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SEEING BARCELONA, OUR FIRST FULL DAY

After taking it easy the Saturday afternoon of our arrival, we were ready to go sightseeing on Sunday morning. Jordi our guide, picked us up at our hotel at 9:30. As I had sent him a picture via e-mail he had no trouble recognizing us. We stopped by the Princess Sofia Hotel to pick up Shelly and Carole Pivnik our sightseeing partners.

First Jordi took us to the top of one of Barcelona's premier sightseeing locations, MONTJUIC. On the way we passed the National Palace before starting the climb up Montjuic where we passed the stadiums and buildings of the 1992 Summer Olympic games. Jordi pointed out the main Stadium where the Opening and Closing ceremonies and the Soccer Matches had been held, We also saw the venues for the swimming, boxing and wrestling, basketball and other sports. All of these facilities were built on the side of Montjuic. ( Later that day, we would see the Olympic Village located across town in two high rise buildings.)

A 15 minute to drive put us at the top of the Mountain where Jordi drove into Castle De Montjuic across the drawbridge over the moat. Within the walls of the castle is located the Military Museum and several outstanding Miradores (view points) with great views of the Harbor and the City. We stayed in the Castle for about 1/2 hour before continuing our tour of Barcelona. (Note; Buses are only able to drive up about 1/2 way on this mountain due to the steepness and lack of parking room at the top).

Our next place to visit was Parc Ciutadella. This park is the 2nd largest in Barcelona just behind Montjuic. In this park is located the Barcelona Zoo and the Zoological Museum along with the Geological Museum and the Museum of Modern Art. The Parliament Building also is located within the park. Note: There is a large flock of Parrots living wild in this park.

Jordi had timed the tour so that we would arrive at the Cathedral de Barcelona about 11:30 am. This way we had plenty of time to tour the Cathedral and then observe the People dancing to a Chamber Music Orchestra playing on the church steps. The inside of the Cathedral is magnificent and one can move around even with a mass going on. At one o'clock the people who had been in church, began dancing in circles in the open square in front of the Cathedral. This brought back thoughts of such movies as "The Godfather" and "Three Coins in the Fountain".

From the Cathedral, we drove to the Sagrada Familia which is a Temple designed by GUADI. He oversaw the construction for the last 18 years of his life. Sometimes called Guadi's masterpiece and sometimes Gaudi's Monsterpiece, has been under construction since 1882 and still is far from finished. Jordi showed us all four sides of the building and pointed out the many decorative features which make Sagrada Familia interesting.

Our last stop was "PARC GUELL" another Guadi endeavor. Parc Guell is a beautiful city garden area on a hill overlooking the city of Barcelona. We arrived back at our hotel(s) a little before 5:00 pm very satisfied with our tour and looking forward to day 2 with Jordi and the trip to Montserrat and a winery north of Barcelona