With Festa Major over, I’ve spent a lot of time exploring the city of Barcelona over the last few days. Wednesday morning began with a walk down La Ramblas and a trip to the Gothic Quarter, which has some really impressive architecture. Following that, I wanted to go to Park Guell, which when I looked on my map was six kilometers away, not a distance I felt like walking. In Placa Catalunya, there were several tour buses ready to offer rides around the city. the ride took a couple hours as I initially got on the wrong bus and saw a different part of the city, which was still interesting thanks to the audiotour that I enjoyed changing from French to English to Spanish and back. Even once I got to the stop for Park Guell, it was a gruelingly long hike up a hill to reach it, and due to already having paid for the bus, I decided to only take a few pictures from outside rather than pay to go in and explore. I stopped for lunch on my way down the hill, some cheap but good tapas tortillas, and made my way back to the train station for Sant Cugat.
Thursday, I was tired from the previous day, but went out to explore the market in Sant Cugat that seemed to offer pretty much everything. After wandering through there for a few hours, I came back to the house to relax from the heat. I discovered that afternoon, that the walk to the train station is better after a light breakfast than a heavy lunch. Still, the Museo Picasso was impressive, and being under eighteen, I got in free. Exploring Picasso’s works was really interesting, even if the museum only had a selection rather than everything. For example, there was nothing from his blue period save in the gift shop. However, I still really enjoyed it and bought a couple postcards of my favorite paintings. It was also fun on the half hour ride back to Sant Cugat to talk with Anna (Marc’s sister) almost entirely in Spanish.
Friday was another day of walking as I explored the Raval district in Barcelona. I had a few places I wanted to see and mapped out a route with the assistance of my phone and later other people since my phone is not a good navigator. I stopped in at La Boqueria, a famous indoor market that I think would have been more impressive had I needed to buy food. Following that I made my way to a famous sculpture of a fat cat and took a few selfies. From the cat, it was half a mile to the Museum of Contemporary Art where I spent about three hours browsing. While the Museo Picasso was interesting in its depiction of Picasso’s style changes through life, the contemporary art museum had an intriguing variety of artists and styles brought together in a thought-provoking, but aesthetic way. I also liked that they had free guides to each of the exhibits with quotes from some of the artists. Friday evening, I watched a movie after dinner with Montse (Marc’s mom). I really enjoyed the movie, but it didn’t finish until after one a.m., so I slept in a little late this morning.
Following a late breakfast, I fell back asleep having gotten only six hours of sleep before the sun woke me. During lunch we began a three-hour Italian movie that was also really good, and just finished thirty-seven minutes ago. Tomorrow, with everyone off work, we plan to visit Girona and la playa. If you don’t know what either of those are, you can look them up or just wait until I write again on Tuesday. I’m really enjoying my time here in Spain, despite the heat and ensuing sunburn. I’m not sure three weeks will be enough. 🙂