Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Visiting Barcelona [Part 3/5]: Montjuic Castle and Port Olimpic

In this new post we will take you along on a journey up above and back to sea level. You will see Barcelona from two distinctive viewpoints. At first, we will take you to Montjuic Castle which overlooks the whole city and then we will visit Port Olimpic. Barcelona needs to be experienced from these two points because one shows the grandeur of the place, you gaze into the port as well as the mountains. The other is more grounded, but full of Mediterranean life. I hope you will enjoy both places in this post.

This is only a part of a 5-part travel series to Barcelona:
Part 1: Sagrada Familia
Part 2: La Rambla, Old Town and Park Guell
Part 3: Montjuic Castle and Port Olimpic
Part 4: Casa Mila, Casa Batllo and Park Ciutadella
Part 5: Sunset on Barceloneta Beach

Getting to Montjuic Castle

The Castle is located on top of the same-named hill. You can get to it by public transportation. With your metro card (you can purchase 2, 3, 4 and 5 day metro cards) get to the Paral-lel metro station on the L3 line. From there get to the funcular that has only one stop: Parc de Montjuic. It's a 10-minute ride (train shown above). From there you can either walk up to the castle (which is a 15 min walk uphill) or take the 150 Bus (also included in your metro card) that stops outside the Parc de Montjuic metro station, and it will get you there.

Entrance to the Montjuic Castle

Montjuic Castle is a prominent place in the city and entrance has to be paid. It's 5€ per visitor. You can visit it for free on Sundays after 3 in the afternoon (at time of writing this, make sure to check when you travel). Once you get to the castle, stand in line in front of the ticket boots as they can get huge quickly.




About Montjuic Castle

The castle is in fact a old military fortress, as evidenced by the many outpost stations and old cannons, with roots dating back from 1640, currently serving as a Barcelona municipal facility. A year later, in January 1641, the fort saw its first battle, during the Catalan Revolt when the Principality of Catalonia challenged Spain's authority. Fifty years later, in 1694, new bastions and battlements were erected and the fortress became a castle. In the Siege of Barcelona (1705) the fortress was captured by the British.

The old fort was however demolished in 1751 by the Spanish engineer and architect Juan Martin Cermeno, creating the current structure, still standing. The final shape of the castle took form during 1779 and 1799, when major construction works took place in order to improve the castle and accommodate the needs. In the last 350 years Montjuic Castle has played a decisive role in the history of Barcelona becoming a symbol of submission after the Catalan defeat to Spain in 1714. Since then the Montjuïc canons have bombarded the city and its citizens on various occasions and Montjuïc has been used as a prison and torture center repeatedly for three centuries.



The views from Montjuic Castle

The structure has two stories. Both give you pretty much the same views only the perspective changes. You can climb on top of the Castle and enjoy views in all directions. I mostly loved watching the huge port of Barcelona as well as the seemingly never ending city. It looks like someone has thrown a huge bucked of LEGO bricks onto a surface. The details you can get from up here are breathtaking.



The inside is interesting as well. You can see arches, old structures, entrances, stairs, paths all very interesting. Inside the Castle there is a big field, where you can rest and gaze at the old walls.



Shown above is the vast city of Barcelona, down below the mellow (but busy as well) port of the city.


Port Olimpic

After or day visit to Montjuic Castle we rested in our hotel and as the sun was setting went to Port Olimpic for dinner. This part of the city is very modern and fresh, a whole different story then the rest of Barcelona we had seen so far. The Port Olímpic is a marina located in the east of Barcelona. It hosted the sailing events for the 1992 Summer Olympics, and was opened in 1991.

The most prominent feature in Port Olimpic is the huge bay as well as the Casino. While we didn't spend any time in the Casino, from the outside it looked very promising and modern, for those who like that sort of thing.

Shown down below are my mom and dad (as well as our other travel companions) walking towards the big line of restaurants that are located in the port.




The beaches here are a really great sight. As we arrived the sun had already set, so I made it my mission to return to the beaches of Barcelona at sunset and take images of it. This would later come to pass and I will show you those spectacular sights in the final part of this travel series. For now our goal was to have a traditional seafood dinner. So we went to our restaurant.


While we were waiting for dinner in the Restaurant La Barca del Salamanca (by the way, a great place for dinner), I went outside to get some long exposure shots of the bay during dusk. So now what follows is a combination of dinner images and beach shots at dusk.





We had an incredible dinner with so much seafood, paella, and deserts that I could barely finish it all. It's all so fresh and tasty, perfectly prepared. I do highly recommend "La Barca del Salamanca" for dinner. As the night came to a close, we returned back to our hotel, ready for a new day in Barcelona...



The next part will show some interesting architecture from Barcelona as well as one of the most impressive city parks I have ever seen. Stay tuned for more.

End of Part Three
To be continued...



 

23 comments:

  1. wonderful photo's again... I start to wonder.... what places are on the top of your bucketlist right now?

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    1. That's a tough question, since there a few. On top of the list is the Great Ocean Road in Australia, then Oregon, Washington and Colorado state in the USA, Ireland and Iceland. Those come to mind first :) But those are all big travels.

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  2. when you are very old, you will be able to sit back and travel through your blog and revisit all the memories you are creating.

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    1. I certainly hope so. Don't you think that blogs are like online public diaries sometimes :D

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  3. What an awesome trip you had to Barcelona. Your long-exposure shots are always so amazing. It was a treat to see your mom in this set. She's a lovely lady.

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    1. Thanks so much. She's the best I have to say :D Will pass along your compliment.

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  4. What a castle! What a view!
    Good food and good company, too. :)

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  5. I could certainly do with some of that....!!

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    1. Haha well it's only a plane ride away :)

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  6. What a great tour you are giving us! The scenes are breathtaking on the blog and must only be better in person.I love the evening shots and the reflections.

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    1. Thanks so much Ruth. Yes, in person it was all stunning.

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  7. The new stuff is nice but the old stuff is more interesting

    ROG, ABCW

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    1. There is beauty in both, but the old parts are really fascinating. You can't replicate them :)

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  8. It's good to see another part of the world, Mersad. You have a gift for capturing the vibe of wherever you are. :)

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  9. What a another wonderful trip you had. That Castle is magnificent as areall your fabulous shots. I am sorry these days I do not have the same time to comment on all your posts due to recent events but I appreaciae you posts and your comments on mine.

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    1. That's ok Margaret, I do appreciate you stopping by though. Have a great weekend.

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  10. A castle with a fascinating history! Great post as always, Mersad. Loved seeing Mom & Dad!

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  11. ...I can hear Freddy Mercery singing "Barcelona" thanks for sharing.

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