So, since the following few days I was working part of the day and exploring the city after work, I got to see fewer places each day, so I will try to condense 3 days in one post!
The weather forecast for today was almost 100% rain 😖 and I had decided to stay at home, but it did not rain that much so I started considering going out for a bit, maybe working from a cafe, and then go for a walk. So after some research I ended up going to a place called Federal Cafe, which is close to La Rambla. This was not the best idea. Even though the reviews said really good things about the place, my experience was not the best. The internet there is fast and free, the space is good, they have lots of tables, but it’s very, very noise. Not like you would expect from a regular cafe, it’s way louder, like the acoustics of the place is weird. Plus – and this is not a hyperbole – it took them nearly one hour to come to get my order. Of course I asked first if I should order from the counter, but I was told someone would get my order at my table. And they did, 50 minutes later. The coffee was good, I will give that, and the food was also good, but I had bacons and eggs with salad so not much space to go wrong here.
La Rambla is a street in central Barcelona. A tree-lined pedestrian street, it stretches for 1.2 kilometres connecting Plaça de Catalunya in the centre with the Christopher Columbus Monument. La rambla means, in both Spanish and Catalan, water flow. There are several streets called La Rambla throughout Catalonia, including one in Girona which I thought I had mentioned in my post, but I haven’t (shame on me). Usually, the streets called La Rambla either used to be a river (or something similar) or it has a water stream running beneath it.
In Barcelona La Rambla is one of the famous tourist attractions and it can get really crowded. You can find several restaurants, people selling things, but if I’m being completely honest here, I found it 100% overrated. I might be biased by the fact that it was raining, and I really have an issue with rainy days. They ruin my pics LOL they are wet, humid, and I really think rainy days are to be spent in bed reading a book. So that might have affected my opinion LOL
You can get there via Subway and get off either at the Liceu Station (close to La Boqueria) or Drassanes (close to the Columbus Monument) or, at the other end you can get off at the Catalunya Station at Plaça Catalunya all in the Red Line (1).
From La Rambla I went to La Boqueria Market. You can find almost everything food related there. Fruits, meat, fish, charcuterie, cheese, pasta, tapas, dessert, fresh vegetables. Eating there is bit expensive, tho. I walked around for a bit an had an delicious cup of fresh strawberries, but that was it.
Arc de Triomf
In 1888 Barcelona hosted the Universal Exhibition and the Arc was built as the gateway to the fair which was held at the Parc de la Ciutadella. It’s a good place to go for a walk, full of benches, people passing by, some people selling souvenirs and all that. The Arc is gigantic and beautiful and definitely worth a go.
Parc de la Ciutadella
Right in front of the Arc is the Parc de la Ciutadella. For a long time it was the city’s only green space. The 280,000 m2 grounds include the city zoo (once home to the albino gorilla Snowflake, who died in 2004), the Palau del Parlament de Catalunya, a small lake, museums, and a large fountain designed by Josep Fontserè (with possible contributions by Antoni Gaudí).
It was a bit hard to enter the park as only one of its entrances was open and I walked to the wrong side LOL So it took me a while to get to the open gate. As the location of the Parliament of Catalonia, the tensions in 2018 and 2019 regarding Catalan independence regularly led to the police closure of the park to public access to prevent crowds forming near to the official buildings.
The closest subway stations is the Arc de Triomf in the Red line (1)
Parc Guell houses, to me, the most iconic view of Barcelona. It was one of the places I wanted to see the most and it did not disappoint. Getting there was a bit of an Adventure tho. So,
So, first things first, the park has a free area where you can get in, explore, several beautiful gardens but to actually see the Gaudi work you need to buy a ticket that costs 10.00 Euros. You can get them online here.
This ticket gives you a scheduled 30 minutes to stroll through the restricted area and it also includes a Shuttle Bus that will take you from the Alfons X station (Line 4) to the park and back to the station when you are done.
The bus takes 15 minutes to get to the park and it’s fairly frequent but you need to take that into consideration when you are planning your visit because you will need to enter the restricted area at a certain given time.
The instructions from the site say this:
First, there’s no underground stop and if there is it is closed. When you get at the station you will see a sign (I found after looking for a bit) saying the following:
First of all, the bus is not always there, so there’s no guarantee you will see the bus when you are in the street. Second, this is the setting once you get out of the stations to the street:
See what I mean? Unless you get out of the sation and climb the steps backwards, the bus in on your left, not on your right. That made me wander around a bit until I could find it LOL But all good at the end, I was able to get the bus on time (because I left home with plenty of time to get lost) and the park is in one word: AMAZING!
It started to be built in 1900 and the construction lasted 14 years. Eusebi Guell was an industrialist and he met Gaudi’s work at the 1888 Universal Exhibition. After that Guell started commissioning Gaudi to create several things for him, including the Palau Guell and the Parc Guell.
Legend says that Gaudí one day asked Guell what would happen if he ran out of money. What would he do? To what Guell would have replied: You my friend, will run out of ideas before I run out of money!!