Was so excited to go to the Montjuic mountain! Had a great day ahead of me, and have decided to begin my wanders from the beach!
Sure, it was late November, not the swimming season, but it was sunny and breezy – just perfect for a walk!
Went strolling once again down La Rambla (you can never get enough of that street!), bought another one of those fresh juices at La Boqueria market and just walked down to the seaside.
Do you know that feeling when in bustling cities, when everybody around you rushes to work, looking at their watches, waving for taxis or honking their car horns, while you just enjoy strolling with juice in your hand, calm and excited because of what’s coming that day! That was me that morning!
Got few of those hola, chiquita along the way, did the “holas” back and gave myself 15 minutes or so to enjoy looking at the sea.
Had big day ahead of me, a lot of walking, still in my small heels and with heavy camera around my neck.
Views, castle and palaces
Took the Funicular, the aerial cable ride and went up. Beautiful view from the terrace towards the marina of the city. Did not have enough time for all those gardens I have heard about, but went strolling around the castle of the Military History Museum. Imposing huge building with strong walls and arched bridge.
Not far away, there is charming Pallaceta Albeniz with lovely fountain in the courtyard. It is the residence of the Spanish Royal family on their visits to Barcelona.
There is also Palau Nacional with the enormous hall in the center and one of the largest organs in Europe.
The Museu d’Art Catalunya is hosted here.
Charm of Poble Espanyol
But, what I was excited about the most when coming to Montjuic is actually the Poble Espanyol (Spanish Town). It was built in 1929 for the World Exhibition as a unique project of full sized 117 replica-buildings grouping different architectural styles of all Spain. It is a genuine architectural museum!
Most buildings are given away to restaurants and arts centers. The Placa Major is made of buildings in style of Aragon, Burgos, Navarra, Catalonia, Soria, Castilla, with Valderobres Town Hall dominated it.
One of the highlights is the Tablao de Carmen, typical Andalusian tablao (dance floor) offering flamenco shows. Number of nightclubs open here after the rest of the village is closed. The main square hosts outdoor concerts during summer, but the village also houses various festivals and acts.
Oh, just clapped my hands in excitement when remembered my plans for flamenco show tomorrow night! It was not going to be here, but at the theater in La Rambla, but either way…
Lovely Arco de Maya
Was a bit tired already, since I have been walking for hours without any stops.
It all seems close at the Montjuic, but it’s not, not really. But still, look at this village!
Steps of Santiago surrounded by a group of Galician houses. Caballeros Street, evoking Castillan villages, leads off from the other side of the square, and from Arco de Maya another street recalls Navarran Basque architecture.
That arch is so charming, don’t know where to look first.
In the Aragonese Square there is the bell tower of Utebo, and than the Andalusian and Catalonian districts begin. Valencia and Murcia are also represented around Levante Street. Outside the walls there is a Romanic Monastery and church in the style of Catalonian Pyrenees…
Oh well, now I can say that I have seen the whole of Spain, at least its architecture. Without even leaving Barcelona! Funny thought.
But let me tell you – just strolling around those narrow steps in Arcos Street made me even more impatient to visit Al Andalus soon. (Which I did couple of years later. You can now read the whole Andalusia series on the blog as well.)
That mixture of cultures, its charm, art, architecture, history… Soon, fingers crossed!
My plan for this day now seemed a bit overwhelming. This was the perfect place to have a break and sit for tapas and glass of sangria wine. Just looking around from one of the balconies of the restaurants was mesmerizing.
Love these moments when I travel!
And so, let’s “summarize” the day so far. Great morning, beautiful views, have seen a lot of lovely gardens and buildings, sitting in Poble Espanyol’s restaurant, having lunch at that moment. Couple of hours left to wrap up my visit for the day and preferably walk back to the hotel. Enough time, I thought. Should I tell you that my plan was to see Joan Miro’s Museum that afternoon?
Mentioned already (in the previous Glimpse) that I was queuing there for an hour, waiting to get in, and it took another hour to quickly go through the exhibition since closing time was approaching. Ambitious plan for the day, indeed. My feet did hurt. And I was a bit surprised by it, to be honest. Have been working out for years, love to walk and do it so often back home, but this was such strange feeling – my feet did hurt. Wrong shoes maybe?
Anyway, there was no way to walk back to the hotel, I was up on my feet for almost 12 hours, except for those short breaks at the beach and in Montjuic’s restaurant. Was not even going out that night… Just went to the metro station and smiled widely when finally reached the hotel!
Full Barcelona/Lisbon SERIES