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Barcelona, December 2003:

[Scotland]   [Royal Place]    
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We decided on a quick city break before my pregancy advanced enough to stop me flying. People had raved about Barcelona and we had yet to see any of Spain so figured this was a taster trip so to speak. We both enjoyed it very much. Barcelona was very similar in architecture to Paris - only with date palms. We stayed centrally so were able to walk practically everywhere. We ate tapas til we were tapped out. As with many mediterranean areas, mid-afternoon saw places close for 2 hours, resulting in a much later closing time of an evening (9pm for most shops).

^ A short stroll from the hotel towards the marina area of Barcelona, saw us ducking into a beautiful plaza where a coin, stamp and card collecting fair was taking place. This square is known as the Royal Place. The buildings seemed to contain a mixture of local residentials and hotels.

      [Royal Galley, Maritime Museum]  

[submarine at Maritime Museum]

^ This wonderful replica of an early submarine designed by a Spanish engineer stands outside the Barcelona Maritime Museum - gorgeous tubbly little fish isn't it?

< The Barcelona Maritime Museum is housed in what were the Royal Shipyards of Barcelona. The reproduced Royal Galley is located in the dry dock of the building complex. If you look closely to the right of the picture you can just see some of the many rows of oars used to propel this amazing ship.

      [schooner on marina]    
      [marina-side eating]  

^ The promenade of Barcelona Marina area. and NO, the seagulls weren't superimposed into the photo!

< Dining area outside the marina shopping centre. We enjoyed this area so much that we came back to this restaurant (with waterside views) twice to eat. It's a very popular strolling area for what seems to be both tourists and locals alike.

      [Casa Batllo facade]   < The facade of one of several Gaudi-designed buildings in Barcelona. This one is called Casa Batllo. Some were created using free-form concrete, others carved stone.    
      [Casa Batllo detailed windows]        
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