Day 7: Barcelona

Okay, I’m getting all caught up tonight! Here we go!

We all woke up fairly early but still didn’t get out the door until a little after 9:30 am. We had a plan to go to the El Born neighborhood. On our way, we passed a delightful little coffee place where we all had a small sandwich of Iberico ham with olive oil. Sandy & I also had cafe con leche. It was the beginning of a trend for the day.

As we made our way after breakfast, Mom remembered a place nearby that held something special. We turned into a very unassuming, quiet little passageway and in the middle of the courtyard there was a sign on a door noting that it was the place where Joan Miro was born ! Miro, of course, was a famous Catalan painter. 🙂

We continued on to El Born and to the Santa Maria del Mar church. We did have tickets to go in there that I bought last night. We arrived around 10:45 am, and it was going to close at 11:30 am for a wedding. We walked around the church until about 11:20 am or so. It’s lovely.

Then it was time to head over to our next stop which was Palau de la Musica Catalana. Interestingly, I had never been there, and I just don’t know why. Its beautiful facade is being refurbished so unfortunately, we weren’t able to see it, but man, the inside is truly stunning. We just did a self-guided tour. We went up one floor and heard music. There was a symphony rehearsing, and they allowed the people touring the building to come in to listen. Oh my goodness, what a total treat! The building was constructed to be acoustically sublime, and it was! It’s also completely beautiful. I highly recommend a visit there. To me, it’s as wondrous as the churches, especially since it’s totally dedicated to music.

After our little tour, we stopped at their cafe and had a drink and rested a bit. It was also raining a bit so it was nice to sit that out. When we were ready, we headed over to Placa Catalunya, but it wasn’t as great as I had hoped because the fountains weren’t on. Still, we took an ussie to commemorate the moment. It was in that plaza that my parents met in 1964.

Sandy, Mom, and Lizzie with statue in the background

Then it was time for lunch. We had seen a place when we were at Els 4 Gats that looked good so we went there. It was about 3 pm. We were hoping for the menu del dia, but it’s the weekend so they didn’t offer one. We went in anyway, and no one was there, which my Mama Pepita always said was a bad sign. We stuck it out. The waiter was super nice. I ordered a sandwich with jamon iberico y brie. It was very delicious. We also got patatas bravas to share. They were little new potatoes instead of French fries. Also very yummy. We (Sandy & I) also had some more drinks, too 🙂

We had passed a pasteleria at one point that we wanted to return to, and thanks to Mom, we found it! I got little tronquitos, one with nata and one with chocolate. We went back to the hotel, and while Mom rested a while, Sandy and I went down to the garden to write and to eat our desserts. Here’s a photo of mine after a few bites from each. There is nothing like this around me in the US.


It started raining so we moved inside for a little while. Then it was after 6 pm and we wanted to see something at the Cathedral that started at 6:30 pm. We checked on Mom, but she didn’t want to come. Maybe I’ll take this moment to mention that we’ve all three been dealing with some adverse conditions. My mom developed a blister in Paris, but we’ve been keeping it covered and it hasn’t been too bad for her. Sandy got bitten by some intense mosquitoes in Paris. And I got this weird rash around my ankles. We’ve all visited a pharmacy here (do you know that pharmacies, at least in Spain and Paris, are kind of like going to the doctor in the US?) We walked in and told the person working what ailed us, and in my case, showed her. She asked some questions about it, and then gave me a cream to apply to the affected areas. I love the pharmacies here. Seriously.

Anyway, so Sandy and I headed out to the Cathedral. We’d seen on a couple websites that the sardana is danced in front of the cathedral on Saturdays at 6:30pm. We kind of overshot our route and had to double back so we were kind of late, but it didn’t matter because there was no sign of anyone dancing. 😦 Sardana is a traditional Catalan dance that we haven’t seen done live in years. It would have been nice to see. So we made our way back to the hotel via an Enrique Tomas store to buy some bocadillos de jamon (that would be a ham sandwich) for dinner-ish. See the theme? I ate sandwiches with ham for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Yes, please. I didn’t take a photo of any of them, but there’s still some from the dinner sandwich so maybe I’ll snap that tomorrow. It’s not what you think (as an American) of a ham sandwich.

So tonight has been pretty mellow. We’ve all been relaxing, writing, and now we’re watching the Eurovision finale. I’m not a big fan of anyone I’ve heard so far. It’s like a mixture of American Idol and America’s Got Talent. Lots of big productions, and the songs aren’t great.

Bueno, okay. Tomorrow it’s Mother’s Day in the US. To celebrate over here, we got reservations at a wonderful restaurant that we went to when we were here in 2015 called Can Culleretes. But before that, we have tickets to another site that NONE of us have ever been to: Palau Güell. It’s a Gaudi structure, but it’s not as well known as his other sites. I’m excited to see it. Until tomorrow!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Ben McGrath says:

    What fun! Great pics. Thanks for the tour. Cheers, Ben

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