Days 11-12: Barcelona

I was too tuckered out to write last night, so here’s a recap of the last two days.

Day 11

Sandy & I have enjoyed our fairly early morning walks around the Gothic Quarter areas so we did it again. This time we stopped first at La Boqueria and had another look around. We bought a small pastry for Mom, then we wandered around the El Raval neighborhood, which is now the home of the MACBA (Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona) and this very cute building.

Gats building

We had breakfast in the courtyard area of this building. I don’t think I’ve mentioned but aside from some afternoon rain the first few days, these last few days have been amazing. Sunny, light breezes, moderate temp. Love it. After breakfast, we collected Mom and did some walking around and a small bit of souvenir shopping.

Sandy & Mom in front of parrot mural

We hailed a taxi and were on our way to Tibidabo. The taxi, which was kind of a scary ride, left us at the base of the mountain. Mom suggested we have a drink first, so we went into MiraBlau, which has incredible views of the city.

View of Barcelona from MiraBlau

When we went to catch the funicular to go up the mountain, we learned it wasn’t working (sad face!), but the nice man said there was a free bus we could take to go up there. So without much discussion, we hopped on the bus. After about half an hour, the bus left us (and the other passengers) at a road and we had to hoof it up an incline to get to the amusement park and church. It was tough for Mama but she did good. We looked around a bit and took some photos, but really, the view at MiraBlau was just as good!

In fact, after we came back down the mountain on the bus again (and of course the ride back seemed shorter!), we went back to MiraBlau for some tapas. The waitress there was really nice and gave us the number to call a taxi, and soon he was there. The taxi ride back was much smoother! When we got back to the hotel, Sandy & I both took naps. Being out in the sun was tiring, plus it was breezy up there!

That night was our ghost tour! It was really more of dark history of Barcelona tour. There were 11 people in our group. The guide was a young man from Surrey who’d moved here about 18 months ago. He was still getting the hang of things, but he had some good enough stories. I took a couple photos: one of Gaudi’s lampposts in Placa Reial and another of the Bishop’s Bridge. After the tour, Sandy and I shared a salad (hooray for getting some greens!) and some croquettas.

Salad with goat cheese, apples, cherries, walnuts, honey, and mustard

Day 12

This morning we weren’t planning to walk around as much but we did anyway! We had seen some cool street art the night before so we found it again to get some snaps (not all are pictured).

We had breakfast from a pastisseria that has been there since 1798! It was small but pretty inside and the ensaimada was really good. We walked around a little bit more, then went back to the room to meet Mom, who had also been out and about herself, seeing a nearby church and doing some shopping at a supermarket to take back some things.

Then it was time to get some serious souvenir shopping done. Most of what we bought was for ourselves, LOL, but we did pick up some gifts for some of the folks back home. Soon it was time for our lunch reservation at Can Culleretes. Yes, we went again because it really is that good and that special. We actually got the same table we’d had on Sunday! We shared an appetizer of calamares a la romana, Mom had the butifarra con munchetes (sausage with beans), Sandy had cannelones, and I had polla a la catalana, which was the leg, wing, and thigh of a chicken cooked in a yummy sauce with dried fruits including prunes, dates, apricots, and raisins. It was not exactly what I thought I was getting (I kind of made a rush decision – the waitress was intimidating!), but it was really good, and I was happy with it. We also shared some fried potatoes. For dessert, Mom had her tarta al whiskey (a yummy ice cream dessert with whiskey-soaked cake), and I had a flan that was quite good.

A little bit after lunch, we headed over to El Born again to go to the Picasso museum. Today is international free museum day, and we had selected our timed entry for the Picasso museum at 3:45pm. It was still crowded, but not as much as when we left! It was also a bit chaotic but manageable, and we were able to see some cool stuff.

From there, we wandered around El Born. We stopped at the top-rated Hofmann bakery, then had a drink at a little cafe. It was getting cooler and breezier, and we were getting tired!

Lizzie, Sandy, and Mama in El Born

We ambled back into the Gothic Quarter and did a little more treat and souvenir shopping. At around 9pm or so, Sandy & I went down to the hotel bar for a tapa and a drink. Afterward, we made our plans for tomorrow night with our cousin, and then the writing began!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Ben McGrath says:

    Thanks for the stories and tour. Makes me wanna go! Cheers, Ben

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