The Streets of Barcelona

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Spain
Barcelona turned out to be such a cool city and I’m glad I included it in my Spain trip.
On my first day there, I went on a free walking tour which is always a great way to get introduced to a new place. The old Gothic Quarter, El Barri Gòtic, was my favourite area for its history and medieval buildings.

The rose window of the Basilica of Santa Maria del Pi.

In the square outside the Church of San Felip Neri.

This Church is also a reminder of the Spanish Civil War as it remains marked with bullet holes.

The Architects Association, Collegi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya, in Plaça Nova features Picasso’s only outdoor piece and it’s a fun one.

The Cathedral of Barcelona.

Walking around, I noticed that unlike previous Spanish cities, the street style in Barcelona was very casual so that I blended in easily with the locals in my t-shirt, jeans and Keds. See, I love dressing up but there’s only so much a girl can do to be fashionable when travelling out of a backpack.

In Plaça del Rei looking at what used to be the watchtower of the Royal Palace.

The steps of the Palace.

The City Hall.

Plaça Reial or the Royal Plaza.

Winding through the narrow alleys.

One of the main things that makes Barcelona stand out from the rest of Spain is its Catalan identity and the people are very proud of it. For instance, Catalan flags can be seen hanging all over the city; those featuring a blue triangle with a white star indicate support for separatism.

At the end of the tour, I went for a stroll along the Mediterranean where I spent the rest of the day.

You can see the goldfish sculpture and the twin towers at the end by the Olympic Port.

Fun fact: Barceloneta beach was made by importing sand from Egypt prior to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. 

The following day, I was eager to go explore on my own and started off from La Rambla which is a popular street filled with tourists (as well as pickpockets).

At Palau Güell, designed by Gaudí.

The architect Antoni Gaudí is most famous for the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell—which I will write about in my next post—but his work can be found in other parts of the city too. There were lanterns designed by him in Plaça Reial, for example, and the Güell Palace whose façade is seen above, was also created by him.

After wandering around for a bit, I headed to La Boqueria which was a very colourful experience.

The full name of the market is actually Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria.

A shop selling various spices.

These bright fruit smoothies have become a bit of a tourist cliché but I loved the kiwi-coconut nonetheless.

After visiting the market, I continued walking up the street towards Passeig de Gràcia.

I passed by the Obama Bar. 

I remember thinking how similar this building was to the Metropolis building in Madrid. I would later learn that both were designed by the same architects for the same company, La Unión y el Fénix.

Casa Lleó Morera.

The main attraction on this street though, and for good reason, is Gaudí’s Casa Batlló which is a narrow structure yet easy to spot because of the crowd taking photos underneath it.

By this point, I was definitely a fan of modernisme.

Once I had taken a good look at Casa Batlló, I sat down for lunch at one of the many restaurants nearby.

When the waiter brought this plate over, I couldn’t help but laugh as it reminded me of that scene in Mr. Bean’s Holiday where he tries to eat shrimp. Luckily, my experience wasn’t nearly as bad and drenched in lemon, the prawns were quite good except they’re more work than you’d think.

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