as a good map of Barcelona.

Casa Batllo
The starting point for the bus is at the Placa de Catalunya on the north end of the main part of La Rambla but you can catch it wherever you are along the route and buy tickets on the bus if necessary. It was a great sunny day so we chose to take the Blue Line (there are three different routes) and stop at the Park Guell, a park designed by Gaudi, Barcelona’s famous architect for his great patron, Count Eusebi Guell. It was to be a residential area but only one house was actually completed, the house that Gaudi lived in and now is a museum.

On our way to the park, our commentary delivered in English through earphones (seven other languages are available as well) pointed out several landmark Gaudi buildings including the Casa Batllo with its characteristic wavy edifices and the most famous, the Segrada Familia, the cathedral begun in the late 19th century and under construction today years after Gaudi’s death in 1926. We had visited it several times in the past and skipped it by this time.

Park Guell
The Park Guell was very crowded when we arrived. It was after all, a weekend and a beautiful sunny day. We walked past the famous lizard fountain and  up to the top of the grotto area to view the city from there. The buildings that do exist in the park are almost like gingerbread houses. Gaudi’s home is pink. As you can see from the pictures, he used a lot of color in his work.

Our next hop-off point was a little section of the city called Sarria where we looked for a place to grab a light lunch. The town square bordered by the church and the town hall was busy with people watching a fencing exhibition. We explored several side streets and happened upon a Panini shop where we ordered something by pointing to it on the menu and got a bottle of “agua” to drink—“no gas.” If you’ve not toured in Europe, you might be surprised with their penchant for carbonated mineral water. The sandwich was excellent, whatever it was and the cold water refreshing.

We returned to the bus stop and caught the next bus to finish the Blue Line’s route. Had we not gotten off, the round trip would have been about two hours. We still had a good part of the afternoon left so we hopped off the Blue Line, took the Red Line and transferred to the Green Line for a short trip around the port area of the city. 

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