søndag 15. juni 2014

Barcelona, day 5!

Day 1 - Day 2 - Day 3 - Day 4

Another late start yesterday. We went to the store first (for once, usually we're rushing in less than half an hour before the store closes to buy the essentials), went back with the groceries, sat in the airconditioned apartment for a while because although it wasn't as bad as Friday, Saturday was pretty hot as well.
I put together a plan, and then we headed to the metro station around 15:00. We didn't go far; to Plaça d'Espanya, headed for the MNAC. Entry is free after 15:00 on Saturdays, so we thought we'd first pop by a cute little café/restaurant Mom and I discovered last year (but when we got there, the kitchen was closed, so I was eager to try it out now), eat, then check out the parts of the collection at MNAC we're interested in. After the museum's closing time, we planned to check out the Olympic Stadium, plus the gardens between that and MNAC, before heading back down to see the Magic Fountain - Font Màgica, and then have dinner at our friendly neighborhood restaurant, Zian.

Of course, the best laid plans and all that.
We walked from the metro station all the way up to MNAC, which resulted in pictures and videos.

The Venetian Towers, fountains and the MNAC.

The Plaça d'Espanya, Venetian Towers, Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina, Font Màgica and the Palau Nacional (which houses MNAC - Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya) were all built for the 1929 International Exhibition, and the area is now called Fira Montjuïc or Fira de Barcelona.
The Font Màgica was built on the previous location of The Four Columns. They were constructed in 1919, represented the four red stripes of the Catalan flag, and therefore were thought to become the new symbol of Catalan nationalism (Catalunya is still to this day trying to separate from the rest of Spain to become its own nation).
At the time leading up to the International Exhibition, Miguel Primo de Rivera was the Prime Minister of Spain. More like a dictator whose actions ruined the monarchy and indirectly led to the Civil War in 1936. Primo de Rivera would have none of the Catalan nationalism, and demolished The Four Columns in 1928.
In 2010, replicas of the columns were re-erected next to the Font Màgica thanks to years of campaigning by Catalanist groups and a local political party.

All the beautiful details.

The sheer size of this thing started hitting us about now.

So, so beautiful!
As I mentioned, yesterday was pretty hot, and climbing a lot of stairs in the heat was exhausting. When we finally reached the top, we were thirsty, hungry and wanted a cool place to sit and relax with some tapas.
I steered us in the direction of the gardens behind MNAC and the earlier mentioned Font del Gat.

This was a warning of things to come.

Font.. del.. Gat. Fountain of the Cat. And hey look, there's a cat drinking out of a fountain!

The entrance to the courtyard where you can sit and relax in the shade with some tapas.
We sat down, and there was a party going on. People were dressed up nicely, and there was music coming from inside. At one of the tables outside, a family sat enjoying some ice cream and coffee. We sat down. After a little while we decided I should go inside to find a waiter. I did, and he said they'd be right there. A few minutes later, a waiter came over to take our order. Irene said we'd like to order some food. "No, no food, kitchen just closed."
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I was fuming. It was 16:45, I was hella hungry, and their website said they were open 10-18 every day. Nothing about their kitchen closing earlier. Irene needed to cool down, so she ordered a beer, while I sat fuming until we left. Then I dug up some crackers from my bag and ate them on a bench in the park. That sounds nice, but it wasn't. It was hot and dry and blah. Then we walked back to the MNAC, because I'd read there was a café there.

We found another cat relaxing in the shade. Poor hot cat.
Well inside we found the café, bought a sandwich each (they were surprisingly good, considering they'd been there for a while) and a can of Coke. We devoured our food and cooled down properly while admiring our surroundings. The pictures don't do this hall justice, it was enormous.

We sat for a long time before deciding we had cooled down enough to start looking at art. Made our way to the Renaissance and Baroque collection, and most of it was .. okay, but not quite my thing. I don't think it was quite Irene's thing either - we passed through it rather quickly xD I think I'd like to take a look at the Modern Art collection, though. Maybe we'll have time for that later!
After a quick look in the gift shop, we continued on to the roof. It normally costs 3€ to go up, but it was free as well! I like that. Up on the roof, it was pretty windy, and I almost didn't notice at first, because the view was so amazing.

Which of course means it's selfie time.
As you can see, the weather was looking (and feeling) like rain, but it never came. It's too bad there were clouds right then, though, because normally you'd see clear across to Tibidabo and the Sagrat Cor (which we'll visit one of the coming days, so pics galore, guys!) - they're right behind the clouds to the right in the picture xD

We spent some time on the roof enjoying the wind until it became a bit too cold and we started feeling hungry again. That meant it was time to head over to Les Arenes - the red, round building you can see to the right in the picture. It's an old bullring (there hasn't been bullfighting there since 1977) that has been refurbished and is now a shopping mall with a cinema, rock museum and on the very top floor - outdoor restaurants with a 360 degree view of the city. We decided to go for Italian food, and ended up at La Tagliatella, where we ate delicious, delicious pasta and we're so gonna eat there again. We tried so hard to finish everything, but there was so much food and we had no more space in our bodies for delicious, delicious pasta. :(
After eating we decided to take a look in the shops - Irene needed make up remover, and I needed a concealer brush. We found what we needed, and then headed back towards the Font Màgica.

So pretty. So many people. We loved the whole mood and feeling there. Especially since yesterday was the last day of the Sònar Festival, there was music playing and it just felt like summer. So much like summer.

We managed to find someplace to sit, and just enjoyed the show (after of course taking pictures and filming). We were just spellbound by the beauty of the colors and the water that didn't even look like water all the time - sometimes it looked like fog or just.. cake, I don't know. It was so beautiful and everyone should experience it.

After the show, we went back home and then to bed. Irene was exhausted and had a bad night with fibro pains in her legs while I slept like a rock and almost missed the thunderstorm that swept through the city early this morning. Now it's 13:30 here (1:30 PM), I'm done with this blog post and Irene's out of bed. If she's up for it, we're going to see the Museu Frederic Marès and then the Museu d'Història de Barcelona at Plaça del Rei. They're both free to enter after 15:00, which is always nice. :D We'll see what the day brings, and you'll see tomorrow (or tonight, if I'm up for blogging when we get back)! :D

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