Barcelona Day 4 – Surprises & Disappointments

We still had much to cover in Barcelona, but with only one day left, we had to make the most out of it.  Park Guell was too far from where we were staying, and we had wanted to cover the most out of one short day, so we had to sadly take that off the list.  We ended up in La Ribera as I had really wanted to check out Picasso’s Las Meninas.  On our way there we stopped by Santa Maria del Mar.

Santa Maria del Mar built in the 1300s.

It still has some of its original stained glasses (likely not this one as you can see the 1958 on the bottom), which have survived several fires.

I decided ‘sepia setting’ would be more fitting for a medieval cathedral.

The nave

The interior of La Sagrada Familia was impressive, but I felt this church was even more so as a result of it’s simplicity.  After lingering for a bit, we finally made our way to the Picasso Museum.  Apparently, no one was really interested, and I was almost talked out of going in, but I knew I would regret leaving Barcelona without seeing Picasso’s Las Meninas.  M being the good sport that she is, decided to keep me company while the guys roamed around the area.

This museum has works dating from 1895 to 1957, and a lot of sketches donated by Picasso himself in 1970. Most of the paintings were from his earlier stages and didn’t include much of his cubism. However, it was very eye opening to see the transition from the classical to the abstract paintings over the years. One has to wonder if the changes were the result of an illness.

A bootleg copy of Picasso’s Las Meninas. M managed to stealthily snap it really quickly using her phone, hence the blurriness and why part of the painting was cut off.

The night before we had read that NYT proclaimed Viena to have the worlds best ham sandwich.  So we decided to head there for lunch after meeting up with the guys.

NYT critic must not have been a very well traveled food critic, as the ham sandwich was far from being the world’s best. I would even contend that it’s not even Barcelona’s best.

For 6 euros, this isn’t worth it at all. The 2.20 euro sandwich that I got from a ham store the day before was much better than this.

Lunch was followed by siesta, which we were all taking daily on our trip.  Afterwards, we ventured up Montjuic to check out the views.

Need to take a funicular and then a cable car up the hill.  Or you have the option of hiking it.  On a normal day, I would have done that, but because of the upcoming race, I wanted to conserve my energy.

Views from the cable car. If you look closely, you can see Torre Agbar (right) and La Sagrada Familia (left) in the distance.

View of Castell del Montjuic, the old fortress from the 17th century.

On the other side of the fortress, you get a view of the Mediterranean.

Again, ‘sepia’ setting for old buildings.

Courtyard

M had read about the magic fountain with it’s light and music show and suggested that we check it out.  ‘Performance’ only occur on certain days and we were lucky to be able to catch it before leaving Barcelona.

On our way to the fountain, we passed Joan Miro’s museum. Unfortunately, didn’t have time to check it out.

Other than this alien-like sculpture out front near the entrance.

Fountain is located in front of the National Palace, which is now the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (also didn’t get a chance to check it out on this trip).

Sunset at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalynya.

The show finally started way past sunset at 9PM.

Fountain show was something out of Vegas. Cheesy yet surprisingly entertaining, which is why it drew a huge crowd.

Before the show even started, we were devising our own escape plan.  Debating between taking the metro or a cab, as well as when to make our exit to beat the crowd.  Finally we decided on a cab (cheaper for 4, and faster), and pulling a NY Yankee escape (i.e., leaving before the show ended).

Made it to the Doner Kebab place just downstairs to where we were staying in no time.

This place fortunately, and unfortunately, had one of the best meals we’ve all had on this trip. Sad to say, but Spanish food overall has been a disappointment (minus 24 Tapas and their pan amb tomaquet).  Barcelona does beat Madrid in the food department.

Adieu Barcelona, but I will be back, and next time I will visit everything else I’ve missed this trip, and discover better food.  Until next time…

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