Love it here
Barcelona Travel Blog› entry 25 of 27 › view all entries
I love Barcelona. It is a busy, bustling city, but unlike Madrid, it has tons of character and flavor.
We started the day by walking down the Ramblas to the port, enjoying the street scene of the Ramblas. You see people from all over, street performers, merchants and citizens enjoying the day. We stopped off at the market and walked through checking out the fresh produce, meats, nuts and cheeses. We also stopped off and enjoyed the gothic architecture that is so prevalent in Barcelona. At the bottom of the Ramblas is a large statute of Christoper Columbus, standing and pointing off into the distance toward....we think Italy. Definitely not America, perhaps simply out to sea.
After walking around the port area we went over to the Maritime Museum. This is a great museum that covers the shipping and exploration history of Spain. Unfortunately for us there are doing some major renovations so most of the exhibits were closed, but we still got to experience part of the history. The museum itself is contained inside what used to be the port of Barcelona. Now this building sits nearly 1/2 mile in from the port. It is amazing to see the old photographs and the amount of work that has been done to increase the size of the port.
After the museum we grabbed some lunch at a salad bar restaurant. This is only significant because I have been seriously missing fresh vegetables while traveling in Spain. Everything we have seen is either cured like ham, cheese and olives, or fried like cod or croquettes.
After leaving the port we walked through the Barri Gotic, or the Gothic neighborhood, past the huge cathedral and over to the Picasso museum. This is the museum I have been most anticipating and it did not disappoint. I really like Picasso´s art and what I most appreciate are his sketches. He had an amazing talent for drawing. Many people dislike his cubist art, but I think he started painting in the cubist style because he had already sketched everything so accurately that he wanted to do something totally different. Just my theory. He could craft a beautiful sketch of a woman´s face using only a few pencil lines and to me, that is real talent.
After the museum I was totally exhausted. I am still having knee problems so I haven´t been able to walk as much as I usually do. We took the metro back to the hotel, enjoyed the snack bar and relaxed for a few hours before heading out to dinner.
For dinner we took Rick Steeves´suggestion and went to a Basque-style tapas bar. All of the tapas are laid out on top of the bar and you get a plate and simply walk around and choose what you want to try. Periodically the waiter comes out with a fresh plate and you can try something else. You keep all of your toothpicks and pay for the tab at the end, each tapa is $1.80 euros. We had 16 tapas and 5 beers and our bill was $35 euros. The place was a lot of fun and we may go there again before we leave.
I can´t believe we only have a few days left, it will be hard to return to work after all of this traveling!