Nous aurions pu prendre le chemin de Barcelona de bonne heure, mais récupérant a peine du décalage horaire nous avons préférer profiter un peu plus de notre sommeil. Du coup au lieu de prendre le train de France, ma maman nous a propose de nous emmener a Puycerda vu que le train y est bien moins cher. Nous avions environ 3h de train qui sont finalement passées rapidement. Ma plus grosse surprise c'est que les agents de police ont demande a voir nos papiers. Je n'ai plus l'habitude de ça en Europe mais il parait que c'est normal. J'ai par contre bien aime la présence du journal du jour en Catalan sur chaque place qui m'a permit de me replonger un peu dans cette langue.
Nous sommes arrives a Barcelone en milieu d’après-midi sur la Plaza de Catalunya. Nous aurions pu prendre le métro mais avons préférer marcher. J’étais un peu parano a cause de nos sac et du fait que nous suivions les ramblas, mais nous n'avons finalement eu aucun problèmes et avons facilement trouvé notre B&B La Princesa, a proximité de la place Jaume.
Two days after our arrival, we were already leaving France. Knowing that there would be a lot of family time, we had made the decision to get a little romantic week-end together. My grand-mother was happy, she now had the perfect Christmas present for us: to help us do it.We could have headed to Barcelona early, but barely recovering from jet lag, we voted for sleep instead. In turn my Mom decided to drive us to Puycerda to take the train instead of taking it from France, it was much cheaper. We had about 3 hours of train and they went by fast. Ma biggest surprise was that the police asked to see our papers in the train. I'm not used to that anymore in Europe but it seems to be normal practice. I did however enjoy the Catalan newspaper at every seat which allowed me to get reacquainted with the local language.
As soon as we got there, Hubby found a way to try a Spanish beer by going to a small supermarket in our street. And then what did we do? Well run of course. I had spotted a few running spots before leaving. So we did a small 3.69 mi run via the tiny street of the Born that took us to and around the Parc de la Ciutadella. The coolest thing was in fact running to the top of the monumental fountain of the Park.
We then went under the Triumphal Arch of the city. We came back via Calle Princessa. While I didn't take any pictures of the park that day, I came back on the last one because it was a beautiful park that really made us enjoy urban running.
As night fell, we decided to follow my littler brother's advice, since he lived in Barcelona for two years, and "go get lost in the Old City". I should also say that our accommodation was a stone throw away from the medieval streets and the rampart of the city which happens to be in great condition.
We checked out the Cathedral. Somehow we managed to only see it by night which is a shame, especially since there is a cloister accessible during the day that we ended up not seeing. It is however a beautiful Gothic cathedral with a rood screen separating the choir from the nave.
We then found ourselves at the Ministry of Catalan Culture if my memory is correct. The building couldn't have been more appropriate. A little court with a waterfall, a monumental staircase at the top of which was a wooden ceiling, my photo does not give it justice.
The old blends with the new since at the bottom of the staircase was a door whose style reminded me of some doors of the Sagrada Familia.
We had a glimpse of the City History Museum where one can see the roots of the city's roman past. Then around a dead end (Carrer Parad's, 10) we saw a beautiful stained-glass window, curious we went on the other side...
In front of us: four roman columns. 2000 years of history and 18 feet above us. It's all that's left of the Temple of Augustus, the heard of the roman forum. A real surprise for us. Had we looked for them that we would not have found them.
After this small journey in the past, we admired the Christmas lights while following the small streets all the way to the Rambla. The Ramblas (since there are three Rambla) are located between Christopher Columbus column and the Plaza de Catalunya. I had the memory of a crowded avenue full of activity, but out of the main touristic season it was in fact fairly quiet. The advantage was that no one bothered us, the disadvantage that there were few merchants.
|Marchant de fleurs/ Flower seller|
We went all the way down to Christopher Columbus column. I find it amusing that he points towards the Mediterranean when in fact it's the Atlantic that he crossed.
Bosc de les Fades. Ambiance a la Disney, effet souterrain, si il n'y avait pas de place dans la partie bois, nous avons commande a boire et nous sommes assis dans la section Musée de Cire. C’était sympa bien que peut être un peu touristique?
We were ready to have a drink, so following my brother's recommendation we went close by to the Bosc de les Fades. Disney like atmosphere and cave style, if there was no seats left in the wooden style section, we did orderd drinks and sat in the Wax Museum area. It was fun although maybe a little touristic?
After that we went to eat at La Candela, I'll talk about it separately. Since we were still very much awake, we kept on walking. Hubby did awesome on this one, because he rememberd a band setting up earlier. So we went back toward the Cathedral and found ourselves Place del Rei.
There was indeed a band, they were playing traditional music. Not only were they playing, but the passerby would join the party to dance the Sardana. It was awesome to watch. We tried to dance too. But while I'm not a good dancer, Hubby is even worse. So he gave up while I ridiculed myself happily. A really pleasant moment, a winter night on an historic plaza.