There's just something about Western Europe. It has this feel about it. Like walking through narrow streets with high buildings all around, not knowing what will be around the next corner....finding a random bakery or coffee bar where you don't expect it. Those who have come here will know what I mean.
Anyway today we started with a brekky in the Universitat area, had one of the best muesli, yogurt and fruit bowls I've ever had. Another nice coffee too. We just walked streets all morning, they had a real buzz about them cause the sun was out and everyone was just going about their business. Walked past stacks of music shops, pierced kids, crazy haircuts and anti-establishment dress senses. It reminded me of Berlin.
I've been tired pretty much since we got here, so it was no surprise I've started to feel a little sick. Today was the worst it's been...just stuck in 4th gear. So we were wandering around El Raval and had a stand up coffee at this really old bar on the street with all this cured meat hanging behind the bar, empanadas on the counter. There were 4-5 old guys smoking cigars and playing an old school pokie machine, people coming in and out and a lot of people talking to each other (all locals). Great atmosphere. Felt a bit better and we walked through Mercat del la Boqueria and checked out all the fresh food. We bought ham and cheese baguettes and kept moving, there were a few too many tourists about.
We checked out Zara and H&M for a bit but came out empty handed. My mood definitely improved when we crossed La Rambla into a really old area called Barri Gotic, and saw some graffiti by my favourite street artist C215. Seen his stuff in 3 cities now in all my travels, without specifically going to find it. We stumbled upon Placa Reial which is a big square with a fountain and palm trees surrounded by restaurants and residential apartments. We sat at the fountain and ate our baguettes (technically called bocadillas if we're in Spain, I suppose) in the sun and took some photos.
We have been checking the weather for Berlin and it's freezing there already so I had to buy a new jacket. Found a cool little shop and for the first time ever, got sucked in by the window and bought the jacket on display. At least I'll be warm and won't feel like a scumbag wearing a hoody all the time. The next few hours was all street walking in old narrow streets & squares. Watched kids play soccer in Placa de San Josep Oriol in front of a wall riddled with bullet holes from executions in the Spanish Civil War.
Did some more shopping after that, I swear the top 10 coolest shop and office fitouts I've ever seen are here in Barcelona on one day. And they're just the ones I actually saw that were open. It seems like some places are always shuttered up, who knows if and when they open. Some of them are probably bars or restaurants that open at night, so I don't think there is a time when everything is open at once.
While walking about we passed both of the most popular building designed by Anton Gaudi, I don't think he ever owned a ruler or set squares. Fun fact: the pavers on the footpath were also designed by him, pictured below.
Went out for dinner and had tapas again, had a bit of an early night as Monday night is kind their weekend.