Seeing the clothes drying on the window balconies just felt so European.
Thursday morning we left the hotel slightly earlier than the day before, but not much. There is something about warm-weather vacations that is so refreshing. Walking through the doors in the morning in short sleeves and feeling the sunshine and the excitement of a new day. My parents and I all commented on how pleasant the mornings were. (It seemed we were also our best selves in the morning too…)
We didn’t get breakfast because we wanted to be hungry at Mercat de la Boqueria. I can’t remember if we walked or took the metro to get there, but once we did it was sensory overload. Endless fresh fruits and fresh fruit drinks. I think I tried three different kinds of fresh fruit juice. (The ones with coconut were my favorite.) We sampled and purchased so many different things including but not limited to cheeses, salami and battered shrimp.
FRUIT! I’m not sure how I didn’t get a picture of the juices. Too busy drinking them I suppose.
Ostrich and Emu eggs. Yeah, I dunno.
Mmmm chocolate. We bought a selection of these lovelies and put them away in my mom’s bag for later. Unfortunately later meant 80 degrees later and when we remembered to eat them they were kind of a melting pot of chocolate tasties. It was still really yummy.
For the hedgehog lovers out there. (They really are SO cute.)
After the market I split up with my parents for a few hours. They went and did some more walking and pastry tasting, and I went to a house designed by Gaudi. I was completely enchanted by Gaudi, and the only explanation I can come up with is that he and I share a deep love for stained glass and tile mosaics. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to explore one more of his creations.
The home was owned by the Batllo family, who wanted to show off their wealth by having Gaudi design something unusual and beautiful. He showed up, in his usual colorful and a bit eccentric way. My photos really don’t do it justice, so click here for even more fantastic images.
The house has been nicknamed the “House of Bones” because of it’s skeletal structure apparent on the front facade.
There were no straight lines in the original entry-way of the Casa Batllo. (And very few straight lines anywhere else in the house.)
Tile mosaic in the back courtyard. I wish I could ask Gaudi what it represents.
The house was designed in a way to best utilize natural light, so it was built in the shape of rectangular donut, with a square light well that went up all six levels. The tiles at the top were the darkest shade of blue because they reflected the most light, the tiles in the bottom were lighter shades of blue but because it was darker near the bottom, but they appear almost uniform.
In the attic of the house, Gaudi used archways. He loved geometry and frequently used parabolas and catenary curves in his designs. (Which were both aesthetic and functional.)
Gaudi was deeply religious, and all his crosses all had four arms (instead of two) like this one.
It was nice to take a break from the heat inside the house, but as soon as I met back up with my parents I insisted it was time for gelato. Then we worked our way through the Barcelona Arc de Triomphe, past the cathedral, and made our way down to the beach. We rented bikes and rode 8 kilometers along the coastline, stopping for a bit to dip our toes in the water.
Arco de Triunfo
Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar
The bike ride was well-timed. My feet were tired of walking and the breeze kept us cool. (My wet jeans from the ocean probably helped keep me cool too…) But by the time we made it back to where we started our bums were tired of riding and our feet were ready for walking again.
We decided we were ready for dinner so we meandered along the boardwalk to find a restaurant. Each restaurant had a host standing out front trying to solicit business. Each restaurant except for Burger King, but boy did I have my mom laughing when I pretended (with my best Spanish accent) to make a sales pitch for why we should choose BK from amongst all the restaurants along the coast, using the same arguments we had heard thus far. Good times.
We had more tapas for dinner, we discovered that none of us like sardines, and I felt like a fool after I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to figure out how to turn on the water in the bathroom. (Foot pedal.)
I really wanted to see the show at the Font Magica de Monjuic, and I kind of made a big deal about it, so we walked to a metro stop and rode a “train” (what’s the word Dad?) up to the top of the hill. My problem sometimes is that I know just enough to think I know what I’m doing, only to realize I don’t know enough. I knew the show was on Montjuic, what I didn’t realize was that Monjuic is huge, and we were on the wrong side. The last show was at 11:00 and it was well past 10:00 so we got desperate and hailed a taxi. He was really nice and took us just where we needed to be. The show was great in some ways, but I think the Bellagio is better in other ways. We caught the end of one show and then stayed through most of the next show. It was a total throwback, the music included all kinds of 70s, 80s, and 90s American rock. Nostalgia is always a nice touch.
Ahh the techy world we live in, all the little blue lights are cell phones and tablets.
I couldn’t get a good picture but the Palau Nacional was pretty awesome at night. There are actually so many things in Barcelona that are amazing to see at night. The night life is where. it’s. at.
We walked back down the Avenida Maria Cristina toward the metro and I snapped a quick picture of Camp Nou- the stadium of the Barcelona Football Club. I knew the boys would appreciate it. Heck, even I could appreciate it. It’s the largest stadium in Europe.
And that was another day in Barcelona, in the books.