visiting two buildings before lunch turned out to be too tough for us. we were starving! so we quit in the middle, took the lift down and out of La Pedrera to find some food. we decided to head to the Gracia area because Passeig de Gracia was packed with protesters.
we first tried Cal Boter, a restaurant that serves authentic Catalan cuisine we found at Icha’s blog. it was a pretty long walk from La Pedrera, but the Gracia neighborhood was nice and interesting. so different from the “downtown” area of Barcelona. it’s definitely a residential area, full of kids and young families.
too bad when we got to Cal Boter, the place was closed. it was 1pm, we were starving and the place isn’t open until 2pm. we were like, huh? do people here really eat that late here?
so we decided to go for another restaurant in Gracia, L’Arrosseria Xativa, recommended by Edu, ari’s friend back when we were still working in NYC. once again, they’re closed and will be open at 2pm.
so, i guess our lunch time is different from the lunch time in Spain… that was tough. we were starving and have been walking for so long. aina said that she really needs food. desperate to find food, we finally bumped into a corner bakery called Santa Clara. the lady was very sweet, and didn’t speak a single word of English. it didn’t matter, though, it seemed that we communicated well enough and she knew we were starving. aina inhaled a sandwich and chocolate croissant. and i had the most amazing coffee i’ve tasted in the whole trip… so good!
after refueling, we felt like we can do long walks again. so, we took the metro from Joanic to Barcelona’s Arc the Triomf (changed train at Urquinaona), where we had another brush with some thieves. these two young men has been eyeing us, but thanks to ari, who seems to have 6th sense about this kinda thing, they decided to abort their mission halfway.
we walked down the Passeig de Lluis Companys, towards Parc de la Ciutadella. there were so many people enjoying the sun: on bicycles, parents pushing strollers…
Parc de la Ciutadella was packed with people. almost every square meter of the lawn was filled with sunbathers. there were people playing sticks, doing acrobatic stunts on a rubber rope hanging from tree-to-tree, couples doing acrobatic yoga… hipsters and new-age hippies were everywhere. so we joined the crowd.
kids were playing with other kids. even dogs were busy socializing with each other… i think koda would love it here; all dogs were off-leash. and they behaved so well!
and aina? well, she’s busy kicking sand and chasing birds.
after that, we were planning to visit the Museu Picasso… the people in the hostel said that the entrance fee is waived after 3pm every Sundays. free entry!
so we headed to El Born, a beautiful neighborhood next to the park, below Gothic Quarter. another pretty church, Santa Maria Del Mar, is situated right in the middle of el Born.
then, we could see the loooong lines starting from a block away from Museu Picasso. i guess we’re not the only one who has heard about the free entrance that day. so we cancelled the plan and took a tapas break instead.
we then slowly walked back to the hostel, while aina was asleep in the stroller. and even on the way home, we managed to bump into the Palau de la Música Catalana, a beautiful and highly decorated concert hall…
after a groceries shopping trip and a nap at the hostel, we went down to the common room where the hostel threw a Pizza and Sangria dinner. the staff made the sangria and baked the pizzas, while the guests chatted away… seriously, it looked like 70% of the guests were from New York City! the rest were from Canada, Germany, Singapore (us!) and two other girls who didn’t join the conversation.
the rest of today’s pictures are in the flickr’s 11 march 2012 archive.