This is the third entry in a series of posts featuring our Barcelona Honeymoon Adventure!
Life in general seemed to start later in Barcelona: people ate later, partied later, and the stores often opened later.
Chris and I took our time sleeping in and getting ready, we left the apartment around 11:00am. We hopped on the metro and switched lines to get to our first stop of the day. Chris and I wanted to be able to say that we at least saw the outside of the famous Guadi’s Sagrada Familia in person, but didn’t want to spend too much time there. I have always thought that this cathedral’s architectural style resembled that of an ant hill, but it’s more like a termite mound to be exact (See the photo of Chris standing next to one in Australia below). Fittingly, the surrounding area was covered in busy ant-like tourists filing in, out, and around the cathedral in groups. After we took our photographic proof of being there we quickly decided to explore the streets nearby to get away from the crowds.
Chris remembered that our apartment host Marc had mentioned that a street festival was happening near where we wound up. We took the metro, switched lines once again and made our way to Chris’ general idea of where Marc had previously pointed to on the map. After 15-20 minutes of walking in one direction, Chris realized that it was actually about that same distance in the opposite direction of the metro station! Chris also being my incredibly handsome ever-pregnant wife when it comes to peeing, needed to find a bathroom and we were interested in finding some coffee. As we headed down the same street that we had just walked up, we found a beautiful café with dark interior and an owner who didn’t speak any English. The café was called Aloe, Chris had an espresso, peed to his hearts content, and the owner kindly offered to take a photo of us in his shop.
We continued down the street and were delighted to have found the festival. At first I thought that it was an entire festival dedicated to Jules Verne, which would have been cool on it’s own, but it turned out to be even better. Different streets had collected materials to upcycle all year long for the theme of their choosing. The first one we entered was Jules Verne themed, but others included: under the sea, Game of Thrones, roller disco, California dreams, feminism, and they also had a ton of stages where we presumed live music was showcased at night. Chris bought a gluten free beer and I got some Sangria as we walked the streets and explored some local stores.
I bought a shirt of a Bull Terrier tattooing spots onto a Dalmatian that I was very pleased with (see below).
As we wandered the streets, we saw a little storefront called Aeroteca. Floor to ceiling, the shop was filled with plane-related knickknacks, hobby sets, décor items, educational materials, and more. The two guys in the shop were big plane enthusiasts (clearly) who had a multitude of plane simulators for people to train with. I loved that they treated Chris like a bit of a celebrity for flying a DC-3 plane from WWII (the company he works for does mineral exploration and has fitted a large machine in the back that engineers run to measure levels in the ground below). Chris and the storekeepers talked plane jargon for a good 15 minutes and they gave us a detailed tour of their place, it was adorable so I made them take a picture together.
After searching for a gluten-free restaurant for a while, we found a little Italian place with excellent food called Piras Braseria. On the metro home I got to pet a little Beagle/Jack Russell Terrier who was behaving so well on the train! We had walked quite a bit that morning and made our way up the four flights of stairs to have a much needed hour nap.
Chris and I decided to eat dinner later to immerse ourselves culturally so we left the apartment for 8:00pm and had drinks on a very cool terrace with views of the whole city – it was called Hotel Barcelo Raval: Terraza 360. It was very modern and swanky with small hot tubs on two sides of the circular patio and those large standing binoculars that you always see in movies about travelling to New York that allow people to take a closer look at the cityscape. This is definitely one of the best places to take in the rooftop views.We saw a cathedral at the top of a hill that was lit up with what looked like a purple spotlight. Storm clouds surrounded the cathedral and contributed greatly to the distant building looking like a villainous castle from a Disney cartoon. Apparently the cathedral is called Tibadabo.
We found the BEST place to eat tapas (my concluded opinion after our whole trip) near Hotel Barcelo Raval called Palosanto. It was wonderful because they had sketchbooks and crayons at the tables for patrons to draw in and they will sometimes put the drawings on the wall. I’m hoping that mine will go up so that I can say that I have art in a restaurant in Barcelona – not sure how I would ever find out though, someone let me know if you visit and see this drawing! The food was insanely good, Chris and I each had two glasses of wine and were feeling a delightful buzz.
We walked back toward our place, but were feeling great so we stopped at another small bar and had patio bourbons. I met three more dogs personally on the way home (a bonus in my books), one who was adorably spoiled and eating at the table with her owner!
So far, we love that there are so many small streets that lead us to constantly discover new squares and romantic places no matter how well we think that we know the neighbourhood. We researched and planned our next two days when we got back. I then laid in bed and thought about what a truly fantastic day it had been.
Collection of other photos from day 2: