Ah Barcelona. You were on the list of places to go for a while now and we finally made it. May was a busy month for us this year. First we went to Napoli, then Patricia came to visit, then after she left it was on to Barcelona. Now I did enjoy our time in Barcelona, and we ate a lot of delicious foods, saw a lot of awesome buildings and architecture, but since we had just been to Napoli and I loved this there sooo much I was a bit underwhelmed. I just didn't love Barcelona as much even though it still had a downtown area of small alley streets and beaches and everything. It was nice, really beautiful, I would go back for a visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. I just didn't jive with it as much as some other cities even though it has many great things.
We got into the city later at night and luckily we found where we were staying just before it started pouring!
Our first day we got up and wandered to a breakfast place which was pretty good. We walked down La Rambla, which is a really popular tourist thing to do, but I am not sure why...we were there early so there weren't many people yet and not all the stalls were open, but since it is an easy direct route from north to south we did cross it quite a bit and it was just....I don't know what the big deal is. It is a ton of tourist souvenir stalls with a few places to get some treats like ice cream and candy. At the end closest to the water are some people dressed as statues and such, but I just didn't get why anyone would make a special trip to walk down that road. It was not my thing at all.
After our breakfast we headed over to take one of the free tours and get some history of the city. Really I knew next to nothing about Catalan history and it was quite interesting and very bloody.
This is the king's square with the royal palace and the steps are where Columbus met the King and Queen.
Around the back of the Cathedral of Barcelona
And parts of the front
Basilica de Santa Maria del Pi - it doesn't look like much from the outside, but we went back to visit later
Placa Sant Jaume where they have the castell (human tower) during the big festival
The guide told us how tall the castell would get, but it is hard to imagine. In the next square over there is this sculpture that is supposed to represent the castell and it was really tall. I can't imagine climbing up everyone to get to the top if I were the little kid who does that.
Plaza George Orwell
Lots of street art and graffiti
Santa Maria del Mar
Fossar de les Morenes - eternal flame and memorial to fallen Catalans
After our tour and a quick lunch (btw lunch in Barcelona is ginormous! You can get like three course meals for not very much that are just soooo much food! I don't know how they eat it all. Usually after the first course I was like alright, that was a good lunch, but I still had way more food to eat. A few days we had lunch and I was so full I wasn't even hungry for dinner. Crazy) we went to check out the beach. We were only staying a few blocks from there so it was nice to be able to go sit by the water after a long day of walking.
It was super windy and not that warm, but I had to at least get my feet wet (the water was freezing!)
From the balcony where we were staying
Raymond with his sangria
On the inside door of the stalls in the ladies room at our dinner place. Raymond said the men's room was not as much fun
And back to the beach for a nighttime stroll. All in all a pretty good first day.