I’m not kidding, I am starting to flag a little here. Every day is packed with so much information and visual data my poor little brain is starting to fray at the edges.
So today we decided to just fit in what we could. And we had (of course) a wonderful time.
The weather was just as hot as it had been yesterday. So before we boarded our HOHO bus in the Placa Espanya, we visited the Arenas Shopping Centre built into an old bullfighting ring. I needed a sombrero, and found one! I had been trying to buy one in the local small stores, even in the Mercat de Sant Antoni, but there was nothing that I liked, or that fit my largish melon. Natura had one! It’s adorbs, as you will see from the photos, but also it’s comfy, crushable, made of PAPER! and it kept the glare out of my face which makes life much easier.
We then caught the City Tours bus for the West Side (Naranjas) tour which would take us through sections of the city we had not seen yesterday.
We saw quite a bit of the city that had been built in the last 50 years–but following the original plan. So many streets of apartment buildings, all very nice and soooooo livable!
We also saw some buildings we’d seen yesterday, as the two tours overlap. But they were definitely worth seeing again! (all photos thanx to DH, AKA Cal Koat)
We swung down by the seaside again, but this time we saw a statue of the great Italian explorer and all-round jerk, Christopher Columbus:
We found out the street we’ve been casually strolling upon, Avenida Paral Lel, had quite a history in this place.
Yes, we had a lovely trip through the West side of the city, but we’d decided to spend our last afternoon in Barcelona at Tour stop for the Poble Espanyol. This is a “village” built for the International Exhibit of 1929-1930. It was supposed to be a temporary structure, just to give the visitors an idea of the architecture and culture of the different areas of Spain. But it was such a popular attraction that even though it’s gone through some tough times, it’s a “must-see” while you’re here — especially if you’re not able to see the whole country.
Trying to fit in with the locals.
(Hey, look, I know carrying my purse across my torso like some skinny bandolero is not a “good look” but we’ve been warned countless times about pick-pockets and thieves, one nice lady at the Placa de Catalunya even going so far as to insist that I carry my daypack backwards, in the front, and I like to be safe). (Also, cute hat, no?)
We entered and the nicest lady gave us a map and some suggestions of a route through the area. But first…a stop for a sandwich and a coffee. We learned our lesson yesterday. Don’t skip meals or chances to sit down in a shady spot and re-hydrate. We spent our mealtime watching a class of adorable youngsters in adorable school uniforms gambol in the main square. Then we went off to see the village — and stopped into Fiesta!, a wonderful audio-visual presentation on some of the festivals that Spain is famous for. The running of the bulls. The tomato-throwing festival (for realz). Holy week in Seville with floats and spooky costumes. Castellers in Catalunya. I wouldn’t want to be around while these events were going on (too much strangeness for me!) (and are the bulls and horses having a good time? Asking for a friend) but they looked like fantastic festivals!
From there we went into the Fran Daurel Museum with some truly outstanding examples of modern Spanish Art.
Picasso, sure, even some Dali and Miro. But so many Spanish artists I had never even heard of, in a peaceful and calming gallery, all part of the cost of admittance.
And a stroll through “Spain” and its regional architecture:
And after a day fighting the crowds in the various Placas and Las Ramblas and the super-crowded Sagrada Familia, it was so nice to have this quiet interlude. There are little shops throughout selling artisan’s works, terrific hand-made souvenirs. The only downside of this area is that there are audio-visual presentations of each area of Spain, and it makes one sad that one cannot visit all of them on this trip, as each is spectacular in its own way.
We saw some wonderful sights:
The city laid before you from MontJuic
Orange trees! Naranjas!
Then back onto the tour bus for a quick ride back to Placa Espanya. DH needs a swimsuit (he forgot his old one on this trip, but he really needs a new one and I tried to talk him into getting a Speedo because, hey! Europe! but he says no) so we went back to the Arenas but this time we took the escalators all the way to the top, where there’s a 360 degree view of the city.
Placa Espanya with Joan Miro and the Venetian Towers
It’s not a terribly high viewpoint, so you don’t see everything, but it was worth an escalator ride.
We walked back to our AirBnB (it’s funny that after spending so much time on the Paris Metro, the only time we’ve ridden the Barcelona Metro is to get to the train station for Montserrat) and will spend the evening packing and finishing up the fine snacks and wine we still have.
And writing up about our adventures. And checking in for our flight tomorrow to Seville!
And having one (or two) dry martinis at the XIX bar on the corner, saying Adeu to Alberto and hearing about how we will love Andalusia.