Our third full day in Spain began with another fantastic breakfast buffet at our hotel in Barcelona. Unfortunately, it was another round of avoid plague boy as he coughed all over and around the food.
After breakfast we showered and headed out for our day. What was so great about going to Barcelona was getting to delve deeper into a city that we had already fallen in love with in 2011. On that day we got to go to a part of the city we had never been to before. Although had had been to central Barcelona on our first trip we had not visited the gothic quarter known as Barri Gotic. Both of our main attractions that day were in Barri Gotic.
Our hotel in Barcelona was slightly out of the city center so each morning we began in a nice calm neighborhood but that meant sometimes when we came out of the metro tunnel it was a little jarring to be in the middle of a busy area. That was the case when we exited at the edge of Barri Gotic.
To go from wide modern 20th century style streets to the classic narrow streets of Europe is quite the contrast. But then again I love the classic narrow streets of Europe.
As we made our way towards our first destination in Barri Gotic we took in the sights. There were lots of other tourists but I absolutely loved that part of the city. I loved the old European feel.
When we reached the front of the Cathedral of Barcelona ran into a bit of a scheduling issue. The cathedral wasn’t open for visitors when we arrived. As a result we decided to just take a couple of pictures of the cathedral from the outside, then go to our other Barri Gotic destination and come back to the church later.
When we got to the museum on the history of Barcelona called Museu d’Historia de Barcelona (MUHBA) we were both very impressed with how big the museum was.
The museum is mostly underground. Over the centuries Barcelona has simply built on top of its own history.
The biggest aspect of the underground ruins were left over from the Roman Empire.
It was very interesting to see and read about how Barcelona played an important role in the Roman Empire. As we moved through the museum we literally saw the fall of the Roman Empire unfold before our eyes because the further in the museum we gotten the more modern the remains were.
The museum made me sad that in the United States there aren’t a lot of historical remains going back that far. Of course part of that is because the native people of North America were largely nomadic and didn’t leave behind the same type of remains. However, a bigger part of that is that the United States of America doesn’t even have a sense of its own history. We are always completely destroying things for the sake of progress.
The museum really gave you a good sense of how Barcelona has developed over the last several thousand years.
It made me really appreciate the city in a whole new way.
After we were done with the museum we were both very hungry. In an effort to save time and money my husband and I had decided to bring some snack bars with us. We figured it would save us the time of sitting in a café for an hour or two and it would also save us money. Looking back I think it was one of the best decisions we made about our trip. Upon leaving the museum we went back to the cathedral and ate our bars outside of the cathedral. It was quick but it took care of our hunger for a couple hours. I love the slow paced European service at restaurants but you don’t always have the time to hang out at a café for that long.
Although I haven’t been a practicing catholic since 1987 I still have a certain connection to the religion of my early childhood. I especially love the grand catholic churches of Europe.There is just a fantastic majesty to hem. Even if you don’t connect to them on a spiritual level you can still appreciate their magnificent architecture and their part (for better or worse) in history.
The cathedral in Barcelona is truly magnificent.
We took a couple of hours to explore the grand church.
I got the chance to say a prayer with my late grandfather’s rosary beads that I hadn’t gotten the day before at La Sagrada Familia. In retrospect the cathedral was a much more peaceful place to say my prayer. La Sagrada Familia was much busier because it had a lot more tourists in it. As I prayed I thought about my grandfather, and my grandmother (both on my father’s side) and my great grandmother (on my mother’s die). Between the three of them I had Catholicism in my family from both Mexico and Ireland. I thought more about my Mexican heritage more (I have yet to visit Ireland). I pondered on how my Mexican heritage links me to Spain. When I’m in the United States I feel very much an American but I don’t feel the same connection to my ancestors that I feel whenever I’m in a Spanish speaking country. Whether I’m in Mexico or Peru or Spain I always feel connected to something much larger than myself (I’m not Peruvian but it’s the language more than the given country). I especially felt that connection as I prayed at the cathedral in Barcelona. I wondered about my ancestors that had left Spain back in the 1800s (and some way before that) and what they would think of me now (I really need to do the DNA test to find out how much of my genetic make-up is Spanish)….Anyway, I digress. We really enjoyed our time in the cathedral. My favorite part was the church itself but I also really enjoyed the courtyard with geese.
The view from the top of the cathedral is also fantastic.
When we were done with the church we took a little break and took a bunch of pictures of the outside of the cathedral.
We then ended up at an official FC Barcelona store. My brother-in-law (who I haven’t met yet because he lives in Nicaragua) loves FC Barcelona. My husband decided to be big brother of the year and buy him an official FC Barcelona Messi jersey. My husband also bought himself a jacket.
Although I am only the most casual soccer fan I couldn’t help but jump on the bandwagon and I purchase myself a t-shirt.
After spending A LOT of money at the FC Barcelona store we made our way across Barri Gotic to Placa Reial.
We had stumbled across this fantastic square four years ago when we were first in Barcelona. This time we had a fantastic dinner and enjoyed the nice relaxed European service. My husband had arroz nego.
I had paella.
And enjoyed a healthy serving of sangria.
It was a wonderful meal.
As we made our way back toward the metro we enjoyed the city as it got dark. We appreciated how things looked just a little different at night.
Another day of our trip had come to an end but we still had so much to look forward to.
If you’re curious about trip to Peru last year check out the first of my ten blog entries on it:
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