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¡Hola Barcelona!

Nov. 20, 2013 |

Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain and is the capital of Catalonia; an autonomous community located on the northeastern Mediterranean coast, and is steeped in history, art, culture, wonderful food and architectural delights. Getting around the city is easy. You can use the easy to navigate metro system, or you can take a hop-on hop- off bus tour which stops at all the major tourist attractions, and is reasonably priced. La Pedrera is one of the many masterful works of the architect Antonio Gaudí located throughout the city. A wavy façade, wrought iron balconies, and rooftop terrace with bizarre chimney stacks is a favorite of visitors. It was originally an apartment complex built in the early 1900s and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. La Sagrada Família is perhaps one of Gaudí’s most famous works and another UNESCO World Heritage site. Construction began on this giant Basilica in 1882, and is not expected to be complete for another 30 to 80 years. LaRambla is a wide, tree-lined pedestrian boulevard, and a busy, bustling spot filled with shops, outdoor cafés, markets, and street performers including the human statues that always fascinate me (how do they do that?). Be careful though as it is also a popular spot for pickpockets and purse snatchers. The Barri Gótic (Gothic Quarter) is the center of the old city and the cultural hub of Barcelona. Medieval buildings, remains of the Roman wall, and narrow, winding streets create quite a labyrinth, so be sure to look up and around or you may miss some of the best parts. Park Guell, another of Gaudí’s masterworks, is a beautiful park with narrow twisting pathways, mosaics and sculptures that will make you feel like you have just entered Seussville. Close to the park is the funicular up to Tibidabo amusement park, and if you have time this is a must do. Not for the amusement park itself, but the views of the city from there are spectacular! Plaça Espanya is the starting point for Font Magica de Montjuïc. Montjuïc is a mountain in Barcelona with lovely gardens and the Olympic stadium, and has a water and light show at the fountain here at night that is well worth seeing. We have the 1992 Olympics to thank for the revival of the waterfront. Located at the end of La Rambla, you can spend an entire day visiting the Port Olympic, the Aquarium, IMAX Theater, open spaces and outdoor cafés, and viewing the many public artworks. Or just opt for a relaxing beach day while sitting on the boardwalk enjoying a delicious gelato, rent a lounge chair on the beach and hang out at one of the many beach bars. There is really no best or worst time of year to visit-so what are you waiting for? Call us at 525-9001 or drop us an email at sales@cruisestore.com. Bon Voyage! Sponsored by The Cruise Store CruiseStore.com 55 Maple St., , East Longmeadow 413-525-9001

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