Barcelona…

It has a special place in our hearts and also one of the most special places in this country. it’s the most special as it is our first overseas trip A beautiful place that made us love traveling abroad. Barcelona is not so far, three hours from Istanbul. it’s also possible to find direct flights. We bought our two-way tickets by THY. After three hours of an exciting flight we landed in a place where Everyone’s face was laughing, I didn’t know if the reason behind their warm attitude was the hot weather or that they were really happy.

Getting on the bus from the airport to the hotel was the best way for us. The hotel was set out right on its path. We realized while we’re on the bus how fast Spanish is spoken. After almost 30 minutes journey we arrived to the Hotel L’IORET RAMBLA ‏that’s located on the La Rambla Street which is the heart of Barcelona. I booked the hotel from www.booking.com. The driver said the name of the hotel then we got off the bus before 100 m from the hotel. We spent the afternoon settling and resting in the hotel since Özlem has left one of her souls on the plane. We get down to the La Rambla for dinner. ‏‏The adventure had started This street looks like Istiklal street. The only difference is that this street is open to traffic, but don’t consider it bad. Because the part which is made for pedestrians is so comfortable it takes 70% of the street. One side of the street looks upon the sea and the other side to a square called Plaza Catalunya. We have compared plaza Catalonia to Taksim square. It’s easier to imagine it in your mind now isn’t it?

We dive into the crowd. Let’s go to the end of the seaside and go swimming in any place we like “we said “ after that we realized that we made a mistake and ended up on a very crowded street wider than 2 km street with an empty stomach. Do not do our mistake!

The first thing that our eyes caught was La Boquiera Market. Which you can find when your back is to Plaza Catalunya and walk on the right side of the Seaside. Those were already in our notes but when we left, we understood that what we saw was nothing compared to what we wrote in our notes.

The market is a place where there is fruits from all over the world prepared like how a mother would prepare for her children. And they sell them with a reasonable prices. They have a very good quality and affordable buffet type restaurants. While you pass through this place you can find so many kinds of sweets and candies that make people go crazy like it did to Özlem when she saw them and all kinds of gifts are also sold here.

Because our hunger is now unbearable and what we see has become torture to us, we have gone to the most popular buffet-type restaurant and started to examine it. Normally, I do not intend to give the name of a place unless we like it very much, because usually the cheaper is acceptable to us, but I can’t prevent myself to mention its name.

Because How would we know that we will sit randomly in one of the best in the city. its Name; El Quim. A place that makes incredibly delicious seafood. We do not wait in vain. Because it has so much demands that it is full of people waiting for you while you are eating and who will sit immediately in your place when you get up.

We loved La Boquiera so much that we started every day here.  Now we can fell our stomachs and go down to the sea. There are cafes, buffets, restaurants, live music teams, street performers and street artists along the street. It took us 2 hours to see the statue of Christopher Columbus by going all the way to the end of the street and go back to the hotel.

I recommend that you plan the time you need visit La Rambla. Because this place, which is the heart of the city, will not leave you easily.

Because it is our first overseas experience we are enthusiastic to try everything and tours made for tourists, programs etc.. For this reason, we start the adventure by taking our tickets from Hop on hop off Barcelona buses, which take off from Plaza Catalunya.

These bus tours are available in many cities around the world, including in our country. However, if you ask me, some places are not necessary. There is a disadvantage that tickets has high prices and might waste your time and keep you away from more beautiful places that can be visited. I do not recommend it in Barcelona, you can find more on foot. The reason is; The milestones of the city is close to each other and unlike the popular belief, the city is not that big. The flatness of the city and the large pavements are also good for walking. (It was already the first and last hop on hop off tour we took).

The only advantage is that you can see in it the relatively faraway corners and go where you need to go. (by the way, there is a Turkish presentation on the bus.) Since we gave the money; we had the opportunity to travel by descending at Park Quell, Monestır De Pedralbes, Palau Reial and Nou Camp stops, which are located the most faraway places of our stay.

Park Quell; It is a very nice park built by Gaudi, one of the most successful artists of the period, to show the nobility of a rich Spanish family at that time. A place adorned with ceramics, unusual in different architectural styles, where everyone, old and young, can see and enjoy. This is the place where they gave Gaudi’s deed to Barcelona. You will often see their name a lot in the following lines, because they have theirname under each stone.

We got off at the Pedralbes stop in Monestir but unfortunately we got back on the next bus because it was closed due to renovations. Palau Reial is a royal family palace. We liked its garden very much. What remains in our minds is the dragon-headed fountain and green parrots.

Park Quell; It is a very nice park built by Gaudi, one of the most successful artists of the period, to show the nobility of a rich Spanish family at that time. A place adorned with ceramics, unusual in different architectural styles, where everyone, old and young, can see and enjoy. This is the place where they gave Gaudi’s deed to Barcelona. You will often see their name a lot in the following lines, because they have theirname under each stone.

We got off at the Pedralbes stop in Monestir but unfortunately we got back on the next bus because it was closed due to renovations. Palau Reial is a royal family palace. We liked its garden very much. What remains in our minds is the dragon-headed fountain and green parrots.

In this museum, you will realize that the experience you will have which once in a lifetime is taking photos with the Champions League trophy. I am sure that you (football fans) will not miss this immortal moment.

After a busy yesterday, we go out again, keeping our plans relatively low today. Another advantage of your stay in and around Plaza Catalunya is that the walking distance to the stars of the city is quite short here.

For this reason, we immediately reach Casa Battlo, another masterpiece of the Gaudi master. Just a 10-minute walk from Plaza Catalunya. Again, you enter it for a small fee. But if you ask me, I think it would be better to have a nice meal with that money. Because, rather than the inside of the building, the roof which are the most ornate places are easily visible. Better than going in the chaos created by the crowd in it … We did it, you don’t.

It is possible to see Casa Mila (La Pedrera), another masterpiece of the Gaudi master, when we continue on the same pavement in front of Casa Battlo but continue from the opposite sidewalk. What I wrote for Casa Battlo is relatively true here too, but perhaps the roof of this place is not visible from the outside, so maybe you can go in here. And because it is a slightly high building, you can be happy with the psychology that it is worth spending for a view of the city from above. Yeah, we did that too.

We continue to walk. La Sagrada Familia welcomes us with all its glory by going directly from Carrer de Provença street, the masterpiece of Gaudi, which I thought will hardly find. Ozlem is a little tired, so we have a rest here to eat something, but we do not know if we’ve done good or bad. In each of our bites, several people enter the queue in front of La Sagrada Familia. At the end of the meal, by looking at a line of at least 500 meters, we begin to think that our food did good on our stomach. Because you know, we are waiting our turn in the midday heat of July, under that sun.

We decide not to get in, and only take the skim from outside, and have an ice cream in honour of it J Indeed, this masterpiece by Gaudi is unlike any other. An amazing design. we are on our way back after offering our endless respect to Gaudi who dead after completing half of this building, so it was completed by other people.

Our stop today is Barri Gotic. We come across La Rambla again, heading towards the sea, with the fruits we bought from La Boquiera Market. This is the old town of the city. When you turn left from the middle of La Rambla to any street, you understand from the narrowing street and the changing architecture that you have made a transition into Barri Gotic.

We first visit Barcelona Cathedral. They are the largest and naturally the most visited place in the city. Entry is free but there is a restriction for women. If you have a dress with open arms like Özlem; you have to cover your shoulder with things like a shawl, cover etc… There are no restrictions for men.

After touring the flamboyant interior and garden, we continue to enjoy the narrow streets. We find the place of another Spanish master by passing through the small shops and cafes that we encounter. We are in front of the Picasso museum. It is one of the most important places that you should not return from Barcelona without seeing. It was a great pleasure for us to see the valuable and extraordinary works of the famous painter.

After the museum we started looking for a place to have lunch and fell our hungry stomachs, but we’ve watched the closed shops in wonder.  We see that people do not care about anything more than their own lives.

In July and August, the Spanish take a few hours off their work due to extreme heat, and usually rest until 14:00. There are even those who ask the customer in the shop to go out. If this was in our country for such a crowd, if necessary, shops will never close.

We suddenly find ourselves on a wide street through the narrow streets and get some relief. We see the Arc de Triomphe monument that stands with all its magnificence. We immediately approach and take a few photos and continue to Parc de la Ciutadella. This is a cosy place with a zoo with a wide variety of animals, an amusement park that may be enjoyed by the little ones, and green trees and grass that can be laid on.

By learning that there is a dolphin show, we immediately enter the zoo. How clever these animals are, we watch the show with great enthusiasm. A show that everyone, old and young, can enjoy.

It’s time to relax a little bit. We went from La Rambla to the sea, giving our salute to Uncle Columbus with the indispensable tropical fruits in our hands, our marine materials in our backpack, we reach the famous Barseloneta beach by taking pictures with the lobster statue on our way.

It takes about half an hour on foot. The beach is long and pretty crowded. There are no sun beds, no umbrellas, everyone lays down on their towels. The sea is a little neglected and dirty compared to our seas.  But it’s good for cooling off in the heat. Do not come without seeing the big fish sculpture made of iron on the beach and the 4-storey monument placed on top of it.

It will be good for you to stop by Maremagnum, which is located before Uncle Columbus for shopping lovers while you are walking down to the sea. But do not expect a huge place like our country.

It’s time to head south to the city. Our starting point is Plaza Catalunya again, this time we go by metro. You can easily buy the ticket from the vending machines at the station. There are different language options and facilities such as credit card usage. We get on the metro by buying our tickets.

The metro network of the city is very easy and the stops are beautifully interspersed. We get off at Tarragona stop and first stop by Parc de Joan Miro and get plenty of oxygen. Then we continue the walk and continue from Plaza Espanya square towards Poble Espanyol.

This is an open-air museum that combines Spanish culture, lifestyle, architecture under one roof. We started our trip by buying our tickets. I can say that we liked it very much. If you are brought with your eyes closed and left here, you can feel yourself somewhere before years. There are also places where you can eat and find souvenirs.

We continue our way by marking Poble Espanyol on our list. It’s time for MNAC (Catalan National Art Museum). We arrive at this huge museum in about 10 minutes’ walk. Since there are many ticket booths, ticket purchases can be made quickly. This place is really huge. If you are a museum lover, you will love it here. If you are a fan of finishing the whole meal like us, I say it would take you at least 1 and a half hours.

We head out after we have got enough of art. We rest a bit to recharge Özlem, whose battery is exhausted, on the stairs and the garden next to it, and we take lots of photos while resting. Because the scenery is beautiful here.

After the charging process is completed, we continue from where we left. We continue in front of the very high Montjuic communication tower made in different style, which can be seen even from afar, and the Olympic stadium used by another famous sports club of the city, Espanyol. We are going to visit another museum of the city, Fundacio Joan Miro, since we obviously cannot get enough of art. Although we are not the kind of people who spend a lot of time in front of an art work, but since we came all the way here it would be a shame if we leave without seeing them so, we take our tickets and dive in. The museum is very modern and a must-see. Okay, this time we are really got enough of art, so we take ourselves out, thinking that this much art is enough.

While we are already in this part of the city; Come on Özlem, let’s see a couple more places, deciding that we will go up with a Teleferic, we arrive at Monjuic Teleferic. We go to Montjuic Castle with a very long but quite enjoyable Teleferic ride. Well the castle here overlooks the city and the scenery is naturally wonderful.  Although the castle does not interest us very much, it gets a passing grade from us because of its view. We sit on its walls and have our snacks. We restore our energy, have a break watching the beautiful landscape and go down walking.

We continue with the Teleferic again. Our plan is to cover the sea while in the Teleferic. Arriving at the place with a long name like transbordador Aeri del Port Estacion de Montjuic, we took a decision to have a little rest and then ride it.

The cafe right on the premises looks really cool. It is very crowded since we are not the only ones who see this beauty. Sea side and the city’s inner side prices are different. It’s our turn to get on the Teleferic. We love it because it is a unique experience to cover the sea with a Teleferic and the wonderful city view. Finally, we are really tired now and this time we are heading to La Rambla through Uncle Kristof, and our route is our room.

While we are here, it would not be possible not to watch a Flamenco show. In the middle of La Rambla Street, there is a very nice square called Placa Reial. There is a place called Los Tarantos whoever you ask will show it to you. The price is quite reasonable compared to other expensive places. I recommend watching Flamenco here. We enjoyed it very much. But the hall is small and the demand is very high. It is useful to buy the ticket in advance. www.flamencotickets.com from this site, you can buy tickets not only for Los Tarantos tickets but also for other Flamenco show venues in Barcelona or even all over Spain.

There are a few more museums that we visit and see during the busy days, now immediately I’ll write their names. Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Museu de Cera de Barcelona, Palau de la Música Catalana.  Even if you pay me money for entering these, I will not do it again, except for the first two, my thoughts towards the others were positive. But everyone thinks differently.

Besides that, there is a place called Tibidabo that we want to see but we give up due to fatigue and intensity. It can get to it with a very nice funicular. There is an amusement park at the top. The whole city of Barcelona is under your feet. We couldn’t see it, but I think you should.

When it comes to food and drinks, don’t worry, you won’t be hungry. It is a typical Mediterranean country and its food’s taste is not very different. Seafood is also an option. There is a taste for every palate.

There are snacks called tapas. Every chef made up a tapas. Some of them are very delicious and original and some of them are the ones that put tomatoes in bread. I recommend you to learn what the content is and then order it.

During our stay, discount coupons in brochures and booklets that we get from Tourist offices have done a great job. I recommend you to buy them.

The Salvador Dali museum; that we didn’t visit; It is a nice address for those who are curious and is about 1-hour highway distance.

Andorra; a small European country. Again, it is a 1-hour drive and is a beautiful place that people praise a lot. For those who have time, you should go and add another country to the list.

And of course, Ibiza, if you think Barcelona was not enough, we could not fully enjoy the entertainment, the sea and more, here you are. Buy your tickets in advance otherwise you cannot find a ticket and for the return before you can go there.

I will also recommend you highly the famous Amorino ice cream, don’t come back without eating the delicious ice cream which they prepare in the form of roses. By the last day we reached the summit by getting 1 kilogram then we returned to our country.

Adios Barcelona…

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