Monthly Archives: September 2013

Barcelona Olympics 1992 Stadium Photos

On my penultimate day of Barcelona sightseeing I first headed for the Olympic Stadium, which is in Montjuic behind the National Arts Museum.

Barcelona Olympics 1992

I mostly remembered the 1992 Olympics it held for the dramatic opening ceremony, when it looked like an archer lit the flame, but apparently the arrow missed and it was done by remote control. I later researched it, and saw that Linford Christie and Sally Gunnell won athletics gold medals for Team GB in the stadium.

The yellow towers in the photos were flame holders.

Barcelona Olympic Stadium Photos

In the fifth photo below I saw the two clouds above two trees having very similar shapes, as if synchronised.

I wasn’t so sharp with the stadium, not knowing if it was open as I walked right around it. After taking a few photos through gaps in the walls I reached its front to find the gates wide open, and free to enter.

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Marc Latham’s central site is the Greenygrey (http://www.greenygrey.co.uk), and he has books available on Smashwords and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/author/marclatham).

 

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Montserrat Monastery Barcelona Photos

The Montserrat monastery provides views of all Catalonia on a clear day, and it was certainly nice when I reached it. The sun was warm, but away from the sun it was cool.

Montserrat Monastery Sunset

Montserrat is Catalonia’s most important religious retreat, and it was easy to see why when I turned the corner to see the actual monastery.

Hidden away from faraway view, the monastery is exquisitely crafted, and impressive both as an engineering feat and visual spectacle 1200 metres (4000 feet) above the Catalonian lowlands.

Then the sun set, looking like a glass ball in upright claw feet, as it seemed to sit upon the mountain, before disappearing into the west.

I walked back down in the shade.

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Marc Latham’s central site is the Greenygrey (http://www.greenygrey.co.uk), and he has books available on Smashwords and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/author/marclatham).

Hiking to Montserrat Monastery from Monistrol

Having completed my marathon I had three days to Barcelona sightsee properly. When I reached Catalunya Square I decided to take the train out to Montserrat Monastery, as the sun shone brightly, and warmer than the previous few days.

Montserrat Monastery Hike

My train ticket only took me to Monistrol de Montserrat, so I walked 9km (6 miles) up to the monastery on the path. I hadn’t desired a long hike, but enjoyed it. The path was just dirt track most of the way, and there were few people around on that Montserrat Monday.

The road and path took me on an upward semi-circular walk up to the monastery, which is nestled under the high rocks on the left of the photo as you look at it.

The monastery is visible from the Barcelona-Monistrol train, and looked like something out of the old war movie Where Eagles Dare. It looked just as awesome up close.

Here’s some photos of the hike up to Monsterrat Monastery from Monistrol:

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Marc Latham’s central site is the Greenygrey (http://www.greenygrey.co.uk), and he has books available on Smashwords and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/author/marclatham).

Barcelona Marathon, Magic Fountain, Football

On the Saturday night I returned to Montjuic for the Magic Fountain show, on the advice of Hostel One, and it was a fun spectacular. The next morning I ran my marathon, enjoying the run seeing many of Barcelona’s landmarks for the first time. That night I went to see Barcelona beat Rayo Vallecano 3-1, with Messi scoring two and Villa one.

Barcelona Marathon and Football

I watched from the top of the stadium, with sore legs from the marathon and Camp Nou climb. I felt like I’d climbed two mountains that day, but in reality, I had climbed none.

I think I achieved something though. The green field below, and the cool air above, felt like they were my reward.

Barcelona Magic Fountain and Camp Nou

Here’s some photos from the Magic Fountain and Camp Nou. There are photos from my marathon at the Marathon Photos website:

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Marc Latham’s central site is the Greenygrey (http://www.greenygrey.co.uk), and he has books available on Smashwords and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/author/marclatham).

Barcelona Flight, Placa Espanya and Montjuic

My summer started in mid-March, now six months ago, and it has been a good one in the U.K., so autumn is more welcome this year than in most years. However, my spring/summer season started not in the U.K., but in sunny Spain. It was sunny in Barcelona for most of the time I spent there, while the U.K. was suffering a cold snowy spell at the time.

Arriving in Barcelona

Most of England and France was covered in snow as I flew over from Leeds, and then the Pyrenees were too. It wasn’t hot in Barcelona, but it was warm and sunny: mostly nice spring days.

After getting the bus into the centre I walked out to Hostel One, Sants, which took longer than I wanted with my marathon three days away, but it was nice when I got there.

I just relaxed near the hostel for the next couple of days, before going to Montjuic Park via the Espanya Plaza to collect my marathon number, chip and goodie bag on the Saturday.

It was exciting to receive the last pieces of the marathon jigsaw started six months previously. I had a free pre-race pasta meal and drink, before walking up to the National Art Museum at the top of the steps and fountains. Here’s some photos:

Barcelona Flight, Catalunya and Montjuic Photos

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Stockholm Sunset and May Blossom Signals End

A sunny day in Stockholm ended with a long sunset; lengthened by walking up a hill near the hostel to see the sun above the city centre buildings.

So the last night ended similarly to the beginning in Bergen.

Knowing Me, Knowing You

In the morning, as I walked to the bus for my return flight, May blossom drew crowds of Saturday morning strollers.

I got lost once more before finding the bus station.

The sun was still shining.

My flight was from Stockholm Skavsta airport, 100km to the south. I saw lots of nice open countryside on the journey.

From the flight I saw  a long bridge. I researched it afterwards, and discovered it was the Øresund Bridge; linking Malmo in Sweden to Copenhagen in Denmark; the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe.

Abba‘s Eagle

My first cultural introduction to Sweden was probably Abba winning Eurovision in 1974, when I was nine years old.

Now, I left Sweden flying westward with the sun, somewhat like an eagle; the subject of my favourite Abba song.

That week, Agnetha Fältskog of Abba released her comeback album ‘A’. It was successful.

The End of the On The Road

It was the end of my 25th anniversary tour, that had begun in Brittany, September 2012. One year ago now.

This month I am due to turn 48, a year older than Jack Kerouac‘s final age.

But fifteen years younger than Agnetha.

Here’s some photos from my last day in Stockholm:

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Marc Latham’s central site is the Greenygrey (http://www.greenygrey.co.uk), and he has books available on Smashwords and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/author/marclatham).