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Report 1970: Three Travellers in the Costa del Sol, Barcelona and Paris

By Doug Phillips from Canada, Fall 2011

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Page 5 of 8: Barcelona - Activities

photo by Doug Phillips

Casa Vicens, an early Gaudi commission

What did we do in Barcelona? Well, mostly we walked. On our first day, following one of our guidebooks, we did a walking tour of the Barri Gotic area, starting at Plaça Nova in front of the cathedral and ending about three hours later at Plaça Angel. The walking tour took us very close to our apartment at the opposite end of the Barri Gotic.

Early the next morning we walked over to the Ramblas. The most interesting part of this well-known area is La Boqueria market, a large covered market adjacent to, and about mid-way along, the Ramblas. I was also drawn to the popular flower stalls along the pedestrian area of the street and there are some attractive squares off the Ramblas, but as for the rest of the Ramblas, once is enough.

Our longest walk was mainly an architectural tour through L’Eixample and Gracia. Personal highlights were a variety of early Gaudi buildings and the unusual Parc Guell. I suppose everybody wants to see La Sagrada Familia, but it doesn’t rank very high with me.

Early one evening we walked over to and through the most attractive Parc de la Ciutadella. We spent some time at the nearby Port Vell and I had a very enjoyable morning on my own in Barceloneta, while my companions went shopping.

During our short time in Barcelona we had limited time to sample the restaurants of the city. We had intended to go to a different restaurant each evening but dined at L'Antic Bocoi del Gotic three times by mutual agreement. Everything about the restaurant is exceptional - the setting (inside the ruins of the Roman wall), the staff and especially the wonderful Catalan food - a unique experience for us. Also, the prices are very reasonable. If you plan to be in Barcelona, I would urge you to go to this restaurant. It is perhaps not the easiest restaurant to find - on the street leading up the hill off Plaça del Traginers, just behind the main post office, but well worth the effort.

We were also very pleased with our decision to try the very casual Bo de B. We had noticed lineups at the take-away window previously and decided to drop in to see what the fuss was all about. Well, it's great! Liz and Meredith had a fully stuffed vegetarian baguette each, I had the smoked salmon salad plate. The total was €13. Considering the amount of smoked salmon on my plate, I couldn't have made this salad at home in Canada for the €7 price. Service is friendly and efficient, but they are very busy. Immediately to the left of the main post office in Barcelona. Go there if you're in the city.

Our Barri Gotic location was excellent for most of our excursions and our experiences with the Barcelona Metro were uniformly positive.

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