Montjuïc, Barcelona

If you're looking to get out of the downtown core of Barcelona and take in some spectacular views, it's time to take a hike up Montjuïc hill. There are many different routes and entrances to this big park, but the most dramatic is surely just off the Plaça Espanya. It's right on multiple subway lines and the Plaça itself it also worth a visit. 

Here's one view of the Plaça Espanya, showing the Les Arenes bullring. Built in 1900, it has now been converted into a shopping centre. 

A view of the Plaça from the other side. Plaça Espanya is definitely worth a visit at night when the city puts on an impressive fountain show with coloured light, music, and ''water acrobatics''. Unfortunately, the show only happens four days a week, and we happened to be in Barcelona on performance-less days. But, as my grandmother always says, you have to save something to see on your next trip. I'll definitely make a point of catching the fountain show if I'm ever in Barcelona again. 

The daytime fountains that were turned on were still quite lovely on their own, guiding the way toward the National Museum of Catalan Art at the entrance of Montjuïc park. Behind the museum, you can wander through various gardens and outlooks over Barcelona.  

Looking down into the city, you can see the Sagrada Familia in the distance and the churches of the Gothic Quarter on the right edge of the photo. 

Here you can really see the industrialization of the landscape. Barcelona's role as a Mediterranean sea port is still very much active. 

Those who have the energy to make it to the top of the hill are rewarded with Montjuïc Castle. The foundations of this old military fort were laid way back in 1640 and was converted into a military museum in the 20th century. In 2010, the museum was closed so that the city could complete restorations on the building. But for 5 euros, visitors can still tour the fort and take it spectacular views of Barcelona from more than 170m above sea level.

Looking one way toward the city...

...and looking another way toward the sea.

For those of you who recognize my outfit from yesterday's post: Yes, we climbed Montjuïc hill and the big hill up to Park Guell in a single day. The summer weather in Spain is too beautiful to spend much time indoors, but if you're ever tempted to climb two mountains in one day, make sure you've got a big pitcher of sangria waiting for you at the bottom!

And maybe an extra one for the long flight home...

Hasta Luego Espana!