After spending an hour or two...or three at La Boqueria in Barcelona, we crossed Las Ramblas over to the gothic quarter of the city. The streets were narrow, people traffic only, with a smattering of shops and boutiques scattered here and there.
We (eventually) found our way to 'La Seu' or the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia, one of the finest examples of gothic architecture.
If you're too cheap like us to get audio guides, the 1 euro narrator phones did just fine...
The cathedral was absolutely beautiful inside, there were so many 'chapels' within the cathedral and gold laden artwork strewn just about everywhere. It's quite curious somewhere so dark and haunting (or it would have been more so if it weren't for the tourists everywhere), would have so much beauty and art hidden away.
I frankly really don't remember where this little tapas bar was, but it was just a small pit stop where we had a plate of olives, artichokes and stuffed capsicum and a glass of bubbly before we wandered off again.
Aaah...Sagrada....I will have more on this beauty in another post...
One thing I loved about Barcelona, was being in such close proximity to Gaudi's masterpieces. You always tend to read a lot about him, and it's one of those things, you can see so many pictures of a landmark or historical site somewhere in the world, but it's never the same as being there in person, getting an audio guide or something similar and learning about the building, or place, or monument. Heck a lot of the times just seeing it in person is a whole different ball game.
My brother and I popped into Caso Battlo, as pictured above. It was a house that belonged to a rich merchant back in the late 1800's early 1900's and I think Gaudi was pretty much given free reign.
From a flowery, garden-esque exterior, when you walk in you discover a world that is (or so they speculate) inspired by the ocean.
I found it extremely interesting to learn his work is categorized as modernist, as when I had my design theory subject, I was more exposed to the modernism that came with Bauhaus, but when you think about it, everything that Gaudi did in theory, is the same. Things weren't decorative because they could be, and surprisingly, just about everything in the house was functional or practical in some shape or manner. There's a lot more thought to the place than just a bunch of curves. Even the door handles were apparently moulded by Gaudi, designed to sit perfectly in your hand, which they did.
Ah. I would talk more or share more pictures, but this post would then never end.
After Caso Battlo, we made our way back to Las Ramblas to a cafe called Escriba that we had passed by earlier, and been recommended by people sitting outside to revisit later. So of course we took their advice and settled down for...more sweets.
This was my brother's, I don't remember exactly what it was, but it was light and fluffy like a marshmallow almost. Mmmm.
My order was essentially a rich, gooey, chocolate tart. Heaven.
And dad got a lemon tart, which I loved for not being too sweet and instead deliciously tart (not a pun. I swear).
Since we couldn't decide where to go looking around for dinner, we instead, went back to the market to check out what offerings they might have. And to drool at more legs of jamon, which we go to sample...and then of course buy. Then we went off to marvel at the morel mushrooms...they don't come cheap, but look how many there are!
The joys of staying at a service apartment. Instead of eating out, after visiting the market, we went home to cook our spoils.
Yup. That's lobster.
Yup, we got TWO for UNDER 20 euro.
Yes, all we did was toss them into a hot pot of boiling water (while they were still wiggling and crawling).
Yes, they were absolutely juicy and incredibly meaty and delicious.
Yes, they are probably the best deal on lobsters you'll ever get.
To accompany the lobsters, we also bought some jamon, manchego and two massive bunches of thick white asparagus...only for 2 euro. Mum and I were going absolutely crazy over them, but I think dad and tim were a bit over asparagus by the end of the meal.
Do I love Barcelona? Yes I do....