Barcelona (Pt. 1)
For the first three days of spring break, my flatmate Rebecca, and I decided to go to Barcelona! I will be splitting up these days into two posts so it doesn't get too long of a read.
Barcelona is small enough to walk everywhere, but if you have limited time, I would recommend getting a metro pass for however long you're staying to get around faster. After getting lunch, Rebecca and I explored around the area and enjoyed the view from the balcony before meeting up with Sam for dinner (a friend joining us for spring break). If you're looking for sangria to share amongst a few friends, go to Bar Celoneta Sangria Bar! This little place is tucked away on a residential back street and took a while for us to find, but once we did, we ended up getting the denise: an intense and sweet blend of organic red wine, sherry, orange and cinnamon. Looking back, it was the best sangria I've had the entire trip. We eventually got dinner at El Rey de la Gamba (where I finally realized what GOOD paella was supposed to taste like) before heading back home for the night.
Our Airbnb with an amazing balcony and view!
ARC DE TRIOMF
We decided to go to the Picasso Museum the next day, but on our walk took a pit-stop at the Arc de Triomf since it was along the way.
The Arc de Triomf is lined with palm trees, and further ahead the walkway was a beautiful park.
We made another quick stop before arriving at the Picasso Museum where we enjoyed the crisp air and warm sun.
The museum started from his very first paintings and drawings growing up. These included very small landscape oil paintings on wood, as well as small sketch/watercolor portraits of his mother and father. As we continued, we saw the First Communion, his first large-scale oil painting, as well as works from his blue and rose periods. He had many portraits of his wife Olga and his child, and at the end we got to enjoy Las Meninas, his series of 58 paintings showing his reinterpretation and recreating of Las Meninas by Diego Velázquez.
It was fascinating to see how he and his work developed over time, leading up to the style that we all know him for today.
Carrer Montcada: The street where the Picasso Museum is located.
On our way to La Boqueria for lunch, we made a stop at the cathedral, and admired the never-ending charming streets until we reached our destination.
Small plaza at the side-entrance of the cathedral.
This market offers a large variety of food, but make sure you can eat your food standing as there is very limited seating.
If you're not feeling particularly hungry, I would still recommend getting a juice. The banana and coconut was very creamy, and the dragonfruit and coconut was very refreshing!
All the juices from the different stalls are the same, but the deeper you go in the market, the cheaper they get!
A wide variety of gummies!
MACBA - MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
Outside, there were many skaters and bikers showing off and practicing their tricks. Inside, we enjoyed the minimalist building with extremely thought-provoking art.
We relaxed on the bean bags for a bit after checking out the exhibitions.
My favorite piece was one by Hans-Peter Feldmann. This room showed portraits representing every age, starting at 1 year old and ending at 100 years old, making the viewer reminisce on the past, reflect on the present, and envision his/her future as he/she walks along the line of photographs.
After going through all 100 portraits, It made me realize how short life can be.
I looked out the window and saw another one of Christiaan Nagel's blue mushrooms!!! To learn more about his work, check out my Shoreditch street art blog here.
CAFE DE L'OPERA
Afterwards we went to get churros at Cafe de L'Opera, and since it was such a lovely day, we made it a goal to always sit outside if possible.
Sangria that was bigger than my head and required two hands to hold.
After eating churros and shopping at Zara, Rebecca and Sam went to watch La La Land while I went inside Casa Batlló, a house redesigned by Antoni Gaudí in 1904 and now a museum. His whimsical designs were nothing like I've ever seen before, and I was blown away multiple times.
There are no straight lines, and a lot of his designs are inspired from nature. Throughout the house, it is possible to see inspiration from sea turtles, fish gills, mollusks, flowing water, and more.
As a huge believer in conservation, Gaudi uses all previously recycled ceramic tiles for his work.
The color of the stain glass window at the top changes to different shades of blue the higher you go up, eventually ending at white.
I would really recommend going inside Casa Batlló and taking the audio tour not only to see this unique interior, but also to understand more of Gaudi's designs. It was also a perfect intro to his work before going to Park Guell and La Sagrada Familia the next day.
FABORIT CASA AMATLLER
Afterwards I went to Faborit Casa Amatller, a small chocolate shop + cafe for some chocolate while waiting for Rebecca and Sam. I got into a conversation with someone who worked there who also does photography, and ended up staying past closing time (oops!).
We ended the day with a 11pm dinner at La Luna wth amazing tapas, and more cheap (but good) wine.
I split up Barcelona into two posts; check out the second part here!