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RICK STEVESEUROPE: Barcelona And Catalunya

Airs Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 11:30 p.m. on KPBS TV

Rick Steves, enjoying the shade in Salvador Dali's back yard, introduces us t...

Credit: Rick Steves

Above: Rick Steves, enjoying the shade in Salvador Dali's back yard, introduces us to more of the best of Europe with his all-new series.

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America's favorite travel guide transports viewers to Europe's cities, villages and countryside.

In the fifth season of RICK STEVES' EUROPE, Rick bikes the back lanes of Copenhagen, waltzes through Vienna, slurps escargot in Burgundy, ventures to the desolate side of a Greek isle for the perfect sunset, and strives to appreciate famously stinky cheese of Olomouc in the Czech Republic.

He also wanders through Salvador Dali's home, communes with Viking ghosts on Denmark’s "ship-in-a-bottle" isle, scampers through Delphi’s dramatic ruins, witnesses Barcelonan children learning to speak Catalan and ventures through a World War II-era fortress buried deep in the Swiss Alps.

RICK STEVES' EUROPE: Barcelona And Catalunya

America's favorite travel guide transports viewers to Europe's cities, villages and countryside.

"Barcelona And Catalunya" - The creative spirit of Spain’s Catalunya—the land of Picasso, Gaudi, and Salvador Dali—is on a roll. We'll get caught up in the festivity of Barcelona, enjoying the vibrant street scenes, tasty tapas and pedestrian-friendly Gothic Quarter.

Barcelona, Spain: Inviting Beaches and Intriguing Gothic Quarter

Barcelona's once-seedy waterfront was completely transformed when the Olympics were held here in 1992. The man-made beaches — a series of golden crescents that stretch for miles along the Mediterranean — are a huge hit. Each comes with lively cafes and bars and all are laced together by inviting promenades frequented by strollers, joggers and bikers. Surprisingly nearby is Barcelona's old center — the Gothic Quarter, a tangled-yet-inviting grab-bag of charming squares, rich cultural treasures and other surprises.

Then we'll take a scenic side trip to mountaintop Montserrat, and finish with an artist's pilgrimage along the Costa Brava to Salvador Dali country seaside Cadaques to visit his home and nearby Figures to experience his playfully surreal mausoleum/museum.

Rick Steves' Europe: Figueres, Spain: Art of Salvador Dalí

Catalunya's town of Figueras is home to the trailblazing artist Salvador Dali and the museum that displays his life's work. The nearby fishing village Cadaques features another museum of sorts, Dali's home, where even the furniture is a work of provocative and playful surrealist art.

Barcelona, Spain: Picasso Museum

Picasso spent his formative years (from the ages of 14 to 23) in Barcelona, and this museum, housed in a palace in the Old City is the best collection of his early works anywhere. By experiencing his youthful, realistic art, you can better understand his later more abstract periods and more fully appreciate his genius. Always restless, ever prolific, Picasso delved into many styles including Cubism and became the greatest artist of the 20th century. Barcelona is where it all began.

Barcelona, Spain: Park Güell

For a playful dose of architectural genius, visit Gaudí's colorful Park Güell. Gaudí intended this 30-acre garden to be a 60-residence housing project — a kind of gated community. As a high-end housing development, the project flopped. But a century later, as a park, it's a huge success.

Montserrat, Spain: Mountaintop Monastery

With its dramatic mountaintop monastery and spiritual connection with the Catalan people and their struggles, Montserrat is a rewarding day trip from Barcelona. It's been Catalunya's most important pilgrimage site for a thousand years. For more information on the RICK STEVES' EUROPE TV series — including episode descriptions, scripts, participating stations, travel information on destinations and more — visit http://www.ricksteves.com.

This episode originally aired in 2010.

Rick's Travel Tips

Explore Europe confidently, efficiently and safely using these travel tips.

App for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Android

The Rick Steves Audio Europe app organizes Rick's vast and varied library of audio content into geographic-specific playlists so you can enjoy ready access to the information that relates specifically to your travel plans. You'll get Rick's self-guided tours for dozens of Europe's top museums, sights and historic walks—plus 200 tracks of travel tips and cultural insights from his radio show—all for FREE! View a demo.

Rick's Travel Philosophy:

Travel is freedom...one of the last great sources of legal adventure. Travel is intensified living, with maximum thrills per minute. It's recess, and we need it. Experiencing the real Europe requires catching it by surprise, going casual...Through the Back Door.

WATCH ON YOUR SCHEDULE:

Past episodes and clips of RICK STEVES' EUROPE are available for online viewing.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION:

Rick Steves is on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and you can follow @RickSteves on Twitter.

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