Entrance to the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona 1899 site of the Barcelona Open

Our first 4 days in Barcelona were spent at the 2010 Barcelona Tennis Open at a tennis club. We stayed in a hotel right outside the train station and took bus 32 right to the stadium.

Gasquet CLICK

If you click the image of Gasquet a tournament player slide show of the matches we watched will appear with the match results.

We sent logs to the Albany Times Union Tennis Blog. If you click this scoreboard you will see our day one log of the event. If you click this scoreboard you will get day three activity.

Verdasco beat Soderling in the final 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

Sagrada Familia and park outside chruch. CLICK IMAGE FOR MORE GUADI

After the tournament we moved to a central Barcelona apartment to walk the city better. The city is laid out very easy for walking.  The city intersections have the corners gone making for hexagonal intersections.  A lot of these are huge with a fountain and/or statue in the middle. Most of the buildings in the city of 1.6 million are no higher than 5 stories.  Throughout the city Antoni Gaudi has left his mark, from street posts to fence posts, apartment buildings to churches, and his dream urban housing development that flopped and now is a park. His architectural style is unique and is best represented by the Sagrada Familia, that is taking over a century to build.

Art in Barcelona CLICK IMAGE

If you click the Sagrada Familia image, examples of Gaudi’s work throughout Barcelona will display.  He built a home in Guell Park where there is only one other home. Later it was turned into park. The park is on a hill overlooking the city. There are lots of examples of his usage of broken tiles made into a mosaic design.  His architecture style is displayed across the city. Another Barcelona artist Joan Miro also used broken tiles in mosaic design. There is a Miro Museum and some of his art is displayed around the city. Picasso was also born in Barcelona and there is a museum in the Gothic area of the city displaying the works of his first 20 years and his last 10. Some of Piscasso’s early works lacked detail in the faces. We both thought he was not very good at this stage. His best paintings are in private holdings. Some are in Barcelona’s National Museum(MNAC). The MNAC is in a park-like setting where the Miro Museum, Olympic grounds and Spanish Village are found.  Outside on the front stoop of the museum there is a musician that plays a real good Spanish guitar. Clicking the Barcelona image will display some of the art around Barcelona.

Statues are everywhere. CLICK IMAGE

Most of the museums prohibit photos of their most famous exhibits. Sculptures are frequent in the city as fountains, friezes, and statues. Many buildings have statues up on the rooftops or on top of domes. Click the gondola over the angel statue image for a look at some of Barcelona’s statues.

We used some of the Barcelona time in planning the train trip from Barcelona to Paris. We planned stops in Montpellier, Nice, Montpellier, Rome, Florence, and Venice. We forgot to buy a Eurrail pass before we left and we found you could not buy the France/Italy pass in Europe, only the individual countries passes which are more expense than the city to city tickets. In Spain we found you can only buy France train tickets in France and the Italian train website has problems accepting foreign credit cards, so Italian tickets had to be bought in Italy.