We spent two nights in Madrid at an excellent older hotel, the Villa Real, which was only a few hundred yards
from the Prado. The Prado is one of the premier art museums in the world, and it is huge, and as a result
we spent virtually all of our one day in Madrid inside it. But taking pictures is not allowed in the museum,
so (apologies) we have very few pictures of this city.
The next day we took the short train trip to Barcelona, getting there with plenty of time for afternoon sightseeing.
The large and creative souvenir store across the street from the main entrance to the Prado.
Anne sitting under the monumental tribute to the great Spanish painter Francisco Goya (1746 - 1828),
whose works are well-represented in the Prado. This picture was taken on the plaza at the main entrance
to the museum. The tourists photobombing in the background? Who knows?
The columns and rounded wrought-iron balconies on the façade of our hotel, the Hotel Nouvel,
in the Gothic Quarter (Barri Gòtik) of Barcelona.
The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, also known as Barcelona Cathedral, and the seat
of the Archbishop of Barcelona. The impressive Gothic filigree is uncommon in Catalan churches;
this church was completed in 1448, but the Gothic façade was added in the late 1800's.
One of the options when you go inside the Cathedral of Barcelona is to take an elevator
and walk around on the roof. The views from there are wonderful, both of the city and
the close-up look at the Gothic stonework of the towers. Note that the flying buttresses
are largely enclosed within the structure.
Barcelona has a large open-air food market called La Boqueria, with booths specializing in
meat, cheese, fruit, olives, and so on. This pastry booth had very nice chocolate hedgehogs.
You can find miracles in some of the most unlikely places ...
This small street was on one side of La Boqueria.
Laura, Shannon, and Anne heading off up a typically crowded shopping street in the
Gothic Quarter, on our way to the Basilica Santa Maria del Mar.
The interior of the Basilica Santa Maria del Mar, a typical large Catalan Gothic church.
The basilica style is demonstrated by the open plan, with minimal separation between the
center of the nave and the side aisles, no separation between the nave and the presbytery
at the end, and no transepts. The building was completed in 1383.
The pictures of this trip are divided into several sets: