The 4th of July holiday weekend has past and I have no more excuses for not creating another post from our trip to Spain this past March. This time it’s all about Barcelona, a magical, beautiful city.
We had such fun in Barcelona. We felt welcomed from the moment we arrived at the train station with a “Welcome to Barcelona!!” from a gentleman who heard us speaking English. And we chatted with him on the way to our respective taxis. The taxi driver was jovial and talkative which had not been the norm this trip so that was nice too. There were other friendly people as well. The gal who heard us speaking English and commented about the view atop Las Arenas and the Bolivian waitress at our breakfast spot near our hotel(that had great tortilla española). She knew we were foreign and after asking where we were from commented on how well I spoke Spanish. I loved her!! We had a couple of unpleasant experiences too but overall we thought the people were wonderful. Fun waiters, one in particular suggested his favorite from that menu and it was great! Fried potatoes with an over easy egg. Yum, yum!!
We went to the Picasso Museum, Palau de la Múscia Catalana and Sagrada Familia. I created separate posts for the Palau and Sagrada Familia so do check those out for more wonderful photos. We ate fabulous food and generally had a great time in this amazing city. The weather wasn’t the greatest but we didn’t let it deter us too much. One night it was raining so we took advantage of our hotel’s “social hour”, from 5 to 7 p.m. They offered various teas, coffee and sweets to their guests. There were a few places to sit near the treat table and we chose the one with the backgammon set and proceeded to teach Miss M backgammon. She then proceeded to beat us both! Beginner’s luck? Definitely a different way to spend a couple of hours on vacation.
This post will be photo heavy with a few stories. So with that I’ll start off with photos from our first day. We got to Barcelona around noon and after checking into our hotel we headed off to Las Arenas, the bullring turned shopping mall. Bullfighting has been banned in Barcelona so what a wonderful use for this structure. We learned that there are fabulous views from atop Las Arenas so of course we headed up there. We shopped a little then had dinner at Pura Brasa which was excellent!
Next some photos in and around the Picasso Museum. If you’re a Picasso fan then you must go to this museum! It’s the largest collection of his earlier works than anywhere else I believe. It is fascinating to see his style from his early years. This museum also houses the Las Meninas paintings. I especially liked those as Las Meninas by Velazquez was a painting I studied at the Prado when I was a student in Madrid. The structure the artworks are in is also a museum. It’s three old palaces combined to create a space for Picasso’s art. Very cool place! This was our second visit and I’m certain we’ll go again. One of my favorite museums, hands down. And this visit was completely different than our first. In 2010 we happened to get there during the free hours which are typically very crowded. We waited in line for about 30 minutes and chatted with some people from New Jersey also in line. And it was hard to see many paintings as it was just so crowded. This time we got tickets ahead of time and arrived when it opened. There were many times we had rooms completely to ourselves! Pure bliss. I definitely recommend getting tickets in advance.
Similar to my Sagrada Familia remake with Miss M and me, here are Miss M and hubby at the exact same spot in the courtyard of the Picasso Museum, 2010 and 2016:
We again visited the Basilica Santa Maria del Mar and gazed in awe of that amazing structure. And oh, the stained glass!! Check it out:
The remaining photos are from various days, more street scenes, some urban art, the Obama Gastropub? Yes, this pub caught my eye as we were looking for Casa Battlo. Interesting name no?
I do have one amusing story to tell about the sandals I purchased on our last day in Barcelona.
I really wanted to buy a leather purse and/or leather sandals that were made in Spain. I looked every chance I got and I finally found the sandals I was looking for on our last day of the trip in Barcelona. Except that they weren’t made in Spain! I had asked the clerk if they were made in Spain while I pointed to them in the display and she answered yes. What made me wonder was that I could see the Italian words for “real leather” on the display sandal. I told her my size and she had to go out of the store to get them. I guess there is limited storage in that store? I tried them on and they were perfect!! Cute and very comfy. She even commented (in Spanish) “they’re comfortable aren’t they?” and I agreed and then purchased them. When I got back to the hotel and took them out of the bag I saw “made in Albania” on the box. Made in Albania?!?!?!? That woman lied to me!!! I was so annoyed but later I thought it’s probably a good thing she did that because I’m not so sure I would have tried them on otherwise. In the end I got the sandals I was looking for and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve forgiven the clerk too. I think she knew that I would love those shoes.