November 15th, 2007 – by: boxinbcn
Plaça del Rei
I'm in Barcelona til tomorrow and after weeks of nearly freezing weather and very little sunshine in Poland, it's fantastic to be somewhere warm and where I can see the Sun! This morning I decided to wander around some parts of the old section of the city, not too far from my place, with my camera. I took some nice pictures and enjoyed a "chocolate con melindros" on Calle Petrixol at Granja la Pallaresa which is something that I really like to do that I hadn't done for a long time.
So, I first went from the Vila Olimpica to the Gothic Quarter by metro because I was meeting a friend and was going to be late (again) if I walked. The metro in Barcelona is very convenient and is easy to use even if you don't speak Spanish or Catalan.
Patio - Antiguo Hospital de Sant Pau
I took the subway from Ciutadella
/ Vila Olimpica to Jaume I where I was meeting my friend. From there we walked through the Gothic Quarter by la Plaça del Rei and the Cathedral. I wanted to get some pictures of these places that mean a lot to me. It's funny how you sometimes suddenly notice things that you may have walked by for years when you have a camera in your hands. That was the case today, when I noticed some interesting details of Plaça del Rei - gargoyles and turrets that I'd never noticed before.
From there I worked my way through the beautiful narrow streets of this part of Barcelona til I reached Petrixol and my hot chocolate. Calle Petrixol is right by an amazing Gothic church called Santa Maria del Pi which is worth a look.
Tile on the walls at the old hospital.
It has one of the largest round rose stained glass windows. After checking out Sta Maria del Pino I wandered around Carrer Hospital and checked out some places that I had never really explored before. I didn't know that the Hospital de Sant Pau i la Santa Creu was originally here. I had walked by this place hundreds of times without ever going inside. I need to check out the history of these medieval buildings, but part was a hospital and part was a convalescent hospital where people went to recover from illnesses. There also was a medical school here, where surgeons and doctors were trained (separately, I think that in those times the surgeons where like technicians who followed the instructions of doctors)... On the roof of part of the convalescent center there is a garden - now dedicated de Mercè Rodoreda who is one of my favorite catalan authors.
Back side of the cathedral in Barcelona
Her book, "La Plaça del Diamant" is fantastic reading and can give you better insight about how the Spanish Civil War affected people in Barcelona. The garden here is dedicated to her, and has a lot of nice Mediterranean shrubs and plants. There were plenty of pomegranates with ripe red fruit.
Finally I headed back along Carrer Ferran to Via Layetana to el Born, Santa Maria del Mar, el Passeig del Born, L'Estació de França and finally through Ciutadella park back towards my place.
I'll rework this and explain it better when I have a little time, because it's a nice walk through the city that I recommend. For the moment, at least I'll get some of the photos uploaded...
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