søndag 15. juni 2014

Barcelona, day 4!

Day 1 - Day 2 - Day 3

We had a late start, but finally managed to get out of the apartment at around 15:00 (3 PM). I think. I can't remember the exact time, but who the hell cares about that anyway? xD

When we opened the door out to the world, we were met by a wall of heat. It was pretty insane! We were like "By Thor, we're Vikings, we're not used to this insanity!" (or more like "WOW. Oh God, that's hot. Oh wow. D:")
Took the metro to Plaça Catalunya, where I remembered I'd forgotten both my cameras at home and just had my phone. I managed to survive. We walked across the square and commented on the absence of doves. Plaça Catalunya is normally packed with them, to the point that you almost have to walk through a sea of them. On Friday, there were maybe 50-100 doves. We were like "Even the doves have found a cooler place to hang out for the day!"

We decided to walk down Avinguda Portal de l'Àngel and see what happens. Our plan was just to visit the Cathedral (Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia), but we had to wait until 17:15, when entrance is free of cost. We went straight for some ice cream, because THE HEAT, THE HEAT - bought a few scoops and sat down on a ledge on Plaça Nova, which is right next to the Cathedral. Even though it was in the shade, the stone was piping hot, we almost burned our asses. Still, we sat there until the ice cream was gone (I almost managed to eat it before it melted), and then decided we had to move somewhere or risk melting into the stone. We walked into one of the narrow old streets of the Barri Gòtic and promptly got lost. Okay, not totally lost, but we did end up going down some streets I've never been in before, and I wasn't quite sure where we were all the time xD

Pretty building attacked with.. paint? (The door and fence.)

So that's the Plaça Sant Jaume, with the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya (which houses the offices of the presidency of the region's government) and the City Hall. A little bit of Irene, and then random old stuff xD

After walking around for a bit, we went back to the Cathedral and sat down on a ledge that was cool and nice while trying to think of things to do while waiting. The square in front of the Cathedral was packed with tourists waiting for the clock to hit 17:15, so we decided to wait a bit longer so we wouldn't end up in a sea of people going in. After resting our feet, I suggested we could check out other places in the meantime, so we did. The first place we visited was Plaça de Sant Felip Neri.

Irene is kindly showing you the size of this thing.

...and so are these kids xD
I wanted to see this because of its history.
First of all, it's a beautiful little square with this really cute fountain that I for some reason didn't take pictures of. I know Irene did, though, so if I remember I'll get them from her and add them here.
It is known to be really quiet even though it's in the middle of the city, but I think school had just ended or something when we arrived, because the square was filled with kids playing around and parents chatting.

The church (which is the building in the last two photos) was built in the 1700s (we didn't go inside as it looked very.. not open), and the damage to the wall seen in the pictures is from bomb shrapnel. During the Civil War, in January 1938, the church was bombed, and 20 children seeking shelter inside were killed.
The contrast with the children climbing on the damaged wall hit hard with me.

In addition, this church was where Antoni Gaudí was headed when he was run over by a tram in 1928, which led to his death a week later.

The other place I wanted to see was a twofer - Plaça del Pi and Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol are both outside the church Santa Maria del Pi (we didn't enter that one either), and is a nice place to people-watch. We sat on some steps in the latter square and could see both the Plaça del Pi and the Carrer del Pi, where a lot of people came and went.

Carrer del Pi.
We even saw a man with a Goth style "kilt" walking his dog whilst smoking a cigar.. with a pipe. We were like "What just happened?" - and were so flustered we forgot to take a picture or film him. xD

Finally we decided to go see the Cathedral (though we've both seen it several times before). The Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia was constructed between the 13th and 15th century, and Santa Eulàlia is the co-patron saint of the city. She was a young girl, just 13 years old, when she suffered martyrdom (there are various stories as to how she died), and in the beautiful cloister of the Cathedral there are at all times 13 geese, one for each year of her life.
I didn't really film much inside the cloister (still don't know why, maybe I'm senile), but I did film Irene talking to the geese about food.

But hey, if you want me to film more, let me know! Since the Cathedral is free to enter at certain times of the day, it won't cost me anything but a little time to stop by and do some quick filming! :)
Bonus pic of a fountain in the cloister:

This is a quick video of the interior, near the altar. It's quite dark inside, so my phone wasn't really up to filming any other place xD

Finally we decided to take the elevator up to the roof, as I'd read that the views were pretty spectacular. It cost 3€, and it was totally worth it.

..yeah. We spent quite a lot of time up there, just enjoying the wind in our hair and the view. Plus we chatted a bit with a Canadian couple who just gaped at us when Irene told them it was her fourth visit to the city and my fifth. xD

After finally managing to get back down to earth again (literally), we walked back up towards Plaça Catalunya, when we saw a great store display that I needed to film.

Finally, we had dinner at Hard Rock Café (nom nom noooooom) before heading home and relaxing until bedtime.

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