My wife and I had the great good fortune to take 2 wonderful tours with Juan Ciempies in Barcelona. The first was a 2 hour evening tour of the Old Roman city. starting near the Cathedral and following the ancient wall's foundation through the heart & center of the oldest quarters. His lively descriptions brought the splendid old buildings, streets, and alleys to life and made our daily strolls to shop and eat all so much more relevant to our stay. We had no idea where we were actually walking until Juan taught us! Later we hired Juan for a focused day going deep with Antoni Gaudi. He described carefully the various options (you could easily spend 3 days just doing Gaudi). He was careful to state that the audio tours at the Sagrada Familia were very comprehensive and as such might not be the most "value added" use of his expertise. With that guidance (which was spot on) we selected 3 buildings: Palau Guell, Casa Batllo, and Casa Mila. We started at 9 am with a stroll in the cool morning to the Palau Guell and spent the next 7 hours (with a lunch stop) steeping in the warm genius of (in our opinion) the greatest architect of the last few centuries. While we have extensive background in art and a cursory knowledge of european architecture Jaun was a MAJOR accelerator to our being able to see and appreciate the impact of Gaudi's revolutionary work. Juan is personable, fun, relaxed, and flexible, with an extensive formal and informal education in his subject. We would definitely use him again to carry on our training in "How to Love Barcelona EVEN More".
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