The original plan was to sleep for about 8 hours, get up around 8am, have a cup of coffee and maybe a pastry on the balcony, checkout from the hotel, and then head down the hill to start our day of exploration in Barcelona.
Fools that we are, we neglected to set an alarm, assuming our bodies would wake us up naturally after a good 8 hours of rest.
So at 11:30 a.m., just 30 minutes before we were due to check out of the hotel, our well rested bodies woke us up. Or woke me up, and then I woke Ryan up because “OMG we slept till 11:30 and we have to check out in 30 minutes!”
After check out, we walked down the hill from the hotel, making our way toward the area we were told was the touristy area – La Rambla. It’s a street.
Side note: Before traveling to a new, foreign city, it’s usually a good idea to purchase maps of said city prior to travel. This part we did. What we did not do is remember to put these maps in our luggage. Thankfully, the hotel had maps on hand to give to us, but it was not nearly as helpful as our original map would have been. /side note.
We found ourselves a little, um, directionally challenged for a short time, but we got to see some great “locals only” areas of the city. We would look down streets to see where the most people were gathered and head that way. Along the way, we I decided to make two separate stops for breakfast. For those of you that have never been to Europe, there are pastry shops/bakeries everywhere. And in these shops, they have something that resembles a croissant with chocolate sprinkles or drizzles on the top. BUY THESE. They are delicious and feature a bit of chocolate filling in them as well. I didn’t snap a picture, but found this one on the Internet.
My first one was actually shaped like a traditional horn-shaped croissant that we’re used to seeing, but outside of Spain, they looked more like this, and usually without nuts.
Once we found the more touristy area, I started snapping pictures.
Clock tower of a university
Don’t remember what this was, but looked like it would make a cool picture.
North end of La Rambla. Look at all the people!
Side street forking off of La Rambla.
The cathedral was under construction.
But that didn’t keep us from walking around it and through the little tiny corridors that weave in and around the building. Down one corridor, we came across a woman singing opera. Down another, we found this guy, playing the electric harp.
We also came across a little market of sorts where people were selling soaps and perfumes, and also pizza bread and pastries. The pizza bread was essentially flat bread with cheese and olives baked on top. It looked delicious so we bought one and split it, but to our dismay they had placed loads of chopped onions and garlic under the cheese, so the taste was not what we had hoped. Oh well, it was only a 4 Euro lunch.
More beauty around the cathedral.
On the other end of the cathedral, we came to a square of sorts, where people were crammed together watching these performers try to form a human pyramid. This was about as high as they got before they abandoned their efforts and the crowd dispersed.
At the end of La Rambla is the Columbus monument and port area. Had we known this when we began our journey, we would have started at the south end and walked north. You live and learn. In the above shot, we were actually standing next to the monument, looking across the street.
This is the base of the Columbus statue.