We slept better than we had for a long time in the little apartment and were ready for anything.
I had visited Barcelona before with a large budget and had seen a lot of the paid sites, but Amy is of the belief that if she can’t see it for free, then it isn’t worth seeing. This worked well for us in because we ended up doing things we wouldn’t have otherwise.
Free Museum Week (Again)
We just happened to be in Barcelona during free museum week, something we seemed to have made somewhat of a habit of and did exactly the same as in Paris. We went to have a look around the Picasso museum. The queue was around the block, we don’t queue, so went across the road to the museum of artifacts, which was absolutely fantastic. It was full of all the old native religious idols, ranging from 20-foot tall graphic fertility statues to pocket-sized god charms to assist in war. It was a fascinating look into the many countries the western world has documented.
After our dive through native history, we visited a nearby art gallery with everything made entirely of recycled material. A far reach from the rubbish it was made of, it left us both impressed and inspired. I think we both had a greater appreciation having made so much of the same kinds of things ourselves, both back in the UK and whilst traveling. It was inspiring to see what can be stuck together to make something so aesthetically appealing.
Old Gods And New
We took a metro to the Sagrada Família and took it all in from a McDonald’s positioned not 5 meters away. It was an odd contrast. The beauty of sitting in a chapel of the new god to watch an unfinished monolith to the old be erected was only outshone by the actual grandeur of the building itself. We calculated that it took on average sixty million euros a year from the paying public. This number left both of us hungry, so we satiated ourselves with a cheeseburger. We had planned to make it to Park Güell that day, but the rain arrived, and it really arrived for the next few days we were there. It was mostly warm, but the couple of downpours we had came down in gallons. We retreated to the subway and made our way home.
A Nap in The Sun
One of our days in Barcelona was spent on the beach in the sun. We managed a quick nap before some beach sellers woke us up trying to pitch their wares. This was something that had become a staple of the essence of Barcelona itself. It is a city alive, full of art and beauty, but it is hard to relax and take it all in because someone will start chasing you around with their hands in your pockets the minute you do. I’m sure to the locals it looked mad to be laid on the sand in the winter sun, but the heat we were feeling was utter bliss in comparison to what we had been in before.
A Bizarre Bazaar
Of course, we went to visit the market to see what bargains we could find. The stalls were all under a cavernous, jagged, mirrored ceiling that reflected the madness and sounds of the market sellers back down around us. We took a long look around, most for some new joggers for Amy, she still hasn’t quite got over the find I had in Belgium with my amazing Hare Krishna style pants. Despite looking for Amy, I did manage to do some shopping for myself. The stalls held everything you could possibly ever want to buy, with some more things you may not want to boot.
An Educational Trip
One of our best days in Barcelona was spent in their amazing science museum, situated right on the top of the hills surrounding the city. Its placement couldn’t be harder to get to by foot, and it took us an age to find it, but our efforts were well worth it. The whole place was incredibly interactive with things to push, pull, watch explore and play with everywhere.
There was a pendulum that took exactly a whole year to do a full revolution of its cycle. They also had the single best aquarium I have ever seen, with a full rainforest ecosystem going on around it. We were minding our own business, having a good old stare through the glass, when a fish twice the length of Amy swum up to the glass to say hello.