Friday we left early for our meet up with our resource person in order to view the Cathedral beforehand. We navigated the Metro and probably came up to the street at the wrong exit because the cathedral was nowhere in sight. Just some old walls and tower.
Eventually we turned a corner and saw the spires ahead.
Here's what our unTours guide book said about the Cathedral.
"Santa Esglesia Catedral Basilica de Barcelona: Known more commonly as La Catedral or La Seu, this outstanding Gothic church is a Barcelona landmark and one of the loveliest churches in all of Spain. The cloister should not be missed. Construction began on the Cathedral at the end of the 13th century, but a Roman temple and a mosque had previously occupied the same land. The Cathedral is dedicated to one of Barcelona's female patron saints, Santa Eulalia, whose time can be found in the crypt."
There was a line to enter the Cathedral but it moved quickly. It gave me time to capture the gargoyles and statues.
There was a hushed atmosphere inside this active church as it should be. (Not the case when we visited Sagrada Familia the next week.)
Walk with me through this sanctuary.
The side chapels were all fenced off.
Below was the crypt.
From the sanctuary we moved to the cloister.
There have been 13 ducks living in this cloister. It's a tradition related to the patron saint.
From the Cathedral we went to see one of the largest preserved sections of the original Roman wall.
Next stop was the Mercat Santa Caterina (market).
Its the oldest covered market in Barcelona and one of the most modern. Built in 1848 and reopened in 2005 after a major renovation. In the rebuilding the foundations of a 19th century convent was found as well as ruins of a Gothic church from1271 and remains of a late Roman necropolis.
We walked around admiring all the produce and fish, and meat and breads.
Notice the very large eggs below. Ostrich I think.
After tasting olive oil and purchasing three bottles we settled down to have a tapas lunch ordered by Edlira who knew what to order. She's on the end. We were joined by two women who were doing a week long stay after being outside of Amsterdam for a week.
Some of what we had: roasted patron peppers, potato with sauce, bread rubbed with tomato, garlic and olive oil.
Anchovies, calamari, eggplant thinly sliced, lightly bread and fired then drizzled with dark honey (my favorite). Not pictured: crispy artichokes. There was more but didn't capture it all.
In early evening we headed to the Block of Discord on the Passeig de Gracia home of three extravagant houses.
Along the way we spotted this statue on top of a building which many days later we learned was a boy riding a phoenix and the symbol of two insurance companies that merged in the 1800s.
Below one of the strange houses.
The architecture of the surrounding buildings was interesting too.
The one below was by Gaudi.
We looked on the outside only. Tour prices were exorbitant and lines were long.
We found a tapas restaurant and had an enjoyable meal. Dan takes the photo for a change.
This was the tapas dessert - an ice cream sandwich.
Lots of pictures yet to come, 11 more days worth!