The best juice ever - Orange and Strawberry Strolling along Las Ramblas (the main street) we realised it is divided into separate sections. Flowers, pets, food, boring buskers etc. If only turtles could be imported, there were heaps for sale and they were all so cute! We continued on to Passeig de Gracia where we saw our first Gaudi creation (the spanish architect) - the Casa Battlo, and shortly after the second - the Casa Mila. Seeing the queues at both of these we decided to only attempt the most well known - Sagrada Familia.
We found this clock on the walk but weren't able to figure out how it worked
The inverted model that Gaudi used
Still inspired by Gaudi, we headed to this park which Gaudi was commissioned to design. When the war broke out (1914) there were only 2 houses finished, one of which Gaudi lived in. The park contains a big market square with an intricate mosaic bench running all around the edge. Underneath it is supported by 84 columns of which many are deliberately diagonal. Sadly alot of the park was sealed off when we were there but it was fascinating to walk around and pick out the Gaudi bits.Paella
We have tried to cook this a couple of times at home but it never tastes right, so off to cooking school we went. There were 14 in our group and we started the evening by making some simple tapas with bread, tomato, meat and cheese & potato tortilla. Very tasty! Next it was a lesson in Sangria. Measures were optional but the basics were citrus fruit, ice, brandy (pour for a count of 4), red wine (a fair bit) and top it off with orange and or lemon softdrink. Stir and enjoy. Not sure what to do with the fruit, but we ate it as well. The seafood paella was great and we all got to help with the stirring while it cooked. A great evening with a bit too much excitement coming when one of the group nearly had her bag stolen. She got it back after chasing him down. Nothing lost, so all was well.Tibidabo
After hearing that Tibidabo was one of the most popular day-trip destinations for the people of Barcelona, we thought that we would head up there early before the crowds arrived. After getting the metro, then a tram, then a funicular railway, we discovered it was freezing at the top and we were horribly underdressed.Apart from a fantasic view, Tibidabo houses a theme park, as well as a church. Being Easter Sunday we were fortunate to catch part of the service at El Sagrat Cor de Jesus. Sitting high upon the mountain it is very impressive from the outside, however the paintings inside were equally amazing. Heading back into central Barcelona, and the customary Tapas for lunch, we wandered the streets and settled on the Picasso museum. This museum has free entry after 3pm on Sundays, and it appears that everyone in Barcelona also knew this. After queing in the rain and being regularly hit in the head by the umbrella from the family behind us (please spread the word - a waterproof will keep you just as dry and your hands free for icecream eating) for about an hour, we finally made it inside. Pablo Picasso studied in Barcelona at various stages in his life, and the museum showed the contrast in his paintings as he developed through each period.
This house designed by Gaudi is amazing in many ways and the brochure sums it up best. "It is more then just a building, it's a legend of art. The striking mondernista facade conceals a whole world of artistic and architectural surprises."
The sun greeted us on our final day in Barcelona, so we decided to continue our walking tour, and head past Port Vell and to the beaches of Barceloneta. We paid the price for not taking hats or sunscreen (given the previous 3 days of overcast weather). Nonetheless, being in the sun was fantastic. We walked along the beach, enjoyed some great food, and some quality street entertainment. It appeared that the water was still quite cold, as most people were choosing to stay on the sand.2 of the best street musicians we saw.
Beach, shade and dominos. What more could you want
We loved Barcelona and really only scratched the surface. This (and the rest of Spain) is definitely somewhere we will return to if we get the chance.