When someone asks how I come up with where I will travel to next, sometimes I have a good answer and sometimes I look at them puzzled and reply that I have no idea. Case in point, Barcelona. At one point in time, we were going to Switzerland, but then realizing we couldn’t go until November, we thought a warmer place might be a better idea. And that’s how we decided to go to Barcelona!
The flight was almost a disaster when my TV wouldn’t work, because who wants a 8+ hour flight without a TV? But fortunately the flight attendant worked his magic and I had a working TV.
After a short layover in London (I miss London) we landed in Barcelona and were in a taxi headed for the hotel.
Our hotel (NH Barcelona Centro) was in the Barri Gotic area (or Gothic quarter), maybe a block or two off of La Rambla. The room was decent – on the small side, but about normal for a European hotel. We didn’t get the breakfast, as we figured there would be enough cafes around.
Normally I am on the organized side and would have a plan of some sorts for a trip like this. But with how crazy this year has been, that didn’t happen. We came up with a plan for the next day and gave in to the exhaustion.
Our plan for our first day was to take it easy and explore the Gothic Quarter (following Rick’s walk). But first up was breakfast! We found a cafe about a block up from our hotel and I had my usual (when in Europe) – cappuccino and a croissant. (FYI, Rick would be Rick Steves, my travel BFF even though he has never met me.)
The walk started off on Portal de l’Angel, a pedestrian street. There was a little market with vendors near where we started. It made me wish we were there about a week or two later for Christmas markets. That would be a theme – lots of Christmas decorations up, but the lights weren’t turned on yet.
We strolled down Portal de l’Angel, venturing off down a few side streets and stopping dead in our tracks when we spotted a Bijou Brigitte! I’m not sure when I discovered this store (basically a slightly more upscale Claire’s), but I will usually stop in when I spot one.
We continued along our path, which led us to Barcelona Cathedral.
We stepped inside to marvel at the interior.
And walked through the cloister, where several geese live.
We continued exploring the Gothic Quarter, finding Barcelona’s Bridge of Sighs.
Soon we were hungry, and found a little square tucked away with a cafe.
We continued our exploring of the Gothic Quarter before crossing the street to the neighborhood of El Born. It was getting dark at this time, so we cut short our exploring and headed to the Picasso Museum.
This museum has a lot of his earlier work, which I really enjoyed seeing.
Since we were still battling jet lag, we decided to call it an early night (after dinner and gelato of course!)