Old Town Barcelona

Old Town, Barcelona

The bottom of La Rambla was our starting poinLa Ramblat for the day as we set out to explore the old town area of Barcelona. This tree lined street was actually once a river, with a 13th century city wall following it. At the bottom of La Rambla is a monument to Columbus overlooking the street and sea. Just off La Rambla, is one of the first works of the famous architect Antoni Gaudi, Palau Güell. The spire-like chimneys are the only hint of colour that can be seen from the street. For some fresh fruit, fish or meat be sure to stop at Boqueria food market. The market originated from the 13th centurBarcelona Cathedraly and today is one of the top markets in the world! If you have the time you can even sign up for a cooking class there.

After that, we began to wander through the Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter), the oldest part of the city chosen by the Romans. The Barcelona Cathedral stands on the old foundation of a Roman temple. The interior is beautiful and can be accessed anytime before noon for free, however make sure you’re covered up! We saw many women attempt to enter the church in shorts or thin straps on dresses but were required to wrap a scarf around their waist and shoulders before entering. Men wearing sleeveless shirts were also turned back. Don’t worry though, a man and woman were selling scarves out front from €0.50.

From the Gothic Quarter we worked ourParc de la Ciutadella way to Parc de la Ciutadella and Arc del Triomf, the main gateway to the 1888 International Exhibition. In the gardens is an incredible ornamental cascade designed by Joseph Fontsere and a young Antoni Gaudi. There is also a boating lake and although we never saw any, parrots living in the palm trees.

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Chester England

Chester, England

Chester is an old Roman town founded in AD 70, the largest in Britain. Chester_ClockSurrounding the city is a wall 2 miles long, originally built by the Romans. The positioning of the walls surrounding the city have remained the same since 1200 AD with alterations to the walls being made throughout the decades. Along the wall is the Eastgate Clock which was built for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. The clock was formally unveiled on the Queen’s 80th birthday in 1899 and required someone to manually wind it up weekly until 1992 when it was switched to electric.

The Chester Cathedral is a must see for visitors! With a history of over 2,000 years this 32,220 sq ft Chester Cathedral Courtyardbuilding is absolutely beautiful inside and out. On a sunny day the stained glass windows light up the interior of the church. Unlike other churches we have visited so far, the Chester Cathedral allowed visitors to look at the interior carvings up close and even access rooms that are normally blocked off to the public. If you plan on visiting the cathedral, at the end of this year you will be able to access the upper levels of the church and view the city from above.