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Barcelona, Revisited

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I adore Barcelona. So much so that I convinced the husband a return trip was warranted so soon after our October visit. Well, how could we not? American friends would be there during the third week of March and we had the week off….so the trip to Barcelona and Lisbon became reality.

What I didn’t tell you about our Lisbon adventures is that, somewhere along the line, George picked up a nasty bug that put him to bed with a fever the evening before we left. Poor fellow slept until we departed for the airport, during our flight, and went back to bed as soon as we checked into our hotel. And for much of the following two days. When you only have four days, that really cuts into your tourist time. Fortunately, our friends arrived on Tuesday afternoon and I hung out with them. We walked, ate tapas until we felt like bursting and got caught up with each other’s lives. On Wednesday, we walked all over the place, but most of our time seemed to have been spent in La Boqueria, the most amazing market I’ve ever seen. They sell everything, from unbelievably fresh fish and seafood, meats, eggs, and produce….I think the only thing I didn’t see for sale was milk. Just look at this bounty:




And this place is enormous! You could easily wander around in there for hours….and we did! There are many food counters where you could order something wonderful to eat and/or drink. We found it a little odd when the vendors began packing up around 1:30 in the afternoon though. Apparently, they close for siesta. They reopened a couple of hours later and were open well into the evening. This seems to be the typical custom here.

On Thursday, we took a little train ride to the town of Figures, about 1.5 hours from Barcelona towards France. The attraction, you ask? The Dalí Museum, of course! This is one of the most amazing museums/galleries I have ever had the pleasure to visit. Designed by Salvadore Dalí himself, the entire building is a surrealist piece of art. It was mind-blowing. Visitors are permitted to take photographs without flash and I did, liberally. Unfortunately, I did so on my phone and hadn’t downloaded them when it was stolen the following day. So I cannot share them with you. The works that I found the most fascinating were Dalí’s ink drawings, though the large sculptures were also stunning. This link will take you to part of the museum’s site where you can see some of his work, if you are interested. As part of the museum, there is a separate exhibition of Dalí’s jewellery designs, something I had been unaware of. Unbelievable! So creative! My favourite piece had to be the heart of rubies and gold – yes, it actually was beating!

Friday turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous day, after several very wet ones, perfect for our visit to La Sagrada Família. This was the one attraction we had missed on our first trip to Barcelona and I was determined to see it this time. Though I had seen television programmes about this architectural masterpiece, they did not prepare me for the real thing. Not in the least. Under construction since 1882, the church is still a work in progress. Not only did we visit the church itself, but we also took the elevator up into one of the spires and the stairs back down. The views of both the church and the city were simply incredible.

Gaudí’s work in other parts of Barcelona is awe-inspiring, but this truly was the work of his lifetime. If you ever have a chance to see it, do so. You won’t regret it.

The remainder of our last day in Barcelona was spent having a lovely tapas meal, doing a little shopping and packing up our cluttered hotel room. The evening turned out to be a bit of a downer after I was pick-pocketed, so we just went for a walk and had a meal in the hotel dining room. An unfortunate way to end what had been a lovely holiday.