Exploring Barcelona

We all slept through the night. Thank god. This made for a pleasant morning, eating breakfast and planning our first outing.

Today, our goal was to get out and see Barcelona. The best way to do that is a combination of walking and driving around. We wandered through our Gracia neighborhood and made our way to the Mercat de Santa Caterina. The walk provided glimpses of quaint side streets with loads of charm.


The photo on the right is the Casa Milà apartment building designed by Gaudí. The photo on the right is a typical side street in Barcelo


The Mercat area is an indoor market with fresh fish, meat and vegetables

Mercat de Santa Caterina.

My husband likens it to San Pedro Square in our home town of San Jose, California. We found a nice tapas restaurant outside the market for lunch. We sat under the umbrellas to keep out of the hot afternoon sun but enjoy the coastal breeze. A local took a special interest in our meal. He walked right up to our table, declared, “Mas importante,” grabbed our leftover shrimp tales, threw them in his mouth and then walk away. Before we could say “Do you work here?” he disappeared around the street corner.




Next, we headed over to GoCar. Classified as scooters, these three-wheel vehicles are great for the tourist industry. They remind me of that forgotten 1970s Hanna-Barbera cartoon, Speed Buggy. As you drive, an integrated GPS system provides directions along with historical insights. We’d tried GoCar in San Francisco and knew it’d be a great way to see Barcelona. We signed up for the three-hour tour. This might seem like a long time but you do stop along the way and to take in the view.




We drove around the Sagrada Familia, La Rambla, La Boqueira, MNAC, Poble Espanyol, Olympic Stadium, Montjuic, Port Vell, Port Olympic, and the main Barelona beaches on the Mediterranean. A good overview of what the city has to offer. And it was fun to drive with the locals but made me rethink renting a scooter for the month.

Olympic stadium

Sagrada Familia

Torre Glòries (the lipstick building)

View of Barcelona

The Columbus Monument is a 60 m tall monument to Christopher Columbus at the lower end of La Rambla, Barcelona.


On our walk back to the apartment, we came across the The Arc de Triomf which was built as the main access gate for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair. We also stopped at a couple shops. Ryan found his favorite and wanted to bring home Han Solo Carbonite.


By the time we got back to our apartment, it was 8:30 pm. Our feet hurt and we were in desperate need of some libations and dinner. As we ate, we researched the metro system.

Our first day out was a success and gave us a great taste of what Barcelona has to offer.

Tomorrow, we’ll take a closer look at a well-known landmark and take in a fútbol game! Ole!