Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 5 | Barcelona August 30

Woke up- grabbed Starbucks, and we hit the sidewalks to head to La Rambla. This is the main touristy street. We were really excited to go there, but upon arrival we realized it was much like any tourist trap in a city, aka Pier 39. We didn't take a ton of pictures here- but the street was full of people, crazy/scary street performers, and people selling kazoo-type noise makers.

trying to encourage use of a toilet

I wanted to bring home a sibling for Riley
We quickly got off La Rambla to head to the Catalan Concert Hall, or Palau de la Musica Catalan. This was a concert hall designed by Mutaner. He was a Modernism architect/designer. The place was amazing. Our tour book said it was hard to get tickets, but we were able to get them with no problem. Plus we both still had our student IDs, so it was cheaper (shame on us).

The tour started with a film that described the history of the building, Mutaner, and the city. I thought it was fascinating. Ryan fell asleep.

We then went into the main concert hall. It was breathtaking. It was colorful, but not over-the-top. Since this is a private building, they do not let you take photos. So here are some I found on google images.

this was on the ceiling. They called it the water drop. From the bottom looking up, it looked like the sun.
There was so much to take in and look it. From the columns, to the window and even the stage. They also had an organ, that is now electronic, which they played for us. It was the closest thing to a concert we'd get to see, so we were stoked. After the tour, we went outside to take photos of the building. The hall is in the Ribera area, which is older, so all of the streets are narrow. Very narrow. Which made it hard to get a full photo- but you'll get the gist.

The front

The side. There use to be a church here, but they knocked it down so you could see the side. Then they put up this glass wall.
We walked around La Ribera for a bit- we liked it over here more than anywhere we had been in Barcelona.

knock-off zhu zhu pets!
Then it was back to La Rambla. We walked a bit further down, but were hungry. We knew the food places on La Rambla would be expensive, so we ventured in a bit to the Raval area. And scored! We found a Mexican place, and found a seat outside. They had margaritas and guacamole, so I was a happy girl!

Ryan adjusting our filters

this made my day!
Ryan's burrito
After a fantastic meal, we got back on La Rambla, and then quickly finished the street tour.

at the end- finally!
When we were at the TI office the day before, we grabbed a brochure of Go Car's- little scooter cars you can rent. We thought it would be a fun thing to do, so we ventured back to La Ribera area to rent one.

We found the place easy enough- and filled out all the paperwork. Turns out, our licenses don't really count over there, so they said if we were pulled over, we could be fined. Oh well. The car worked like a motorcycle, but we realized neither of us have really ever driven one. Ryan decided to be the driver, and I was the co-pilot. The car was equipped with a GPS system that took you on a route depending on how long you wanted to be out. She also told little factoids along the way.

As we turned out of the shop an onto the main street, we realized we had NO CLUE what any of the street signs meant. It was scary for a minute or two. Ryan just decided to follow the taxi's. I think we only ran a few red lights, went down a bus lane for a few blocks- but other than that, we were cool!

have no clue what that sign on the right means...

la Sagrada Familia on the horizon
having fun!
La Sagrada Familia
And, a video:

After about 50 minutes of sheer joy, the trip turned sour. Our lovely GPS told us to turn, but we weren't in the correct lane to do so. Unfortunately, the next option to turn was quite a ways away. When we were finally able to do so, we anticipated our trusty GPS would let us know how to get back. Not so. She assumed since we missed the turn that we wanted to explore, so she decided turn off. Crap.

You paid by 10 min. increments. We think the failed GPS and poor location was a smart marketing move.

After the fun/horrible car ride, we wanted to get back to the hotel so I could change into church wear to tour the Cathedral of Barcelona.

the "r" of Barcelona
the C
We got back to the hotel, opened our room and realized it was clean. Which was not the way we left it. We had stuff everywhere, and we didn't want the housekeeping staff to have to deal with our mess, so we put up the do not disturb sign. We got back, and the sign was hanging on the inside of the door. I picked it up to inspect it further. It had two sides. One for do not disturb. The other for clean our room. Oops. We felt so bad. The room was seriously a disaster.

all clean.
We then went to the Cathedral of Barcelona. It's a Gothic church that was built in the 14th century. We walked through the inside, then the outside cloister.

pardon the crane.

electrical prayer candles. original to the building.
locking his bag to fend off thieves.
ducks in the cloister. cute- but stinky.
After the church tour, we went to Starbucks. duh.

We then went to the coolest department store ever. El Corte Ingles. Which stands for The English cuff. This place has everything. From designer clothes, to a grocery store, to a travel agency, to music stuff, to toys. It is huge. And oh so fun!

One of the three stores on on street.

We had fun looking around, and were fascinated by the anatomically correct dolls. If we had kids, we would have brought these home with us. Kinda creepy we took a photo, but I know you all think it is cool too!

After exploring the store, we grabbed some food, and went to bed. Adios!


  1. love the video. you guys are brave!

  2. that car looks FUN!

    and ps - all of your pictures look really good. A+ for learning how to use your DSLR! :)

  3. The car ride was fun. Although, I just realized Ryan edited some of the details about that ride. Oh well.

    And. some of these photos are Ryan's too. But, we are getting better.


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