the de facto capital of Spain is of course Madrid (see this
guide) Barcelona has thought of itself in this role for
centuries and the modernization and facilities that came
with the Olympic games (1992) have given an enormous boost
to the city. That however was not to the detriment of historic
Barcelona. The Old City, the palaces churches and the modernisme
(art nouveau) architecture, most notably that of Antonio
Gaudi, gives the tourist much to see and enjoy.
The first to head for is Gaudi’s
crazy La Sagrada Familia the yet to be completed cathedral
that is the city’s most famous landmark. The sheer
dottiness of the architect’s vision and the scale
of it (almost 100m tall) are overwhelming. As a contrast
the superb 13th - 15th century Catedral de Barcelona (Le
Seu) is a gothic masterpiece which has a number of styles
due to the length of time it took to complete. Take the
lift to the roof for superb views of the city.
centre of the city seems focused on the kilometer long leafy
boulevard La Rambla, which runs up to the port. This contains
some interesting items – The Liceu Opera House, the
Boqueria market and a mosaic by Joan Miro. There are also
some gay bars and shops just off the Rambla itself. There
is a museum dedicated to this artist, the Fondacio Joan
Miro, containing hundreds of his works from all periods.
Fun way to get there – the funicular from Metro Paral.lel.
There is also a smaller Picasso museum in the city.
There are several parks including the enchanting
Gaudi decorated Parc Guell and the Parc de la Ciutedella
which house the museum of Modern art and the Zoological
Museum. It is also possible to cruise around the Cascadas
monument and fountain.
There are a few beaches but be warned by
those famous windmills – there can be a vicious wind
that will sandblast you with the fine sand making sunbathing
and snorkelling impossible. On this island are some of the
most pretentious queens you will meet anywhere concentrating
on wearing the latest in swimwear and sunglasses more than
anything else. It is not difficult to find a gay bar or
restaurant or club on Mykonos just look around in the street
and follow the sunglasses, fashion and cologne.
an international major city Barcelona isn’t exactly
24/7 as it closes down for every afternoon for three hours
of siesta. This might well be a time to go to a sauna or
cruise around the parks it might be just as well to get
some shuteye as life in this city starts late and runs all
night. Generally the bars start after 11pm , the dance clubs
at midnight and late bars after 3am until dawn. You’ll
need that siesta.
Start with dinner at Castro, go onto an early drink at Punto,
then onto dance at Metro or the old established Martin’s.
Feeling trendy then try to get into Salvation.
Twenty minutes by train takes you to the
popular gay resort of Sitges with its free and easy attitude
to same sex couples, 7 kilometers of beautiful beaches,
and an historic and pretty old town centre dominated by
Esglesia de Sant Bartomeu I Tecia.
old town is in a time warp with its twisted street and old
houses. Visit the preserved Town House of a 19th century
wealthy family, the Museu Romantic and Museu Cap Ferrat
with its eclectic mix of works from El Greco to Picasso
and Miro. Then head to the beach for lunch and some sun.
The center of gay life is in the streets around Museu Romantic
not far from the station which runs a special train late
at night for gay revelers leaving the discos. Finally remember
they speak Catalan as their first language not Spanish so
try to learn some simple phrase.
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