So, we are still in Day 1, picking up at the hotel, heading out into the rain to explore Barcelona. (I had planned all this in advance, except for where we would eat lunch) A stop to pick up an umbrella is needed at the largest department store I have ever seen. (More on the store later) And, I actually had my only experience with someone who didn't speak English in the store, in Spain that is. It went just fine, although I did not whip out my poor Catalan. Then we head out in the direction of the Gothic Quarter. We are huddling under the umbrella. (Well, I was huddling as he is 6'4" and I am 4'10'.) And I am reading the Rick Steves tour through the Gothic Quarter out loud. First stop was the original Roman gate which is where the old city actually started, and here is where our first taste of how old Europe really is hit us. These bricks have been here for thousands of years. So cool!
We make a quick stop in the old deacon's house and make our way over to the Cathedral. The exterior was under construction, so pictures outside weren't great. Here is one.
Here is the cool thing about the Cathedral: if you get there before noon, admission is free. So we took advantage of that. The church was large and pretty, but stuffed full of people. It didn't knock my socks off like I thought it might. We left and started wandering the Gothic Quarter because it just looked so neat. We got lost on winding streets with little tucked away cafes that advertised churros con xocolata (chocolate) which we should have taken advantage of. We nipped into a little church we had never heard of that turned out to be absolutely beautiful and was just finishing up daily mass.
We found a little square with the same name as our daughter, Veronica, and had to take a picture. And we saw Barcelona's bridge of sighs which connected the old palace and the cathedral.
By now, we were starving even though it was only noon. And people in Barcelona don't eat lunch until at least 1, so we were going to stick out like touristic sore thumbs if we ate now, but we gave in. We found a little restaurant that looked like it might be open, but was deserted. There was a waitress/bartender who said they were open and got us a table. Little did I know that if we had only waited like 30 minutes, we would have been able to enjoy the tapas at the bar for cheaper prices. Instead, we had to order off the more expensive menu. But, it was not too pricey, and we just wanted food and a bathroom. So, now I give you... our food pictures! This is bread with garlic and tomatoes rubbed into it. It is kind of like a Catalan bruscetta.
James ordered meat and potatoes. Okay, it was veal, but still. Adventurous eating is not what James enjoys.
I was more adventurous than James and ordered this which was basically chorizo, potatoes and spices in a tomato broth. Perfect for the cool, rainy day.