Barcelona - Day 5


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April 24th 2018
Published: April 24th 2018
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We had an early start to our day with a 9:00 am flight out of Lisbon. We managed to hustle down our street to the front of the Museo de Fado between calling an Uber and them arriving, as we do not have cell service beyond our WiFi areas. Luckily, this was a trek down the street with our luggage versus the trek up a few days ago. We enjoyed breakfast in the airport, Cody embarking on a McDonalds meal. It hit the spot for him and gave him the taste of home he was looking for. On the plane, we finished our first complete crossword of the trip, as they are extremely hard puzzles, we both napped til arriving in Barcelona. We landed in Barcelona around 12:00 with the time change, and navigated our way downtown with the bus. We're staying in another Airbnb in Barcelona and had to meet our host outside of a cathedral we are staying near. Rita is the absolute best!! I had messaged her with our approximate ETA after the busride, and she met us right on time and showed us to the apartment. We have a balcony overlooking the cathedral, the only tricky thing was carrying luggage up two flights of very narrow steps. She then spent about 30 minutes with us explaining top attractions in Barcelona, places to eat, drink, or go out for dancing. We could not have asked for a better guide! She sent us everything via Whatsapp, including locations, descriptions, and what to get if it was food or drinks to order.

Our first Barcelona stop was Can Paixano, a sandwich shop Rita recommended. I had one with bacon, cheese, and peppers. Cody's had lamb, duck liver (foi gras), and cheese. We also had glasses of rose cava for 1.30 euros each (what a deal!). Cava is the Spanish version of Champagne, it is a sparkling wine. Cody requested we go back to the cafe. It's still not on the level of our Florence sandwiches, but we're pretty certain it's the best Barcelona has to offer!

We next went to Casa Batllo, a house Antoni Gaudi was commissioned to redesign for the Batllo family in Barcelona. This house was designed to be underwater, and has a lot of inspiration from colors, fish, and turtles. Neither of us have seen anything quite like it. There are no straight walls within the home, everything has a curve to it. Gaudi designed a natural skylight in the four story structure that created an interior courtyard feel to the home. The architecture and murals were out of a storybook. We were able to take an audio guide through the home, and we would absolutely do the tour again.

Our next stop was La Pedrera, another building Gaudi was commissioned to build. This building was constructed as an apartment/business building. He designed the interior to also have a natural courtyard light. Instead of taking the easy elevator way up, Cody wanted to climb the eight flights of stairs to the roof...so we did. The roof was amazing, though. Instead of just having regular smoke stacks, Gaudi created mosaic chimneys and other towers throughout the roof. There are plenty of stairs on the roof as well, as the attic below was filled of archways. The attic was a museum focused around Gaudi's architecture. We learned that a lot of his inspiration come from animal vertebrae and anatomy, the roof being a good example emulating a snack skeleton. The tour includes a look into an apartment in the building, which is decorated to mirror the period the building was first lived in. Cody preferred this tour, but I think I still preferred Casa Ballto over this.

Our final stop of the day was to Park Guell, Gaudi's park. There are gingerbread esque houses on the premises, and plenty of garden space to walk through. It overlooks all of Barcelona, so it did take a little effort trekking up there, but nothing compared to Sintra's never-ending hikes. We then took the subway back to our neighborhood, which was very easy. We had to take two different lines back, and the station we switched lines in was humongous. It was over 500 of my steps to get from our train to the next (yes, I counted), which we calculated to be about a quarter mile of underground tunnel walking.

We went to another one of Rita's suggestions for dinner tonight at Perikete for Spanish tapas. We enjoyed croquettes, calamari, patatas bravas (my personal favorite), a sandwich (Cody's favorite), and blood sausage. All of that plus a bottle of cava was 36 euro so not too shabby! It was an easy walk back to our Airbnb, and we are gearing up for the Olympic grounds and Sagrada Familia tomorrow, among a few other stops.


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