I was still catching up on sleep so Sister T had to wake me at 6:30 am to get going on our day in Barcelona. We decided to go to Starbucks for coffee (okay I begged) so after getting ready headed to the nearest one.
It was close to St. Mary’s of the Sea church.
i had a hard time getting the barista to understand I wanted coffee versus an expresso drink and had to wait while they brewed it.
The coffee paired with egg and ham muffin for breakfast. The egg yolk wasn’t totally cooked; I ate it but not thrilled with it. Sister T had a better sandwich and an americano.
We came back to the room until 10 am when we left for our free walking tour of the Gothic district.
Barcelona Free Walking Tour
We walked to the Arc de Triomf metro station which we thought was closest to our hotel. It was a beautiful walk through the Ciutadella park which was where the 1888 World’s Fair was held.
The arch was built as the main access to the world’s fair. The metro station is in front of the building on the right.
We took the train to the Cataluyna stop and then found our meeting place. I had booked a free walking tour of the Gothic District with Free Walking Tours Barcelona. It was to start at 11 am. We were early so walked over to a nearby McDonalds for bottled water and a bathroom break.
Back in the placa, we checked in with the purple people staff once they arrived and waited for the groups to be separated. Our group was with Gianfranco who is from Chile originally. We posed for a group photo.
Before we left the plaza, two people had already decided to back out and we headed out. This left us with about 13 people or so. Sister T., another lady and I were always at the back of the pack. Thankfully Franco (nickname) made sure we saw the turns and waited at each stop for us to catch up.
Our first stop was at the ancient roman cemetery discovered in the Gothic district in the 1950s after bombs from the Spanish civil war uncovered it.
We moved on and walked to the Cathedral of Barcelona.
It is so large that I couldn’t get the entire building in the picture. Constructure started in the 13th century and took 150 years. Franco indicated the beautiful front facade was added for the world’s fair and the sides of the building are very plain.
As we left we went under this interesting bridge between buildings.
We next walked to Sant Miquel square where we stopped at the Human Towers sculpture.
It was created in 2012 and pays homage to the Catalan tradition of human towers. At this point the tour had a 10-15 minute break at a nearby bar where you could book other tours offered (after a brief sales pitch), order a beverage and use the restrooms. It was well needed for us.
The next stop was in Plaça de Sant Felip Neri. The square has a church and a school. t is well known for a sad event; 42 people, mostly children, were killed by two bombs in 1938. You could still see pockmarks in the walls from the blasts.
There was a wall where local artists put up small artworks.
We then walked to the final stop which was Placa Reial. The square is ringed with restaurants and in the center is the fountain of three graces.
It was created in 1878 by Antoni Rovira i Trias. The graces are the goddesses of charm, beauty and fertility. Nearby are two lampposts designed by Gaudi himself.
They are decorated with iron snakes and a winged hat, symbols of Mercury, the god of commerce. Franco said his goodbye to everyone and we each tipped him 15 euros.
Lunch at Placa Reial
By this point we were hungry and walked around the square perusing the menus at the various restaurants. We ended up selecting Les Quinze Nits and was able to sit at a table outdoors.
We both selected the 3 course prix fixe meal for 11.75 euros. While waiting for our food we enjoyed the warm sun (our first warmer day in Barcelona) and the view.
I selected the goat cheese salad and Teresa picked the green salad to start.
You can see the olives that were brought out first as appetizer in the background of the salad picture. We were also brought a bread basket.
My entree was monkfish with potatoes.
It tasted far better than what you see in the picture.
Sister T selected the chicken breast with frites.
Lastly, our respective desserts were fruits with chocolate sauce…
And lemon pie.
It was a wonderful meal outside, having delicious food in a beautiful setting.
We then headed back to the nearest metro stop and took it back to the Barcelonita stop which was much closer to our hotel than the Arc de Triomphe station. I paid 2.20 euros per ride; Sister T had a pass.
When we got to the hotel, we had already walked 12,550 steps and 4.5 miles. No wonder our legs hurt!
Dinner in Born District
About 7:30 pm we walked to a pizza restaurant we passed that morning, La Pizza del Born.
We found a table although it was very busy when we arrived and ordered.
I had sangria to drink; it was a very large glass!
I started with a slice of pizza with beef and a ham and cheese empanada.
That wasn’t quite enough so I ordered a slice of onion stuffed with ham and cheese (not as good as the first slice).
Teresa had a Pepsi max and pasta carbonara she really enjoyed. After paying we walked over to the Farggi Born for gelato and got a cup each. I had pistachio and Teresa had vanilla with macadamia nut.
We walked back to the hotel for the remainder of the evening. Today’s final steps total was 13,550 for 4.8 miles.
Don’t miss previous trip posts.