A walk in the heat
Barcelona Travel Blog› entry 6 of 10 › view all entries
Next morning we got up quite early given the fact that we toured the city for a good part of the night as well. The wonderful thing about Barcelona compared to many other European great cities is the fact tha it is alive 24/7.
After leaving the hotel we walked down to La Ramblas and enjoyed the enormous amount of street performers who were dresses out to anything from a salad to a guy sitting on a toilet!
Suddenly a huge African American guy stated to yell up in the middle of the street towards a woman that he would kick her ass repeatedly - if she tried to pick his pockets again.
We walked towards the Placa de Catalunya and passed by the Hard Rock Cafe of Barcelona before heading towards The Palau de la Musica Catalana (Palace of Catalan Music). The concert hall is designed in the Catalan modernista style by the architect Lluis Domenech i Montaner. It was built between 1905 and 1908 for the Orfeo Catala, a choral society founded in 1891 that was a leading force in the Catalan cultural movement that came to be known as the Renaixensa (Catalan Rebirth).
The project was financed primarily by the society, but important financial contributions also were made by Barcelona's wealthy industrialists and bourgeoisie. The Palau won the architect an award from the Barcelona City Council in 1909, given to the best building built during the previous year.
Between 1982 and 1989, the building underwent extensive restoration, remodeling, and extension under the direction of architects Oscar Tusquets and Carles Diaz and in 1997, the Palau de la Musica Catalana was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with Hospital de Sant Pau.
After visiting this stunning building we decided to just back and forth the small streets. The temperature was already pasted the 30 degrees and we had hardly reached lunch yet. During our walk we found a lot of wonderful small spots that easily could have taken the whole day to explore.
We continued the walk in the magnificent Barri Gotic and passed by the Museu Picasso.
We continue towards Santa Maria del Mar, an imposing church built between 1329 and 1383, at the height of Catalonia's maritime and mercantile pre-eminence. The church is quite dominating in the Ribera district and it is an outstanding example of Catalan Gothic, with a purity and unity of style that are very unusual in large mediaeval buildings. We entered in hope of finding the church somewhat cooler than the heat outside, but we were disappointed; it was just as warm probably due to the heat of the night before where we had more than 30 degrees all night.
I front of the church we went in to a bar to get a cup of coffee only to find out that they only served wine. Some guy changed water into wine and we changed quickly coffee into a cold glass of cava which I afterwards was just what we needed. We hung around with the two British waiter for a while talking about their wine card. The time had passed 1pm and we decided to walk towards the beach and the harbour to look at the boats.
We crossed the Placa de Pau Vila and found ourselves enjoying a cold beer in a cafe called Maristany on Passeig de Joan de Borbo. The cafe was really nice because it was like the whole city was walking by on their way to and from the beach. We stayed there for quite some time and just enjoyed the sun and talking about nothing for hours.
We broke up from the cafe and walked down to the beach at the Placa del Mar.
My friends David and Inge were coming to Barcelona that same evening and we had planned to meet each other at the Placa Real later that evening. They called and were heading for their hotel close to where we were livings as well.
At just after 8.30 pm we met David, Inge, their son Jonathan and one of his friends at Placa Real. Jacob and I were at that point already enjoying a cold beer at one of the cafes in the eastern corner of the square. It was a joy meeting them again; approximately one month earlier I had been having a long weekend together with them in Corsica and it was fun to see them here.
We were sitting talking for more than our before the boys went out looking for a place to eat. They recommended that we went in to Taxidermista which I knew from some year back where the restaurant was packed all the time. Today it looked like the next door one had taken over, but they had a way to long a queue.
We had a good meal in Taxidermista and afterwards went for a walk in Barri Gotic and especially around the Barcelona Cathedral. After some time they boys had to go to bed so we turned back to La Rambla and their hotel. We sent the boys up to their hotel room and went for a last drink in the neighbourhood before we called it a day. It had been a long and good day in one of the most fabulous cities in Europe to my opinion.