After breakfast and laundry I went for a run. I judge a city a lot by how run-able it is 🙂 Fortunately, Barcelona was pretty easy. Once you got to a main boulevard, you were able to run without too many stop lights, and luckily, there were not too many people out. I did notice a race had just finished and I wish I would have known about it before. It would have been fun to do a 5k/10k in another country. While running, I noticed that a lot of the shops were closed that I wanted to visit today. Since they actually pull down big gates that block the storefront, there is no way of knowing what their hours are. I noticed that while walking earlier too…we would see a place that looked good to eat, but then you come back later and it has disappeared because the gate is closed (all that’s left is bad graffiti). I also ended up running past their Arc de Triumph, so I’m glad I was able to see that.
I joined the walking tour again today since yesterday’s was so great. It was in a different area too, called Graçia. We visited more of Gaudí’s work such as La Pedrera and Casa Batlló, which was equally impressive and always had interesting facts behind it. We also walked along the Passeig de Graçia (full of all of the fancy shopping) and learned the history behind it as well. Our guide, Alberto, would often have us act out scenes that took place in history which made it fun. He also compared historical figures to who they might be like today, for example, one family was so wealthy, pretty and popular that they would have been the Kardashians of back then.
Next, we went inside the “chocolate house” which looked nothing like chocolate, but they made it there. Along the way he pointed out the requirements to build during the Catalan Art Nouveau (modernism) which were including: nature, color and iron. These houses definitely stood out from the others, and one of them was even decorated in roses in preparation for Sant Jordi day where women get a rose and men get a book (ahhh the pre-tinder days, so romantic)…I leave that day 😦
Lastly, we went to an old theater which was converted into a couple restaurants, the design of it was super trendy, yet included many antiques, including the original bathroom.
While everything is interesting and beautiful to look at, understanding the reasoning behind them is so much better. After the tour ended, I went and did my inside tour of the Segrada Familia (did you know that Darth Vaders helmet was inspired by the helmets used on the soldiers on this church?). I did the audio portion which was not only informative, but set to music and made the experience so much more emotional and impactful.
I rested for a bit before heading over to the coast to check out the beach. I stopped for dinner (a salad, finally) and then met up with Wilbert and Joris to watch a Castell being built (human tower). We circled around trying to find it when we realized that it was indoors and a private, media only event. Instead, we walked to the beach and sat with some wine until the sun went down and it was too cold to stay any longer. The group was going to eat at La Pepita, but by the time I made it back to the hostel I was too tired to go out again and not hungry anyway.