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!
Next: ACHING FROM FLAMENCO… AND MY SHOES (9)
Full Barcelona/Lisbon SERIES
Marissa_Travel Greece, Travel Europe
I’ve been to Barcelona and really loved it. There’s so much to see and do and yes, I imagine these little villages like Poble that are so beautiful to get lost in. Nice photos!
Loved Poble, it’s like an architectural presentation of the country, so charming. 🙂 Thank you!
What a rich day you had! I’ve done something similar, start in Las Rambla, walk down to the sea, up to the castle, then down through the art district. Amazing architecture at every turn. Had a fabulous time, and I see you did too!
Thanks for the photos. You have a keen eye.
So glad I’ve reminded you of your day in Barcelona! 🙂 Thanks!
Beautiful! I’ve been to Spain last year – Barcelona and a day trip to Montserrat and it was one of our best trips ever! The food was great and architecture really charming!
I can see we had the same impression. 😉 Thanks for stopping by!
Wow! Barcelona is my love! I spent there wonderful days. Thank You!
Me too, thanks! 🙂
We loved Barcelona, but didn’t get enough time to really explore everything.We didn’t get to see Santiago or Placa Major. But raced around and saw La Sagrada Famila, Casa Batlló, Casa Milà, La Monumental and Montijuic, tour of Park Güell, watched the sunset at Turo dela Rovira viewpoint and
took in a Tablao Cordobes Flamenco Show. We are already trying to head back there this year. You now pointed out some more stops to pencil in.
Oh, I know how it is – there’s always a lack of time when in a place like this, so many things to see! Thanks! 🙂
Not surprised your feet hurt! I’m lucky to have been to Barcelona a few times, it really is a beautiful city, I just wish the people were a bit nicer. If you do get to Andalucia, you will notice the difference. Hope your feet have recovered!
Didn’t know that there is such a difference, thanks! And about my feet… check out the last Glimpse of Barcelona on my blog, just hit “Glimpses” in the upper menu. 😉 Thank you Matt! 🙂
I loved Barcelona and this certainly sounds like a full day there! I went to Montjuic, but I didn’t get to see the Spanish Village. It sounds really interesting. I’ll check it out on my next trip to Barcelona.
Glad you like it, thanks! 🙂
Heard and read a lot about Barcelona and how it is a must visit city in Spain. You had a super awesome day there. I feel there’s a lot to learn from the history of the place. Would love to visit Spain sometime.
You’ll see it all when you go, and it seems you are well prepared for it! 😉