• 20th October 2016

Exploring Barcelona: Part Three

On our last full day in Barcelona, we were excited to explore the gothic quarter, La Rambla and the famous beach. But first, I had got wind that there was a chocolate museum…

Now anyone who knows me, and you may have figured this out for yourself if you have been following She Who Lives for a while, I’m obsessed with chocolate. I honestly find it so hard when I’m trying to have a spell of clean eating as I just have such a craving for it all the time! We found out that there was a chocolate museum in the gothic quarter when we were doing our googling before we left. Obviously, for any chocoholic, it’s a must-see.

As soon as you walk into Museu de la Xocolata the strong smell of chocolate just hits you. It’s not a really sweet smell though; this is proper chocolate, the smell of Cacao Beans and rich flavours. I had walked into my heaven. The best part is, entry is only €6 so it’s a great cheap activity! The museum is full of incredible sculptures that are all made completely out of chocolate. The detailing in some of them is incredible, one of my personal favourites being this sculpture of two children sitting under an arch. The arch had the most beautiful detail with chocolate flowers and twigs intertwined with each other. As well as admiring the range of sculptures, you can read all about the history of chocolate which I found really interesting. It was nice to educate myself on where my favourite food comes from!

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With the smell of chocolate still wafting up our noses, we reluctantly left chocolate heaven and started exploring the gothic quarter. This part of the city is amazing with its eerie buildings and cobbled streets. I loved wandering around this part of the city as most of it is closed to traffic so you can walk aimlessly without the fear of getting run over like most other parts of Barcelona (honestly, crossing the road over there is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever experienced!). In the gothic quarter, you will find the Picasso museum. We did seek this out but the queue was unlike anything I had ever seen. From the size of it, you’d think you’d be queuing to see Beyonce. It went on and on and we overheard a staff member telling the people near the back that it was a 2 hour way to get in…stuff that! We weren’t going to waste 2 hours of our day queuing, there’s just way too much to see! So, if you are off to Barcelona and the Picasso museum is something you desperately want to do, make sure you book in advance.

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After exploring the gothic quarter, we headed down to the beach. Being September, the beach wasn’t packed full of people which was really nice. You could really appreciate the view of the golden sands and the crashing waves. Of course, down by the beach you will also find Frank Gehry’s Golden Fish sculpture, El Peix. The statue was built for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and is one of the city’s most famous landmarks. To ensure we could get great views of the sculpture and indeed the coastline, we took a ride in a Ferris wheel like big kids!

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Next we ventured to Parc de la Ciutadella which is home to the magnificent Cascada fountain. Now guys, please promise me that if you are planning to visit Barcelona, you WILL seek this out! You won’t regret it. The fountain is so grand and beautiful with incredible detail. It was designed by Josep Fontsere with small contributions made by Guadi. It is said that Fontsere loosely based the design on Rome’s Trevi Fountain. It really is gorgeous and the rest of the park is definitely worth a look at. It’s a nice break away from the traffic and hustle and bustle of the rest of Barcelona. For decades, the park was the city’s only green space! In its grounds, you will also find the city zoo. We didn’t do the zoo but I imagine it would be great if you are travelling with little ones.

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By this time, it was late afternoon and we all know what that means… sangria time! This is when we decided to head to the city’s most famous street, La Rambla. The street is really picturesque and filled with bars, restaurants and all the high street shops. With it comes a lot of life and energy but please be careful if you are visiting. It is also known for its pickpocketers so watch your bags! There are plenty of restaurants which all have outdoor seating in the middle of the promenade so we sat and relaxed with a gigantic sangria each and soaked up the atmosphere. Seriously, look at the size of this sangria… They were 15 euros each but hey, we were on holiday!

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It’s safe to say that we were a bit tipsy after this but we really wanted to squeeze one more thing into our day and that was touring the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona’s opera house. This was only a 25 minute tour and we were trying to take in as much as we can but I for one was walking around a bit wobbly. It was fun though! Never been to an opera house drunk before! But seriously, the interior really is pretty. Incredibly, it has suffered two fires and a bombing in its lifetime but the beautiful architecture, paintings and décor are still standing. I felt like we were a little cheated as we were on the last tour of the day and so I don’t think it was only meant to be 25 minutes yet we were charged full price. What’s more, there was a rehearsal going on so when we were touring the actual theatre, it was pretty difficult to hear what the guide was saying! Regardless, it was fun to do and I really did love admiring all the architecture.

For our last night in Barcelona, we decided to splash out on a nice dinner and asked the hotel reception staff to recommend a good seafood restaurant. We got directed to Terra Ca La Nuri. Located near Girona metro, this restaurant offers the tastiest looking seafood around and after looking through the menu, I went straight for the mixed seafood paella. Ollie had the baby lobster paella and oh my god, they were both gorgeous. Without a doubt, THE best paella I have ever tasted. The rice was beautifully soft and fluffy, all the seafood was juicy and fresh and the whole dish had the saltiness of the ocean. I’d really recommend seeking this one out if you are looking for somewhere nice to eat. They do great little puddings as well 😉

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So this pretty much brings our Barcelona adventure to an end! The next morning, we wandered around the city one last time and visited Mango and Zara to spend the last few Euros we had! Well, it would be rude not to spend all our holiday money!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this three part blog. Next time, I will be posting a round-up of some of my favourite photos from the trip so stay tuned!

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