We started the day in the Barri Gòtic, the old Gothic neighborhood of Barcelona. After checking out the interesting architecture and running into a very lively parade for the soccer team, we went looking to find people dancing a Catalan traditional danced called the Sardana.
It took us quite a long time to find Carrer de Montsio, the street where a restaurant called 4Gats (Les Quatre Gats or The Four Cats) is. Eventually with the help of some directions from a few Barcelonians, we found it shortly after 2pm. This moderniste cafe was founded in 1897 and is famous for its relationship with Picasso when he lived in Barcelona (he designed a menu and came often to the place). Its name means “4 cats”, which is a Spanish expression meaning “a few unimportant persons”. The food is Catalan, which is to say it has both Spanish and French influences. The green Spanish olives were great – normally I don’t care for green olives, but I like the ones in Spain. I loved my tuna with tomatoes, potatoes, and onions. Nicole’s sea bass was tasty but had lots of bones which was annoying.
After lunch, we took Metro Línia 5 (blue) to get to La Sagrada Família. In the words of Wikipedia:
it is a Roman Catholic basilica and the last, and perhaps most extraordinary, of the designs of the Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudí. Gaudí worked on the project for over 40 years, devoting the last 15 years of his life entirely to this endeavour; on the subject of the extremely long construction, Gaudí is said to have joked, “My client is not in a hurry.”
Then we went on to Casa Milà:
Casa Milà, better known as La Pedrera (Catalan for ‘The Quarry’), is a building designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and built in the years 1905 to 1907. It is located at 92, Passeig de Gràcia (‘passeig’ is Catalan for promenade or avenue) in the Eixample district of Barcelona…
The building does not have any straight lines. Most people consider it magnificent and overwhelming — some say it is like waves of lava or a sand-dune. This building seems to break our understanding of conventional architecture. The most astonishing part is the roof with an almost lunar appearance and dreamlike landscape.
The building can be considered more of a sculpture than a regular building. Critics remark on its detachment from usefulness, but others consider it to be art. The Barcelonese of the time considered it ugly, hence the “quarry” nickname, but today it is a landmark of Barcelona.
Then on to Casa Batlló, another work of Antoni Gaudí:
Casa Batlló (pronounced Casa Batyo) is a building designed by Antoni Gaudí and built in years 1905–1907; located at 43, Passeig de Gràcia (passeig is Catalan for promenade or avenue), part of the Illa de la Discòrdia in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
The local name for the building is Casa dels ossos (house of bones), and indeed it does have a visceral, skeletal organic quality. It was originally designed for a middle-class family and situated in a prosperous district of Barcelona.
Not sure what this building is, but I thought it looked cool:
Some shots of the Eixample at night:
We found a nice tapas place called La Bodegueta. With Casa Batlló on your left, take left on Carrer D’Aragó, go 1 block and take right on Rambla de Catalunya by Pedro del Hierro (PdH). Go 3 blocks.
Rambla de Catalunya, 100
Surtido de embutidos
Tortilla (egg & potato omelette)
2 copas de Cava Rosat @ 1.50 €. (Cava is a sort of Spanish champagne)
Later on we had dessert at La Poma – namely Canaletas – vanilla & almond ice chips, er, ice cream with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.