Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Barcelona! - Things to Do

When you're in Barcelona, there are a few things you must do!
We stayed in the old part of the city, Born, which is probably the most interesting place and there's loads to see and do.

This Cathedral is tucked in amongst all the buildings at the bottom of the street called Carrer De L'Argenteria which is just by the Metro station "Jaume"
Pop in here to have a look at the stunning architecture. It's free to go in and look around. You can't get the whole front of the cathedral in a picture unless you stand in the street. The little area immediately outside the cathedral is filled with tables for the bars and restaurants and isn't a huge square you might expect to find in front of a cathedral!
The only way to get the cathedral in shot! From the street next to it!

As mentioned in my previous post. This is a very historic place and really interesting. I don't think you have to pay to get into the main area but if you want to go into the museum and artefacts areas, you need to buy a ticket.
We went the night before their national day and they had lit 300 candles in the ruins to mark the 300th anniversary of the revolution and they also had a piano recital which was just amazing. It was about 10pm and most of the lights were out so the candles really stood out and it was spectacular.
El Born CC

Seriously.... go here!
If you stand in front of the Cathedral Santa Maria Del Mar, go down the little street to the left and it's down there on your left.
It is like stepping back in time and is a fascinating place. Make sure you remember your camera!
They roast their own nuts and coffee beans every day so you can buy fresh, warm nuts and loose leaf tea, dried fruits and all sorts of other things.
Fresh roasted nuts in Casa Gispert

If you're stood in front of the Cathedral again, go down the right of it and you'll be in the square with the memorial to the martyrs.
The flame burns all year round and this is a very significant place on Catalonia's national day on September 11th.
Human tower in the square where the Martyrs' memorial is

Best. Ice Cream. Ever.
Mojito flavoured ice cream?! Yes please!!
I had Catalan Cream flavour and it was yummy but I wished I'd had mojito flavour. I tried some of my cousin's and it was so good!
This amazing little place is just next to the Cathedral on the left.
Inside, you'll also find coloured marshmallows (not pink and white!), beautifully decorated chocolates and macaroons in every colour and flavour.
Luckily (I guess) we only decided to sample this place on our last day or we'd have been in here all the time!
Amazingly decorated chocolates and colourful macaroons

My cousins stumbled (literally, by the sounds of it) across this bar on one of their evening adventures!
We went with them on our last night for a drink and it was great. Mojitos for 3.50!
They also have a range of their own flavoured gin which includes things like peppercorns and something and tomato and basil etc. Worth sampling!
Mojito at Rubi's

The National Day of Catalonia
September 11th every year. If you are in Barcelona for this date, enjoy it!
The first time we went in 2013, we had no idea what was going on so we carried on drinking and cheering with the locals. Turned out it was a protest and not a party! Haha!
This year we knew it was going to be the 300th anniversary of the revolution so we made sure we packed everything in before the national holiday so we could just enjoy the atmosphere on the day.
There are Catalan flags everywhere and people selling all sorts of stuff. We came back with wristbands, a t-shirt, flags and some bandannas (which we put on the dog...)
There was a flaming torch procession, banging drums, singing, dancing and cheering. 
This year they formed a massive "V" on a couple of the roads in Barcelona and on the news footage, they had all arranged themselves into red and yellow stripes. Apparently there were 1.8 million people there! Incredible!
They have a big gathering in the square where the martyr's memorial is and they make human towers. It's a little frightening to watch a kid climb up about 4 adults to wave a flag on top of the pile! We think this is something to signify the strength and power of the people.
Flaming torch procession

Explore the little streets
Stray away from the main areas and just wander through the network of tiny little lanes and see what you find. There are loads of little shops and restaurants tucked away down these tiny lanes and it's a really fun way to see the less touristy side of the city.
We found brilliant bars, restaurants and shops all off the main areas and in these little lanes.
A typical street

I think I've covered most of the cool things we saw....
Barcelona is the most awesome city and I would highly recommend it to anyone!

Let me know if you've ever been and what you thought was awesome.


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