Category Archives: Spain

Antoni Gaudi Barcelona Sculpture Photos

On my last full day in Barcelona I visited the northern half of the city, having spent the  previous day in the southern half. It was my Antoni Gaudi day, as I first walked north to his Park Guell, on the advice of Hostel One, and then down to the centre for his unfinished masterpiece La Sagrada Familia. I then saw more of his work and that of other Modernisme period artists and sculptors in the city centre, where art and sculptures decorate walls and roofs.

Barcelona Parc Guell and Eixample Photos

At the end of the day I waited for the sun to go down on Placa Catalunya, which is considered the borderline between the Barri Gotic of my previous day and the Eixample area of Modernisme architecture I’d visited that afternoon. It was also my arrival point in Barcelona.

Sometimes as I returned to the hostel, the sun was at my side. Sometimes it was straight ahead. By the time I reached the hostel it was nowhere to be seen. It returned the next morning, shining brightly and warmly.

Looking Back at Summer

I wondered how much I’d see and feel the hot sun afterwards, after several disappointing summers in the U.K.

Although I think it is gone now, seven months later, it lived its 2013 life to the full.  It all started in Barcelona…

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There are more Marc Latham Barcelona photos on the Greenygrey blog ( Just search Barcelona on there.

There’s a Marc Latham Barcelona article from the trip on TravelThruHistory (

There are also Marc Latham Barcelona photos on emorfes (

Marc Latham’s central site is the Greenygrey (, and he has books available on Smashwords and Amazon (

Barcelona City Centre Attractions Photos

After leaving Montjuic Park I headed down to the centre of Barcelona to see more of the city’s history and culture from the marina to Barcelona’s cathedral via La Rambla and the Gothic Quarter.

Barcelona City Centre Attractions

At the lower end of La Rambla is the Columbus tower, guarded by lions and decorated by angels. Below the tower is the Marina Port Vell, with lots of shops and restaurants. La Rambla is a nice street with quaint and designer shops, street entertainers and lots of tourists.

The Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter) has more quaint and designer shops, narrow alleys, Roman ruins and leads to the official Barcelona cathedral.

There, the sun set, and a long day of sightseeing ended the way it started: with a stroll through Barcelona.

Here’s some photos:

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Marc Latham’s central site is the Greenygrey (, and he has books available on Smashwords and Amazon (


Barcelona Montjuic Park and Castle Photos

Looking through the Barcelona photos for today’s blog reminded me that I walked up through the majestic green area of Montjuic park and around the cliff-face to the castle before returning to the Olympic Stadium and finding the entrance.

Barcelona Montjuic Park and Castle Photos

Outside the Olympic Stadium entrance I saw the bell tower and got a photo of it with the Telefonica tower in the background.

Then I thought I’d take one with the Telefonica within the bell tower’s frame. After a few shots I took the feature photo for this blog, and the photo in full to end it.

As well as seeing the Telefonica clearly within the bell tower’s frame the sun shines through the tower while merging with the cloud above, and a bird soars between foliage below.

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Marc Latham’s central site is the Greenygrey (, and he has books available on Smashwords and Amazon (

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 (, and he has books available on Smashwords and Amazon (


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 (, and he has books available on Smashwords and Amazon (

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 (, and he has books available on Smashwords and Amazon (

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 (, and he has books available on Smashwords and Amazon (

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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