We saw most of “tourist” Barcelona in three days. Like many cities, there are probably many things we didn’t see. We stayed in the heart of the city in the Eixample district. It was the perfect place to stay. Plaza De Catalunya and La Rambla, a pedestrian street lined with restaurants and shops, were right around the corner. We visited the market off La Rambla every day. They say that there are no free-standing buildings in Eixample. I particularly liked the small side streets.
Barcelona was seemingly dominated by one artist — Antoni Gaudi — in the early 1900s. This includes his bizzarro Catholic Church — Sagrada Familia and his planned neighborhood (that never took off) — Parc Guell. He certainly has/had his own style; people frequently believe the word “gaudy” originated from his name.
Every country has it’s secessionists (Texas, Quebec) — Spain has Catalonia (in which Barcelona is the capital). They’ve got their own language (Catalan); many residents fly the Catalan flag from their balcony. Unlike Texas, there is a serious (and thankfully non-violent) effort to separate from Spain.
Barcelona is the Tapas capital of the world which always includes Calamares (Fried Squid Rings) and Patatas Bravas (Spicy Potatoes) plus many other appetizer-sized dishes. The Sangria was top notch too. Yum!
Day three was a beautiful, sunny day, so we explored Montjuic (site of many Olympic venues) and spent a couple hours at the beach to soak up some sun. We knew we wouldn’t be swimming, but there were plenty of surfers were there in their full body wetsuits. A few photos: