Barcelona: market, old walls and a pool

So as I’m writing this post I’m remembering all the things we didn’t get to do while we were in Barcelona. Now, I didn’t have travelers remorse at the time because we raced off to Italy to see and do more fabulous things…but now that I’m home and reading other people’s posts about Barcelona, I see we shouldn’t pass up an opportunity to visit again someday.


Old city

The old city is indeed that. Some of the walls are dating back to the Roman era, and the high walls and ancient churches make the old town feel very early medieval. You will be walking around a relatively open old European town and then all of a sudden it feels as if you are swallowed by the city. Even with our google map on our blackberries we had a heck of a time trying to find stores (and indeed spent the better parts of TWO DAYS looking for a soap shop which, I’m convinced, doesn’t exist.) The experience was highlighted by a man dressed as a troubadour singing famous opera songs on one of the alleys. We didn’t stop long enough to see if he had a monkey.

The Boqueria Market:
Delectable sights, smells and atmosphere. The whole things starts at the crack of dawn and closes up by 3pm. You name it, they sell it. Well, not livestock, but pretty much all produce, meats, dairy products, sweets and sours. It’s a bit overwhelming and crowded, much more so than the markets in Holland. The Spanish love their tapas and they love sitting down for little snack times, so half of these stalls in the market had bar stools, wine, a tapped keg and hundreds of different varieties of wonderful snack tapas. You definitely want to try every one and when it is something like two or three for €4 you trick yourself into thinking you can. But then when you do the math and realize that a €10 lunch is only going to get you 5 different types of things…well you get a little food depressed and vow to return to Barcelona to eat everything!

Amanda's favorite stall

Graeme is tired (and perhaps hungry? Or wanting a real chair? Or contemplating how pale his skin is due to living in the lowlands for a year)

Enjoying the city from a roof

Our last full day in Barcelona we transfered to our “splurge” hotel in the El Born district. We selected the hotel for its location, design details and most importantly, the roof-top pool! We got there early to secure seats and enjoyed several long sunny hours. We took a break for burgers at this hip place, tried once again unsuccessfully to locate a soap store I had read about and then headed back to the roof.

We had spent the better part of the past couple of days walking, we were pretty tired from all the moving and closing up shop of our Dutch experience and we knew we were in for a lot of go-go in Italy, so we decided to spend the better part of a beautiful sunny day on the roof. And our pale skin thanked us!


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