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  • Day3

    Day 3: Barcelona

    August 8 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    We started our day at the center of the city, the Catalonia Plaza, and started Rick Steve’s’ walking tour (his free app is fantastic to listen to while walking).

    Following his directions, we walked through La Rambla street. As Rick making a big deal on a street fountain, talking about its history and significance of it, an old woman was vigorously washing her feet and sandals in this historic fountain, making Steve and I laugh out loud. I really like the fact people here live with the history (their balconies may be decorated with statues, their doors may have some historical carvings on them, their apartments may belong to some historical figures…), they continue live their lives and kind of become part of the history, which makes the city so much more vibrant and lively. History is not some dead objects or stories here, it very much is part of the city and its culture.

    As we were heading deeper and deeper into the old city area, the winding narrow streets started showing their personalities, so much more charming than the big avenues lined with major brands. Small personal shops displaying handmade shoes, clothings, art pieces, sculptures; cafes and bars popping up at every corner and small courtyards. Families walking with their kids and dogs, young people on skateboards, old people on their walkers… they are going about their daily lives, perfectly fine with tourists passing them by. They have become part of the landscape of this city.

    People here are proud and kind, and diligent with their work. Street sweepers busy keeping the streets clean; the wait staff smile warmly and super pleasant; the huge smile on a street vendor’s face after he made a €1 sale somehow moved me greatly; the musicians playing expertly in plazas were full of energy.

    This is a great city!

    As we walked through the Gothic Quarter, the Cathedral, the palace of Catalonia Royals where they sent Columbus off and then gave him a hero’s welcome upon returning (therefore changed the history for Spain), to the headquarter of Spanish Inquisition (a surprisingly whimsical building…wished we could check out the basement), we somehow found ourselves in front of the doors of Picasso museum. Unfortunately it’s closed today. However, the Modern Art museum was right next door and was open, so we went inside and checked out some Banksy works.

    After walking for 5 hours and more than 5 miles, we were exhausted but very happy! Time to head back and have a nap!
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