Author Archives: M. D. Benoit

Sagrada Familia

We left the visit to the Basilica almost to the end of our trip, not out of choice but because they were booked a month ahead. We ended up with a 5:15pm time slot and were afraid it would be … Continue reading

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Poblenou Cemetery

Our next foray into the life and history of Barcelona was a visit to the Cemetery of Poblenou (meaning new town), the oldest cemetery in Barcelona, created in 1775 by Barcelona’s Bishop Josep Climent as a solution to the lack … Continue reading

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A Question of Art

There are times when what is called art baffles me. People a lot more knowledgeable than me have asked the question: what makes something art? Obviously they’ve answered it, because museums and art galleries are full of paintings, sculpture, etc. … Continue reading

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The Grande Dame of Avenues

The grande dame of Avenues Starting from the main Plaza, Plaça de Catalunya and heading north is Barcelona’s largest, most imposing of avenues, the Passeig de Gracià. Originally known as the “Camino de Jesus,” it was the only road leading … Continue reading

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A Tale of Two Churches

La Seu, the Cathedral of Barcelona, is one of the important examples of the Catalan Gothic style, which is plainer and flatter than regular Gothic churches. It is one of the oldest churches in Spain, having been built on two … Continue reading

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Sunshine and Water

Sunshine with only a few clouds. Light wind. 23C. Time to hit Barcelona’s beach. Or should I say:beaches. We started in Port Vell (Old Port) where the industrial waterfront was replaced by the Port Olympic (for the 1992 Summer Olympics) … Continue reading

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A Story of Giants

Today, 24 September, is the official feast-day of La Mercè, the Virgin of Mercy. Many events are happening through the city of Barcelona but we got up early to go see the “Passada de Gegans i Capgrossos” in the Plaça … Continue reading

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Barcelona: First few hours

We arrived in Barcelona around noon, under grey, menacing skies, and humid heat. During our taxi ride to our apartment, right away the feel of the city seemed different than any others. The city felt charged, just like the forecast … Continue reading

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Aranjuez

Half an hour of train and we found ourselves in Aranjuez, one of the sites the Spanish royalty liked to summer in. Going there, I expected the usual: a castle or palace at the top of a hill surrounded by … Continue reading

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National Archaeology Museum

Lodged in an imposing Palace that took 30 years to build, the Madrid Archeological Museum is a marvel of contemporary architecture inside, contrasting with the artifacts it shows. The cases holding the unbelievably old pieces — some as old as … Continue reading

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Sorolla Museum

For our first outing in Madrid, we optedto go see the Sorolla Museum, somewhat out of the beaten trail. Having admired one of Sorolla’s painting at the Prado last year, we wanted more.The museum did not disappoint. Joaquín Sorolla y … Continue reading

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Segovia

While shopping for a Talavera plate to add to our collection, the owner of the shop recommended the town of Segovia to us. We wanted to do something for our last week in Spain and follow his advice. It’s a … Continue reading

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Toledo

Although there’s still many things to see and do in Madrid, we decided to go further afield to Toledo. The trip is only 30 minutes by a fast train and the town is an easy twenty minutes walk – if … Continue reading

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Madrid’s Museo Naval

Humbly situated near the Prado, Madrid’s Naval Museum barely stands a chance against the reputation and grandeur of its neighbour. It does make an effort, boldly claiming its space in large letters on its facade. Personally, I preferred the copper … Continue reading

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Campo del Moro

It’s easy to combine a visit to the Templo de Debod with a stroll in the Parque del Oeste and get a photo opportunity to snap the Palacio Real with the Catedral de la Almudena in the background. The temple, … Continue reading

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