Barcelona sightseeing trip Day 3.
We were pretty tired, yesterday we really had pushed the boat out. My poor mother must have been in agony, because when the rest of us physically-able bunch awoke, even we were struggling. Whatever we did, today would have to involve minimal walking and use of the metro to get us anywhere far.
Today would be: beach day!!
It just so happens though, that there was one place on our list that was on the way to the beach – the Picasso museum.
We packed up our provisions for the day’s trip out – towels, snacks, pillows, spare clothes etc. and jumped on the metro to Jaume I.
Getting to know Picasso
The Picasso museum is not far from the metro stop (thankfully) and the streets on the walk down are lined with quirky little shops selling souvenirs, trinkets, clothes, food, art… a real eclectic mix and great way to break up the walk. Once we got to the museum we were faced with a sight familiar to yesterday at the Sagrada Familia… a huge queue!
We all really wanted to go in, so my sister and I waited in the queue to purchase the tickets, whilst the other three went around the corner to sit and have a brew. There was no way we were going to let my mum stand around for God-knows how long. It took us around 45 minutes to get our tickets, again I was kicking myself for not thinking ahead and booking online. Nevertheless, family reunited, we headed inside.
We spent a good few hours making our way through the various exhibits and it was interesting to see the way Picasso’s work evolved throughout the years, from his youth and apprenticeship up to his later works. The museum holds over 4000 pieces from the masters collection and his collection of ‘Las Meninas’ is the only series of work on display all together in the one museum.
Once we had soaked up as much art history as we could, we were hungry. Really hungry! So hungry, in fact, that we were willing to dive into the first place we saw! So, when a local forced a flyer advertising ‘tapas from one Euro’ into our hands, we were on it! It was literally a few doors down from where we were and it looked pretty cute from the outside.
They didn’t have space straight away, but we didn’t have to wait more than a few minutes before a good-sized table became available near the back. The menu was nice and easy to read, with pictures next to each description. For each tapas dish, the price ranged from between 1-3euros on average and we really weren’t short of options. You get a piece of paper and pencil to note a tally of the dishes you’re after, which was a cool way of saving us from having to repeat the whole list of Spanish names in our not so impressive accents.
When the food arrived, there were lots of little bowls brought out on two large platters and we all got stuck in straight away. I loved it. I don’t care what anyone else thought, I really really enjoyed every dish I had. Oh how I wish I could be there right now, just ordering more and more. I can’t even do something useful and point out a few of my favourites because I genuinely enjoyed everything we had. I wouldn’t even bother looking for somewhere new next time we go, because this place gave me exactly what I expected and wanted from a tapas meal, without being overpriced. And there was the added bonus of no hassle whilst ordering.
Tummies filled, it was time for a dip in the sea and a siesta on the beach. Quick Metro trip down (didn’t want to overdo it on the walking, especially after eating), and we went back to the same area we briefly visited on our first day. Mum and Dad made themselves comfy on the loungers (7 Euros per lounger), all poised to have a nap. I took out my puzzle book to work through whilst I caught some rays and the other two headed straight for the water. After watching them out at sea, I went to join them. Now the sun was shining, so I was lulled into a false sense of security by assuming the water temperature would be toasty. But when my body hit the water, I froze, it was pretty damn cold! However, after a few quick strokes and treading water, I was fine.
We just wanted to swim and enjoy being in the sea, but there are plenty of water sports if you are interested. Paddle-boarding seems to be the ‘in’ thing at the moment and there were a number of people coasting along on them. We could see groups on banana boats in the distance and boats offering paragliding too. Another thing to note is although the beach is sand… as you get into the water it’s pretty pebble-y. If you’re a ‘walk in the water’ type of person like me you may want to just be careful when you move around.
We’d planned ahead and packed drinks and snacks for our trip down which was a good call, after swallowing a whole load of sea water (I just can’t help myself), I was in dire need of liquid refreshment and something to take the salty taste away… enter sour cream and onion Pringles (replacing one bad after taste with another, not the best move on my part).
Feeding time (again)
At around 5pm, it was starting to get cooler and people were starting to pack their loungers and umbrellas away. We decided to take taxis home this time, as we were all pretty tired again and wanted to get home with enough time to freshen up, before heading out for dinner.
Tonight, we decided to play it safe and in one of the many voucher booklets that had been left at the apartment, was a 10% voucher for a middle eastern restaurant called ‘Aladdin’s.’ Yes, we are in Spain and we should probably have been out to some of the more famous local eateries, but to be honest, we all fancied a bit of Arabic cuisine. So off we went.
Clot Metro station is just a short walk to get to the large 2 floor restaurant. My sister and the boys made themselves at home when they realised the football was playing on the big screens. The menu was exactly what we expected and we ordered our usual dishes to share: grilled meat, chicken, humus ,tabouleh. Food was good.. and I know I said I don’t like to complain, but one thing I should point out, is that the falafel we ordered was rock hard. Throw-on-the-floor-still-won’t-break kind of hard. But other than that, the food and service was all delicious.
Although the day wasn’t half as intense as the day before, we were still exhausted by the end of it.
Just one more day to go…