Friday, December 14, 2018

Sunday Nov 25 Barcelona

SUNDAY Nov 25 - Barcelona
Meals: Breakfast


Our first destination is El Ravel.

Steeped in history, the Plaça de Catalunya is the nerve centre of the Catalan capital.

The Plaça Catalunya, with its large shopping centres and department stores, is constantly teeming with people. It is Barcelona's most central area and a favourite meeting place for locals and visitors. It also connects the Eixample and the old town.

 These gypsy women go around giving out small rosemary plants, they were wherever there were tourist.Should you take it, they will grab your palm while receiving it and pretend to read it like a fortune teller.
Next moment, either your valuables are gone.

To be honest we did not encounter any issues whatsoever, using money belts as well as leaving valuables in the hotel safe. We would just brush these types of beggars away.

That's John in the middle.

The woman with the white face, dressed in white is also a beggar.

We turned down this lane from Las Ramblas on impulse, and it was a good choice. There are many storefronts in this style.

Many a writer has been inspired by the lower Raval, which was once called the 'Barrio Chino', a name coined by an American journalist due to its underworld feel in the 1920s. Haunted by drifters and prostitutes (and, more recently, hipsters and their ilk), the seedy ghetto forms a strangely glamorous setting for Jean Genet's existential novel 'The Thief's Journal' (1949) and provides the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War novel 'The Palace' (1962) by Nobel prize­–winner Claude Simon and 'The Margin' by André Pieyre de Mandiargues (1967), which was made into a film.

The centerpiece of Barcelona’s diverse and multicultural neighborhood, Rambla del Raval features plenty of street art, quirky bars, and fantastic restaurants. Bordered by palm trees and cafés, it’s a perfect place to sit comfortably, enjoy a drink, and people watch for hours on end in the busy hub of El Raval. Go in the morning to enjoy peace and quiet, and in the evening for busy bars and restaurants. Enjoy the open-air Saturday market in every month apart from August, amongst other little and ever-changing delights in this urban addition to El Raval.

One of the many squares dotting the areA.

Coffee break.

The sounds of drums and we happen upon a parade. 

Video quality isn't great as Blogger doesn't like anything too big so I had to reduce the quality.

Barefoot Sikh women sweep the road in front of the Dhol drummers at the Vaisakhi Festival Parade.
Vaisakhi (vai-sahkhi) is the festival celebrating the creation of the Sikh Nation. Thousands of Sikhs, the women in colourful saris and the men wearing turbans or head coverings, join the Sunday Nagar Kirtan procession through the city streets. Women sweep the road in front of the parade which is led by drummers followed by five sword-bearing 'Beloved Ones' in saffron tunics escorting a float carrying the Sikh holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib. 

Just down the street.

Down a same lane and lots of murals.

 The Museo d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, or MACBA, houses important works from international artists, with the focus set on the second half of the 20th century.

The museum is one of the most important buildings on the “Plaça dels Angels”, together with the ancient “Convent del Angels”, a temple constructed during the 16th century, in gothic style and with a simple facade and a portal in renaissance style.

Saint Paul of the countryside church (Sant Pau del Camp)
This church and former monastery stands in what is now the El Raval area rather than the countryside from which it gets part of its name. Being Barcelona’s oldest church, and very well preserved, still boasting spectacularly intricate architecture, Sant Pau del Camp is a must see in this area of the city.

Hotel España, considered a little jewel of Catalonian Modernism, was originally opened in 1859 with the name of Fonda de España and then went on to be refurbished by the celebrated Modernist architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, in the early 20th Century.

Another stunning pharmacy.

The Mercat de Sant Antoni was designed by Antoni Rovira i Trias in 1882.

On Sundays, second-hand books and stamps for collectors captivate the visitors to the historic Mercat de Sant Antoni which retains the architecture, vibrancy and charm of its origins.


The area is rife with street art, too much to show in this recap! We also saw several mural walking tours.

Between Carrer de l’Aurora and Carrer de la Riereta, in 2013, a man name Juan Andrés Benítez was unjustly killed by the police of Catalonia, after they had been alerted to some commotion on the street.Once a disused site, he told us that the community have dedicated this space to his memory. It’s now covered with murals, art and social activity.

We come upon the Indian parade again, in the newest of Barcelona's Ramblas, a broad avenue which attracts people from diverse social, cultural and geographical backgrounds. Everyone shares their food.The smell from all the food was divine.

Vaisakhi was the time in Punjab, India, when farmers would observe a day of thanksgiving as they paid tribute to God and thanked him for an abundant harvest and also prayed for future prosperity.

They remove their shoes before making their offerings.

You do realize it isn't even lunch time yet! Back in El Ramblas and we chose this place, not very impressive.

I think most of it had been prepared ahead of time. none of it was very warm, the tortilla was sent back but it still wasn't very hot.

Towering over the picturesque Placa del Pi square, the Santa Maria del Pi basilica is an imposing medieval church in Barcelona’s Gothic quarter, with an impressive 54-metre-high octagonal bell tower.

It dates back to the 14th century, though it was gutted by a fire in the 1930s. Today, much of what you can see inside has been faithfully restored such as the splendid rose window at the front.

In the same square.

In the Plaça Nova, in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter, almost touching the wall of the former Roman city, seven giant letters contrast with their historic backdrop. They are part of the alphabet created by Joan Brossa to spell out the word Barcino, which was the origin of present-day Barcelona. The letters, six of them made of bronze and one of aluminium, are bolted to the ground. Although the letters spell out a single word, each one is a work of art in its own right, and as a whole they create an interplay with the perspective and their surroundings. Surroundings which are defined by the cathedral, the wall, and the reproduction of an archway from the Roman aqueduct, which begins to emerge next to the sculpture.

A massive Gothic Revival Church.
Broke ground in 1298.
Finished in 1420 (facade and central tower completed in 1913).
Famous for its gargoyles, other mythical animals, and resident geese.
Measures 90 meters (300 feet) long by 53 meters (174 feet) high.
Dedicated to Eulalia of Barcelona (co-patron saint of Barcelona).

One of the most beautiful and interesting parts of the cathedral is the cloister, with its own series of side altars and side chapels, an enclosed garden, and a fountain a pond.

The secluded Gothic Cloisters were completed in 1448, and at the heart of the cloisters is the Fountain of the Geese (Font de les Oques), the fountain and pond that provide a home to 13 white geese.

The sound of the loud cackling of the geese can be heard throughout the cathedral. In the past, they warned against intruders and thieves, but the number of the geese is explained variously by the story that Saint Eulàlia was 13 when she was martyred or that she suffered 13 tortures while she was being martyred by during a persecution of Christians by Romans in the reign of Emperor Diocletian.

Saint Eulàlia is the co-patron saint of Barcelona, alongside Saint George. She was a young teenager when she died a martyr’s death after refusing to deny that Christ is the Son of God.

Churches done. 

A candy store?

Time for a wine break.

Next time, perhaps, The Erotic Museum.

Time for an early dinner as we have to be up at 4:15 for our limo pickup at 5 AM to the airport!

Nov 12-13 Toronto to London to Madrid
Nov 14 Madrid on our own
Nov 15 Madrid on our own
Nov 16 Madrid on our own until Welcome Dinner
Monday Mural some murals in La Latina
Thursday Doors Madrid
Thursday Doors El Retiro Madrid
Pull Up a Seat Madrid
Nov 17 Part 1 Madrid City tour
Nov 17 Part 2 Toledo and Madrid dinner
Nov 18 Madrid to Cordoba to Seville
Weekend Reflections Seville
inSPIREd Sunday Puerto Lapice
Nov 19 Seville
Nov 20 Seville to Granada
Nov 21 Granada to Valencia
Tuesday Photo Challenge Tranquil
Week 1 Recap  Nov 12 - 16
Week 2 Recap Nov 17 - 23
Week 3 Recap Nov 24 - 26

Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Weekly Postcard Friday


  1. Wonderful shots- especially the Cathedral!

  2. So much to see in such a beautiful city. We were warned many times about pickpockets etc in Barcelona, and even though we stuck to the usual tourist areas, we never had any problem. Of all the murals, I like the cat sketches on the side of a building.

  3. Love the Christmas Header, Jackie! :) :) Never a dull moment! Lovely revisiting many of my favourite places in Barcelona with you. Wishing you both a wonderful Christmas and a joyful New Year!

  4. That was a busy walk, Jackie. I enjoyed coffee with you in Buenas Migas - I've used that one in El Raval a few times. What a shame you had to leave so early the next morning, but looks as though you enjoyed your cheese and Iberia. And the wine :)


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