“I have to thank Rob for letting me share on his blog one of the routes I’ve done on more than one occasion when I go to Barcelona. We usually go alone my Nikon camera and I, from now on I will have the feeling that you’re all accompanying me, it will be a pleasure.
I have the great fortune to live 30 km from this fantastic city, which allows me to get there any day of the week. I don’t know why, but I usually choose Wednesdays. I suppose that even though the city is always crowded with tourists and local people, you can still breathe the calm of the beginning of the week.
First of all a good breakfast and if it can be Pa amb tomaquet i pernil (Bread with tomato and ham) all the better. I know! It is very typical, but… the roots are the roots. Once I have the batteries fully charged I start the route. I advise that if you want to follow me you’d better wear comfortable shoes, because the whole journey is by foot.
Gaudí, how can I start a perfect day otherwise? I can choose many of the modernist works of this genius (pardon, architect is not enough), honestly I like them all, but I prefer the Casa Batlló. After admiring the facade, I buy the ticket and get inside. There is always a corner that I have not photographed or maybe yes, but the Barcelona blue sky and the sun shine makes the colourful mosaic chimneys of the roof a spectacle that varies every single day.
Walk down Passeig de Gràcia, the shopping street of reference in Barcelona with the best and most expensive shops. But instead, I like the modernist benches and lampposts as well as other ornaments in this unique street. If highlighting a store, I will stop at Hermes, I love the graffiti they have painted in the show windows.
I’m getting to Plaça de Catalunya, an emblem of the city. Pigeons have become the owners of the square, children and not so young children give them corn and make them take flight.
Heading down La Rambla, my eyes wide open, there is no better place to understand how Barcelona has become a cosmopolitan capital, in just a few meters I see a Chinese, Japanese, African, South American, European, etc.. yes I’m in Barcelona, but I feel like I’m somewhere else, I have the feeling I always smile when I walk down La Rambla.
It’s already lunch time, and my stomach leads me to the Mercat de la Boqueria, a fresh produce market where you can find almost any fresh food, as much local products as overseas. There are also stalls with fresh juices ready to take away, appreciated on these hot summer days. I will buy one for dessert, but first let me find some tapas to regain my strength. I choose El Quim de la Boqueria, another day will choose Bar Pinotxo, both serve delicious tapas. It will be a “softy” meal, because tonight I’ll have the luxury of dining at the waterfront together with my husband and my children. Sincerely dinners taste better when shared.
On my way to the Born neighborhood I’m passing through the Plaça Reial. This square has formerly had a bad reputation but today it is a charming walk through it. I head to the Picasso Museum, getting lost between narrow streets. They have changed the temporary exhibition a few days ago and it is time to see it.
At last we reach the church of Santa Maria del Mar. Within these walls breathes history. About three years ago, I read the book “La Catedral del Mar” (The Cathedral of the Sea) by Ildefonso Falcones. I think it captivated me. Since then I always sit for a while and let my imagination run away and think about all those people who managed to build a temple so many years and centuries ago.
Crossing the Passeig de Colom, on the corner of Port Vell begins Barceloneta, and old fishermen’s quarter, one of my preferred neighbourhoods in Barcelona, walking forward a bit more I’m in front of the sea. From here you can choose to walk to the right or to the left, I will choose the left, but not before observing the W Hotel with it’s sail-shaped façade at the far end of the right promenade.
The scenario has changed and not only because the presence of the sea, but here you do not see cars but people on skates, bicycles, Segways. Running, surfing, playing beach volleyball and football. I walk barefoot on the sand for a bit, another day and I will come to bathe. I love the beach, it is so relaxing.
Today I had a great day, my family is coming for dinner with me, I will choose CDLC Barcelona of all the restaurants on the seafront, I’m still calling it Carpe Diem, my children love their sushi and other Asian dishes. Today I will skip the gin and tonic. Maybe next time.”
Pilar was born and raised in Terrassa, near Barcelona. Her hobbies are photography and travelling, and recently started a travel website, called Barcelona Book, to share her passion about Barcelona.
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