A good last day...
Hospital de Sant Pau Travel Blog› entry 15 of 15 › view all entries
Our last day in Barcelona, letâ€™s not let it go to waste. We havenâ€™t got any big plans today, but the Hospital de Sant Pau is on the other side of town and this is supposed to be worth a visit.
We decide to take the underground, this way we are faster and we donâ€™t have to bother reading the map every block or so. There are a lot of people using the underground at this time and there arenâ€™t any free seats. Luckily the day has only just begun and weâ€™re not tired yet. We get out of the damp hot underground very close to the hospital, now itâ€™s just a matter of finding the entrance.
The vestibule of the hospital is a beautifully decorated place, with lots of colours and symbolism. It has a grand staircase, leading to an upstairs corridor, which is also magnificently decorated (try finding a modern hospital that looks like this). Somewhere on the ceiling the year of completion can be found, 1910. Most of the hospital is off limits to casual visitors, because patients are still being treated here, but the gardens are always open. We ask for information at the info stand and the ladies present are more than willing to help, sadly there English is very poor and the brochures in English are out of stock as well.
When we leave the compound on the other side, we get to some kind of university, where a medical seminar is being held at the moment, so we can only go into the vestibule.
This part of the city hardly sees any tourists and it shows when we start looking for a place to lunch. No large terraces, no flashy dining places, just small, smokey places where even the Vietnamese waitresses speak only Spanish. Half of the dishes on the menu are sold out, the waitress more or less decides what we will be eating. Our sandwiches are cheap, but far from the best we have eaten the last week. And the noisy buses roaring by donâ€™t improve the abiance either.
With our bellies kind of fillled we walk to the nearest underground station and struggle to find the entrance, this particular station has only a small elevator that can hold a maximum of six or so people, that leads to the platforms.
Next to La Rambla, in a smaller street on the right when heading for Port Vell, is Palau Guell. It is being renovated at the moment and that is why only the underground stables are opened for visitors. When we get to the villa, however, it has already closed its doors entirely, due to the time of day (itâ€™s around four in the afternoon). We buy some drinks in the supermarket next door and subsequently we walk to the Palau de la MĂşsica Catalana. We have already seen this from the outside earlier this week, but we would like to do the guided tour as well.
We walk in the direction of our appartment, taking the most insignificant streets we can find, and somewhere in the middle of Barri GotĂc, all of a sudden we stand in front of Els Quatre Gats. This establishment is amongst the most famous ones of Barcelona, because GaudĂ and his fellow modernistas (and letâ€™s not forget Picasso in his early days) used to come here quite often.
Back in the appartment I set out on a mission: I have to arrange a taxi for tomorrow morning (four thirty am) to bring us to the bus terminal near the Arc de Triomf. We have found the phone numbers of some taxi companies and I simply start with the first one. After three companies I give up, no one understands what the hell I am talking about! Shouldnâ€™t people operating the phones in companies that provide services that are likely to be used by foreigners, speak at least one foreign language?? Even when I try to speak Spanish as well as I possibly can they refuse to meet me halfway. I am at a loss and call the person that rented us the appartment and ask him for a taxi company where someone speaks English, and Iâ€™m very glad he can help me.
Early in the evening we have diner in a tapas restaurant very close to our appartment. I havenâ€™t got the exact adress, but it is on the corner of Paral-lel and Carrer de Blasco de Garay. The reason I mention this is that whenever you visit Barcelona you should certainly go to this place. It has a magnificent ambiance, hams are hanging from the ceiling, locals are dining here and the tapas they serve are more authentic than we have eaten so far. There is only one waiter who speaks a tiny bit of English, but in this case it only ads to the atmosphere. The food and the Sangria are cheaper than at, for instance, Tapa Tapas and just as good at least. Pity we didnâ€™t find this place at the beginning of the week.
After diner we go for a little walk, nowhere special, just to be outdoors for a little while, before watching just another match of the European Championships (thereâ€™s only one tv in the appartment and my dad likes to watch soccer).
As said we end the day with watching soccer and packing our bags and call it an early night, because we will be going home ridiculously early tomorrow morning.