10/27/2018 - 10/27/2018
I woke up at 8:30, which is super-late for me. My feet were dead tired from all the walking I've been doing the past few days.
It took a while for me to fully wake up, get organized, check out, and get out the door, so by the time I was at my friend's hotel, the morning was almost over.
From there, I decided to head over to some of the museums that I hadn't seen yet. I really wanted to see the Picasso museum, had free entry, and figured that a rainy day was perfect for it. But hundreds of others thought the same way. The line was out the door, down the block, and then I couldn't see where it ended.
So I stopped by the Chocolate Museum, which I also had free entry to. It was worth it for the entry ticket- a chocolate bar. But otherwise, it wasn't so great. They had a few informational pieces on the walls with a few chocolate-history-related artifacts, but most of the museum was dedicated to sculptures in chocolate. Seeing a mini-Messi made of chocolate isn't really worth the normal admission price.
I grabbed lunch nearby at a restaurant with homemade ravioli that could have been a bit more aldente, and headed over to Montjuic to see the Joan Miro museum via a long detour through town.
Having eaten enough that I wasn't going to want everything I saw, I visited the Santa Caterina market. It's a small market that looks like there are locals as well as tourists. It has enough space to move about and sells meats, cheeses, breads, and produce. I saw an olive stand and thought I'd see if they had the grandma's recipe olives that I loved so much from the other night. By my luck, they did! I got some to take home. If I had checked luggage, I probably would have bought the whole gallon tin.
I then headed over to the more famous market on Las Ramblas- La Boqueria.
It's a madhouse.
Tourists fill every inch of the aisleways. The produce is pre-cut for the most part, so that tourists can grab it an eat as they walk. They also sell some cheeses and meats, but have a lot of little bars selling prepared food. I don't think I saw a single local there, and I understand why. The prices were aimed at tourists, the crowds were insane, and the food didn't look any better or worse than what they had at other smaller markets (like Santa Caterina, which is only a few blocks away.) Personally, I much preferred the Santa Caterina market and would recommend that over La Boqueria, at least until it turns into Boqueria part 2.
I rambled down Las Ramblas, although in the rain, not a whole lot was going on. Mostly tourists bustled from place to place. Even the guys standing outside the tent restaurants weren't putting in effort to draw people in. The restaurants were mostly empty, despite their signs indicating their super-fabulous deal of 2 tapas and a pizza or paella for 10 euro (just like all the rest of the places).
I had been super-excited by the mosaic on Las Ramblas, but wasn't as excited when I finally arrived at the Joan Miro museum and saw what was inside.
I enjoy modern art, but not the stuff like White on White that looks like a kindergartner didn't even put effort into it. Also, there was no artsy toilet. It's not truly a modern art museum until there is at least one piece of work that involves a toilet. Fortunately, I also had free admission to this museum.
For anyone thinking about getting the BarcelonaCard- I did the math ahead of time and this was the best deal based on what I expected to do. Overall, I ended up about breaking even on the BarcelonaCard. Had I gotten it at the airport and used the transport for the first day, or gone to the Picasso museum or some of the others I planned on, I would have come out slightly ahead.
At the Miro museum, my friend indicated that she was stuck in the hotel room with the baby again. So, I stopped by Little Italy to pick up some gelato for use to enjoy at the hotel.
My time in Barcelona was coming to an end. I had a good time, saw a lot, but didn't see everything, and am definitely excited to come back at some future date to check out what I missed. I just feel bad that the baby didn't end up traveling better and so my friends didn't get to see quite as much.