La Sagrada Familia

The outside of La Sagrada Familia was heaving with tourists, but we just managed to see the outside through the crowds. A very unusual building, despite still being a building site after over 100 years. 

Time for lunch and a few beers, with it still just in view at the end of the avenue. 

Then we got searched and were allowed inside. I’m normally fairly ambivalent about religious buildings, but this really made an impression.

Just incredible…

We’ve scheduled a return visit to Barcelona in 2026, when the outside is supposed to be completed for the centenary of Gaudi’s death. 

We then walked back to the hotel via one of Gaudi’s other creations:

Odd, rather than mind blowing!

Barcelona – Tuesday Morning

Another city, another guided tour! 

We started with a coach tour up the hill to the Catalonia Arts Museum – a good view of the town despite a bit of drizzle. 

Then a quick look at the 1992 Olympic Buildings, most of which are still used (unlike London). 

We then went down to the old town and Cathedral. 

The cathedral was really nice – not so much gold as some. 

We then went onto La Sagrada Familia via some of Gaudi’s more famous buildings. 


Cordoba – Sunday Morning

We walked from the hotel with a local guide on a tour of the town this morning. There was actually a small amount of rain overnight, but nothing subsequently.

The first bit was crossing the river using the ‘Roman Bridge’ – rebuilt many times since! 

Then on to the cathedral, which used to be a mosque. 

The inside is very large, mostly the original mosque, but with a Catholic centre added later. 

After that, we toured the ‘Jewish Quarter’ nearby. It was very crowded with other tour groups as the cathedral was being closed to tourists for the Sunday services. 

We also visited an old synagogue. 

Then walked to our restaurant for lunch (Gazpacho, Tuna Salad, Pork Escalopes and Chips, then a variation of Creme Caramel). 

Cordoba – Saturday

Yet another coach journey today from Granada to Cordoba. More dusty countryside with olive trees… 

The hotel in Cordoba is very nice, with a rooftop swimming pool and bar that we’ll investigate later. It overlooks the river and town. 

Once settled, we had a stroll along the river, with a few stops for beer and lunch. 

Granada – Friday Evening

We had a couple more beers in the town, then got on a pair of minibuses up the hill to a restaurant. It was amazing that the busses fitted in the narrow roads! 

The restaurant had a terrace that overlooked the Alhambra:

An excellent meal (and wine) , even if we were not always sure what we were eating! 

The evening drew in… 

And the Alhambra was floodlit:

An excellent meal and evening in a lovely spot. 

Granada – Friday Morning

This morning, a coach took us to a viewpoint above Granada – fabulous views of the town.

The same guide we had yesterday took us on a walking tour through some of the older parts of the city. 


Many narrow streets! 

Good views of the Alhambra as well.

Our guide was the gentleman with the ‘pork pie’ hat:

We visited the gardens of a restored mosque. 

And yet more narrow,  steep streets as we walked back to the centre. 

The Alhambra yet again – in some ways looking better from the outside! 

The river on the left brings water from the Sierra Nevada mountains:

We then visited some of the older buildings in the city:

And went through a recreated ‘souk’ to the main town square:

Then, guess what? Time for a beer or three (with free tapas) in our favourite cafe:

Followed by a bit of shopping:


I left Phil to a quiet evening and set off with an intrepid group in a minibus to experience the delights of Flamenco. We turned up at a cave on the hill opposite the Alhambra:

There were about sixty people in the audience, including a group of school girls from England who were clearly having a great time. 

Who knew how much noise one voice, one guitar and several people clapping could make? There were six female dancers and one man. The costumes were gorgeous, the footwork amazing, and the whole evening was enhanced by a glass of sangria. 

This was definitely a highlight of the tour for me. And to cap it all, the Alhambra was floodlit as we drove back at about 11:30.

Granada – Thursday Evening

We went back to a cafe that we’d found yesterday. Not far from the hotel, but they serve a beer on draught that we had liked in Madrid (Mahou), and can serve large glasses of beer, with or without alcohol. Guess who had which?

This bar also serves complementary tapas with every beer, a really good selection, and it makes a fine “third meal” for the day.

This was a potato omelette with cream cheese topping. We also had a spinach and quinoa ‘pie’ and an interesting thick yellow soup – we failed to work out what was in it, but it was very nice.

Tina is off to watch some flamenco dancing now, I’m going for a walk!