2018 Spain Day 5
Tuesday, May 8, 2018, Barcelona

We gather for breakfast at the Hotel Onix Liceo at 9:00 AM then take the metro from the Liceu Station to our first sightseeing spot, the famous Sagrada Familia Church. I’ve read about the Sagrada Familia but getting out of the metro station, I was floored by the church’s immense size and grand architecture. As a fan of architecture, I’ve seen many pictures of the Sangrada Familia before but seeing it with my own eyes for the first time takes my breath away. The Internet is full of details about its origin, construction techniques, and creator, the talented Antoni Gaudi, so I won’t bore you with more details but let me just say if our trip to Barcelona ends right now and right here, I still would be very satisfied because I’ve seen the Sangrada Familia in person. I plan to be here when the church construction is complete which is currently scheduled for 2026.

Work in progress, the Sagrada Familia
More ladies join in, protected by the guys on ends: Hoa and Dat
A lot of tourists here
A light pole designed by Antoni Gaudi
A couple blocks from Casa Mila is Casa Batlo, an old building that was remodeled by Gaudi. The most spectacular feature of this building is its roof which looks like the back of a dragon with scales and spine which seem to change color depending on the time of day and the angle at which it’s viewed.

Large group of friends
Casa Mila on Passeig de Gràcia Boulevard
Enjoying a nice day in Barcelona
This is a beautiful and eccentric building
Lee in front of Sagrada Familia
Video of how they plan to finish the church
Casa Batlo with the distinctive roof
Placa d’Espayna Traffic Circle
Busy intersection where Casa Batlo is located
They keep climbing up higher and higher
View on the ground
View from the Magic Mountain
Museum of Barcelona Arts in the background
The metro then takes us to the Diagonal Station where two other Antoni Gaudi’s creations are nearby. The first one is Casa Mila, a building built in 1912 and is now an apartment and home to a cultural center. Casa Mila has no straight lines and its undulating façade and curvy wrought iron balconies thrills the viewer. It’s about noon on another beautiful day in Barcelona and tourists line both sides of the street pointing to the building and admiring its features.
Enjoying our drinks at the cafe by the lake 
Our next stop is the Placa d’Espayna, a busy square at the entrance to Montjuic Hill. I read somewhere this square was once used for public hangings but now, it’s much more civilized. Special features of the square include the fountain with sculptures at the center of the traffic circle, a pair of Venetian Towers stand where the square opens onto a wide street which leads to the Magic Fountain and the National Museum. We hang around this area a long time, have a long leisurely lunch here, and take a lot of pictures.

Also on the Placa d’Espayna traffic circle is Arenas de Barcelona, once a bull fighting arena but now a modern shopping and entertainment center. We go to the top of the Arena and look out top the City below.

More close-up view
Tonight some of us have reservation for a flamenco demonstration at the Tablao Flamenco Cordobes on La Rambla Street. This is supposed to be the best flamenco show in Barcelona. The show starts at 10:30 PM and they let people using some kind of system we can’t quite figure out and it seems like we’re the last group that are allowed in and our seats are not that great. The show is packed with mostly tourist and features several dancers, guitar players and an older singer.
Our next stop is the Arc de Triomf, the gateway to the modern Barcelona of the late 19th century. Reliefs on both sides of the arch symbolizing Barcelona’s agriculture, industry, commerce, and art. At the top of the arch are the coats of arm or shields of the 49 Spanish provinces.

For dinner, we return to the Arenas de Barcelona and have a great meal of sushi and noodles on its top floor at the Watashumi Restaurant.

Museum of Barcelona Arts and Cascade Fountains
Chau and Lee
The view from the hill is fabulous
Lee and Ha
L-R: My, Ha, Oanh, yen, Lee, and Chau
Quiet stairways by the Museum is a good place to rest
Arc de Triomf
What a magnificent monument
We love Barcelona
Arenas de Barcelona is now a shopping mall with rooftop restaurants
View from the roof of Arenas de Barcelona
La Lola rooftop restaurant

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