We spent the day criss-crossing the city of Barcelona. It is the result of not having planned the day’s itenary. So I randomly decided that our first place to go to for the day is to focus on the part of the city called the Old Town.
Our first stop is the Barcelona Cathedral. After all, cathedrals are often the most imposing structure in European cities and towns.
The Barcelona Cathedral was under restoration works. The scaffolding obscured the exterior architecture of the building. But it was still open to the public because the renovations is limited to the outside.
The Barcelona Cathedral is located in an area called the Old Town where the streets are narrow and a confusing maze. It was hopeless using the map. It took us a few wrong turns before we found our direction.
The Barcelona Cathedral is a Gothic (French) style place of worship. The Gothic architecture is characterized by it’s high vaulted pointed ceilings. This allows cathedrals to be built without thick solid walls to support the massive structure.
This cathedral took 600 years to completely built.
It must have been in existence for some time already but this is the first time I came across modern votive candles like these. Instead of wax candles, this is entirely electrical. Drop coins into the box and voila!
The Barcelona Cathedral is also the church where the first Indians brought back from the Americas were baptized. There is a sculpture of the event outside the walls of the Cathedral.
We next headed to the Chocolate Museum. Chocolates had been and is still today a popular drink in Spain. Chocolates are native to South America.
We used the Barcelona Card which gives us a 30% discount on the entrance fee of €4.00.
It is the Spanish who brought chocolates from the New World and subsequently introduced it to the rest of the world. It is in Barcelona where the first shipment of cacao arrive … almost 500 years ago.
Frankly, the museum is boring and most of the exhibits are static and are meant for elementary school level visitors. Moreover most of everything is written in Spanish.
We had hoped that at least we get to try some chocolate products at the cafeteria. Well, at least we thought that this would be a great place to try hot chocolate with churros. The cafeteria is just a small one with three tables. We were given two small chocolate bars.
My recommendation … save your time. You would not miss much at the Chocolate Museum.
f people at this popular museum. It is not big but even that we spent over two hours here. We had a great time. Unfortunately, the descriptions of the paintings were mostly in Spanish. We did learn about the transition of his painting styles from the blue period, to the rose period and onto cubism.
I remember seeing one of his famous paintings at the MoMA in New York (see Getrude Stein in this link)
Picasso spent his early years of his teens here in Barcelona where he enrolled at the city’s art academy.
Entrance is €7 (after 20% discount with the Barcelona Card). They don’t allow photography here. Too bad.
We came across a shop which had delicious looking pastries on display. We went in and bought a couple for snacks.
I can’t recall what they were called. I see a lot of the one on the left. It has some hard seed in it. The one on the right reminds me of the kaya puff from South East Asia.
We also made our way to the Sagrada Familia. We decided not to go in because we only have an hour here before it closes. We took pictures from the outside and went back to this place again a few days later.
The highlight of the day was not all these places we went to. It was something I had wanted to see one day and of all places in the world, I had not expected it to be part of in Barcelona. More on that later.