The next day we headed to the Picasso museum and saw everything from the paintings he began as a teenager to the paintings in his later years with cubism. My favorite of this museum were the series of paintings he titled Las Meninas (after a famous painting from the 1800’s). A temporary/visiting Dali exhibit was attached to the museum as well and we got to see the comparisons between the two artists.
After the museum, we revisited the cathedral Santa Maria del Mar, famous for the 1714 war of secession, with the loss of Catalans, the cease-fire took place at the church. Following the church, we walked around that area, Born street, and saw the excavations that lie beneath the city. The ruins of the Romans, the middle ages, and the new Barcelona are all layered on top of one another underground.
The Parque Guell was our next stop, after climbing the largest uphill I have ever seen (steps on steps on steps) we arrived in the beautiful and sandy park designed and inspired by Gaudi, with beautiful structures and buildings that sit high up in the mountains of Barcelona. The view from the top was incredible and we could see everywhere we had already visited in Barcelona from the top. We also picnicked in the park under the palm trees.
After the park we toured la Casa Pedrero, also designed by Gaudi. It’s placed right along one of the popular streets of Barcelona, la calle Garcia, where many high-end shops are located. The house is still used as apartments and office space but the architecture is beautiful and the roof access and top few floors are used for tours and exhibitions. The audio tour took us through the rooms sort of how Biltmore does, and we saw all of Gaudi’s beautiful designs, down to the smallest detail like his hand-made specialty door knobs that fit to a hand and the odd-looking wood carved chairs.
Undoubtedly the longest day so far, we finished it with the freedom of dinner wherever we wanted to go. A few of us went to La Plaza Real and watched a few street performers while we ate outside at Tobagan and ordered a dish very similar to Paella, but with different noodles, I believe mine was called Fideguay.
Lastly, the group all came together to try out a club right on the beaches of Barcelona. The beaches were crowded because this was the night of a huge fireworks festival as well, and it was such a fun experience (even American music haha).
The following day we rode the train for an hour to the cable car that took us up to Montserrat. This had to have been my favorite day so far. We rode the cable car up 1,350 feet to view the beautiful Montastery, where young boys can still attend a school and choir. We rode the Ferniuclar to the top of Montserrat from there and then hiked an hour down the mountain, stopping at little shrines and crosses along the way, enjoying undeniably the most breath-taking view I have ever seen in my life, no exaggeration. Many venders were along the streets back down in the main area offering samples of cheese and honey made directly below the mountain by local famers. After spending the whole day in Montserrat, the whole group ate at la Plaza Real in the restaurant Crema ______? And I tried duck for the first time and was very pleased!
Next stop…Zaragoza y Madrid!