Barcelona, it’s good to be warm again!

When we stepped off the train a week ago in Barcelona, we actually felt we’d entered a tropical heatwave. That was a week ago, after leaving frigid Marseille. The past week has been a lovely, sunny reprieve. However, the past couple days have been overcast and a bit more temperate. That is to say, jeans and jacket weather. You can always spot the locals. They’re the ones in down jackets, knee boots and scarves. While we too have taken to wearing jackets and scarves, my knee boots were left behind in Paris. Oh well, today is sunny and mid to high 60’s again. Very nice.

 

Entering the old mercat in the historic center.

We are staying in the Eixample (pronounced eye-SHAM-plah) which is the newer part of the city developed beginning around 1864. Here are some buildings sited around our neighborhood. Yeah, this is the new neighborhood. Quaint, don’t you think?

 

The Catalan flag is everywhere. People here are serious about divorcing Spain and creating their own country.


This is a common site on many street corners. Motorbikes are popular for transportation.

Entrance door to our apartment building.

The Eixample is home to many of Antoni Gaudi’s architectural creations, La Pedrera (also known as Casa Mila is an apartment building), Casa Batllo and the most famous, Sagrada Familia. The Sagrada Familia is the huge church that Gaudi is most known for. It has been under construction since 1883 and is a geometrical marvel especially considering the tools available at the time. The completion goal of 2026 marks the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death. This is too huge for one photo. Look closely at all the details.

Antoni Gaudi is considered the father of the Modernist architecture movement. He said his inspiration came from God and the natural world. Barcelona has many examples of this type of architecture from Gaudi himself and his followers.

This is stuck in the wrong spot, La Pedrera, apartment building.

Entrance opposite the picture above.

 

Another facade of Sagrada Familia.

We’ve enjoyed the tapas (small plates) style of eating here. You order several small dishes and get many different tastes and textures. The food is not spicey yet it is quite tasty. There are lots of seafood dishes. Here’s a sampling.

 

Oops, dessert first! This is a cinnamon, sugar baked French toast. A Catalon specialty. It was also a Portuguese specialty I never tried.

This Catalon specialty was also a specialty in Portugal. I never tried it there. When it presented again, I caved. It was actually quite tasty especially with the ice cream.

These are Mediterranean razor clams. We had them in Portugal too but mostly shelled in Cataplana (seafood soup).

 

Mediterranean razor clam next to a steamer clam.

Had a bit of a scare last week. While using the WC, I dropped my phone in the loo. Lucky for me most john’s
in Europe are low flow so don’t have much water. I noticed immediately I’d dropped the iphone and retrieved it.
Seems it sustained little damage. After a two day drying out all seems to be working fine. Phew!!

There is an Apple store here. We’re four blocks from the major shopping district in Barcelona. I’m talking major! You’ll find all the designer labels, Cartier, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, Prada, Dior, Hermes, and the list goes on. We can be very proud as along this avenue you can also find Adidas, Nike, and Timberland as well as Apple. And my luggage is already full,  dang!

On Sunday we visited the main cathedral. Construction on this structure was begun in the 13th century and finished six centuries later. The facade was built at the end of the 19th century according to a Gothic design dating from 1408. There was a gentleman playing the classical violin on the steps so we did the Spanish thing and sat at a cafe to listen for a while.


Sculpture outside the Gaudi museum.

Afterward we strolled down to the waterfront and on down to the beach. In spite of it being overcast, it was a very busy day at the beach. People were running, walking, biking, skateboarding, rollerblading, paddling, and even swimming in wetsuits. We also noticed a windsurfing lesson going on. The beach was covered with volleyball games.

 

Myth has it the patron saint of Barcelona, St George slayed a dragon that was threatening to destroy the city. You can see images of St Georges and dragons throughout the city.

 

Statue of Christopher Colombus on the marina .

 

Sunday at the beach in Barcelona.

As usual, we were the third table sitting at the restaurant. In typical fashion, the place filled up around us. Yes, we are the trend-setters. Note that I only say this about the mid-day meal. We’re not out eating at 9PM. Sunday was an official paella day. Delicious!

 

It’s not visible but this dish was loaded with tasty bites of shrimp and fish.

Yes, you are seeing correctly, that’s Doug paella on the other side of my plate. We each had our own.

I’m going to close with a few more pictures from La Pedrera, Gaudi’s apartment building that is one of the best representations of his work. The following five pictures are from the rooftop of La Pedrera. Gaudi wanted this to be a pleasant place for residents to walk. Therefore, he ‘decorated’ the necessary rooftop structures such as chimneys, staircases and airflow stacks. It does make for an interesting walk. Imagine this rooftop when completed in 1912 without the chain link fence. It took six years to complete this structure.


  
  

Inside the attic at La Pedrera. Once used to wash and hang clothes now a Gaudi museum. Felt like I was in the belly of a whale.

 

One of my favorite foods in Europe, unfiltered extra virgin olive oil.

 

Interesting sign one block from us. A steakhouse selling Nebraska beef.

 

Funny the things you see on a morning walk. Yup, we went back for breakfast.

This is the day the Lord has made.

Rejoice.

Give thanks.

Be glad.

6 thoughts on “Barcelona, it’s good to be warm again!

  1. Sounds like you two are really enjoying your extended trip and now the time in Barcelona. How long are you going to be there? Enjoy and have a terrific time! We head to Cancun MX in a month and I’m anxious to get out of the cold!! Peace and Love

  2. The architecture blows my mind. The thing I remembered about our European adventure. “Pillars of the Earth,” all over again. Enjoy, enjoy. Keep the pictures coming. Hugs and Kisses. Mother

  3. Art & MerrieLynn

    Wow amazing architecture, the Sagrada Familia is amazing. so how were the little razor clams?
    Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy and rejoice and be glad. love ya

    • The razor clams were good, tender nut somewhat weird due to their shape. We’ve seen folks on the flats digging. Interesting.

      • Karolyn Koogler

        Wow looks beautiful! I especially loved the Nebraska restaurant! I had heard a lot of their beef was exported! Yes yes rejoice and be glad this is the day the lord has made! I love you dear sister! Xxoo

  4. Karolyn Koogler

    Thanks again for sharing. The old world is amazing! But my favorite of all is the Nebraska restaurant. I had heard a lot of their beef was exported! Interesting! Yes yes rejoice and be glad.. This is the day the Lord has made! I love you dear sister! Xxoo

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