City breaks, Holidays, Travel Timehop

Travel Timehop #22: Barcelona 2006

When you visit a world renowned tourist attraction – maybe even a wonder of our world – you feel you should pay it some respect and soak up everything there is to know about it. 
However, it is also possible to overload yourself with information and forget that travelling is actually about enjoying the moment. This week’s Travel Timehop reminds me of that.
Tin Box Traveller on the roof terrace of the Gaudi House in Barcelona

When are we time-hopping to?

It was 2006 BC (before children) and we were at the southerly most stop on an epic European camping trip. We’d already stopped off in Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and France.

We had about a month to complete our summer adventure before returning to the UK for Mr Tin Box to join the Royal Navy. It was something we were unlikely to be able to repeat for some time and we wanted to make the most of it.

Where in the world?

The stop offs during our European tour were pretty much left to luck. We knew roughly where we wanted to go and found campsites to suit us along the way.

However, we always knew we wanted to go as far south as Barcelona in Spain as we had friends living there.

Our plan was to give our canvas abode a break for a few nights while we stayed with them in their city centre apartment. When we got there we found they had a tiny bedsit and our bed was under a sun canopy on the roof terrace. We were camping again! Luckily there was only a slight shower one night so we didn’t get too damp.

Travel timehop moment

We visited a lot of Barcelona in the few days we were there, mainly on foot and using the excellent public transport system. Las Ramblas, which runs through the heart of the city, was within walking distance from the apartment and the famous Barceloneta Beach and Port Olimpic were just a few stops away on the Metro.
But as a former art student I wanted to see some of Gaudi’s modernist influence on the city: Casa Batllo or the Gaudi House with no straight lines; Sagrada Familia, the church that the artist started building and that is still under construction; and Parque Guell, a public park that is now a UNESO World Heritage Site.
This week’s timehop photo was taken on the roof of Casa Batllo. I’m trying to look interested in the detailed audio commentary on Gaudi’s motivation for his architectural design but realising that I was actually much more interested in the house on a more basic level. It was just a pretty building (sorry Gaudi fans!) and listening to an essay about it didn’t actually help me enjoy it any more. In fact it distracted me a bit from the art around me. 
I would highly recommend a visit to this and the other Gaudi works in Barcelona – they are beautiful. Just skip the audio tours! NB. we did visit nine years ago so the audio tour may have changed a lot since we were there.
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