Tag Archive for visitor’s guide

Barcelona Beach Strolling

It’s time for another addition to my Barcelona visitor’s guide! This one is focused on life at the beach…keeping in mind that we were there in winter, so it was less about sunbathing and more about catching nice views from the shelter of a restaurant. But with views this nice, who cares if you need a sweater?

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An excellent way to start your beach day is actually from the mountains. Or Montjuic, to be exact. I’m not talking visiting the tourist attractions on the northeastern side of Barcelona’s most prominent peak but the gardens to the south at the Hotel Miramar.

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They are accessible either by car or by walking uphill about a quarter of a mile from the Plaça de les Drassane. Your reward for your efforts? Not only this amazing view–

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–but this fantastic clifftop bar!

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Once you’ve soaked all that exquisiteness in, it’s time to keep moving. Or be moved, rather, by skyward cable car!

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Right outside the restaurant, get a one-way ticket to Platja de Sant Sebastia and get in line for our journey down to the beach.

Farewell, Hotel Miramar!

Farewell, Hotel Miramar!

Hello, Platja de Sant Sebastia!

Hello, Platja de Sant Sebastia!

Once you disembark, walk toward the water about a block and just keep walking. You’ll figure out what you’re headed toward pretty fast:

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That’s the absolutely gorgeous W Barcelona hotel, and if you’re a photography enthusiast like me, you’ll want to capture it in as many different lights and cloud formations as you can.

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Make sure you head around to the far side of the hotel as well, because there’s a scenic skateboarding plaza to also take in.

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Whew. You’ve likely grown hungry enough for lunch, haven’t you? How about whiling away the lunchtime hour at one of the several appealing restaurants located right below the W Barcelona? I guarantee the views will be worth it.

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And so will the langostinos and a bottle of bubbly.

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Photography credit to my husband for this one.

Photography credit to my husband for this one.

Let that sea air relax and refresh you before you set your sights on the other side of the water.

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Sutro Baths and Land’s End

Click twice for the panorama.

Click twice for the panorama.

On the western tip of San Francisco lies the abandoned Sutro Baths. It’s a popular—but not always populous—tourist destination that draws photographers from far and wide for its breathtaking views of the Pacific Coast. Along with nearby Land’s End, the Sutro Baths are part of the larger National Golden Gate Recreation Area.

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The Land’s End Lookout visitors’ center and parking lot is located right above the ruins at 680 Point Lobos Avenue. When I went in early summer, I found a spot right away, but it was close to full.  The visitors’ center is worth a look for its exhibits on the area’s history and its gift shop. Access to the whole area is free.

This cutie's right out front of the visitors' center.

This cutie’s right out front of the visitors’ center.

Once you’ve had your fill of information, it’s time to pick a path to climb down toward the ruins.

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Chances are you already took a moment to gape at the view by the retaining wall.

 

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Downtown St. Paul, Cosetta, and the Wabasha Street Caves

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I’ve been to Minneapolis a number of times, but somehow, I hadn’t made it to neighboring St. Paul, the capitol of Minnesota. So on my last trip to the area, I was determined to spend an afternoon there. It didn’t make any sense to this wanderluster to be that close to the city and never step a foot in it.

And I am glad I did! As one native remarked as I was trudging my way up to the Cathedral of Saint Paul—

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–it’s a city full of beautiful architecture and rich culture. Well, what he actually said is more beautiful and richer than Minneapolis, but I’m not willing to take sides on that debate. I will say that my afternoon traipsing through the downtown was full of awesome discoveries.

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The first of them was in that picture—the Landmark Center. It’s gorgeous and is now used as an event space. The second was the statues of the Peanuts throughout the neighboring parks.

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I honestly didn’t know Charles Schultz was from St. Paul. Happening upon little trivia tidbits like that is why I love exploring cities.

St. Paul Hotel

St. Paul Hotel

After a Dunn Bros coffee and checking out the Rice Park area, I decided it was time to hunt down that Cathedral, which took my breath away as I passed it on the bus into town.

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So off I went, getting closer and closer.

Passing the Xcel Center

Passing the Xcel Center

My stomach insisted on lunch before my journeying could continue, so I check out nearby Cosetta (2011 7th St.) a St. Paul institution.

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