June 16, 2019 (Day 12 of the trip) – We met our cab at 3:30am to catch our 6:30 flight from Porto to Barcelona. Then took a taxi  to drop off our luggage at the Airbnb office since it was too early to check into our rental. Then we walked to the Plaça de Catalunya to catch the Hop-On Hop-Off bus. We rode around town, got off the bus to explore, had tapas for lunch, got back on the bus and returned to our luggage and checked in. We Ubered to our rental and then took the Metro to Parc du Montjuïc to see the National Art Museum of Catalonia, the Magic Fountain and its light show.
June 17th (Day 13) – This morning we walked uphill from our Airbnb to Parc Güell, a housing development and park designed by Antoni Gaudí. He planned and directed the construction of the park from 1900 to 1914 for Eusebi Guell for a residential park intended for sixty single-family residences. The project, however, was unsuccessful and the park became city property in 1923. Though never fully completed, it still remains one of Gaudi’s most colorful and playful works.
We then walked through town looking for a lunch place and a stop for the Hop-On Hop-Off bus.
We found a beautiful building to admire which also had a Hop-On bus stop on the corner.
The former Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (Hospital of the Holy Cross and Saint Paul) is a complex built between 1901 and 1930. It is one of the most prominent works of the Catalan Lluís Domènech i Montaner. Together with Palau de la Música Catalana, it was declared a UNESCO site in 1998.
We then took the bus all through the city to enjoy the architecture and beauty of various parts of Barcelona.
We reached our final destination, the largest unfinished Catholic church in the world, Sagrada Família.
The Sagrada Família is a one-of-a-kind temple, for its origins, foundation and purpose. Fruit of the work of genius architect Antoni Gaudí, who devoted the remainder of his life to the project He is even buried in the church’s crypt. At the time of his death in 1926, less than a quarter of the project was complete. Construction passed the midpoint in 2010.
Some of the project’s greatest challenges remain, including the construction of ten more spires, each symbolising an important Biblical figure in the New Testament. Five generations now have watched the Temple progress in Barcelona. Today, more than 140 years after the laying of the cornerstone, construction continues on the Basilica.
Other highlights included El Font de Santa Ana, and the mural of Picasso at Plaça Nova square, Gothic Quarter.
We ended our day with an Airbnb Experience: a sunset sailboat ride on the Mediterranean Sea.
June 18th (Day 14) – We were on our own in Barcelona, but we decided to take Rick Steves along with us, this time by way of his audio tour and book. So we followed along and walked all over old downtown as we listened and read. One stop led us to Sant Felip Neri, a church tucked off a pedestrian walk where we saw the “Homeless Jesus” statue.
June 19th (Day 15) – Time to return to our respective homes.
Farewell Barcelona and Portugal and thank you Rick Steves for another wonderful adventure!
Epilogue – We gathered in St. Louis in October for our post-trip gathering to put together a photo book of the trip.  Taking a break from computers, we headed to Gateway Arch National Park, once at night then again during the day.
Best of all, we made plans for the next Travelin’ Trio Trip — another Rick Steves tour to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland!
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Barcelona, Spain
A follow-on adventure after our trip to Portugal!