We had an extremely full day, but it didn’t start rested. I slept to 3:30am, then lay awake until 6:00. I didn’t think I’d ever fall back asleep, but at 8:15 Ellen woke up and sounded the alarm that we were late (for us).
We took advantage of the kitchen, so breakfast was scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, toast, yogurt, orange juice and coffee/tea. We enjoyed preparing and eating the food, and loved enjoying it in the privacy in our own apartment. We left our apartment at 9:30, not to return until after 10:30 at night!
First stop was the biggest tourist attraction in Barclona, La Sagrada Familia. It was about a 20 minute walk from our apartment, giving us our first real daytime exposure to the city. We had to wait in line about 1/2 an hour, a reminder to us to start earlier as we usually do to reduce waiting as much as possible. Construction of the church began in 1882, with only about 15 years left until scheduled completion. It has fantastic spires and facades on the outside, all in one color stone. The inside, however, bursts with color from stained glass and gold treatments. Even if you’ve seen a lot of European churches, this one stands out.
Next stop was a Gaudi apartment building, La Padera. It had a shorter line than the church, but it moved much slower. The roof of the building has crazy sculptures that cover ventilation shafts. It also offers great views of the city, including the church.
We then picked up a Frommer’s walking tour, past the Gaudi building we saw last night, and joining Las Ramblas. We both found souvenirs, Ellen at Thomas Sabo and me at the FCBarcelona store. Our walk then took us to the market on Los Ramblas. We enjoyed the site, smells and color.
Ellen’s feet needed a rest, so we found an outdoor cafe to get a cerveza and cava. We researched the guide book and TripAdvisor to pick tonight’s dinner. We selected Cafe de L’Academia. It was a 10 minute walk, so not touristy. We thought we were arriving shortly before their 8:30pm opening, but they opened at 8. A small restaurant, they were fully booked but offered us seats at the bar. We had a bottle of cava and salads. Ellen had cod, and I had salmon stuffed with mozzarella and tomatoes. The food was delicious, and we enjoyed watching the waiters deliver food, drinks and prepare espressos.
Tired from the long day, we made first use of the subway, paying €2 each to ride back to near our hotel. It was a great day for sightseeing, and we certainly made the most of it. Some rest now before we start all over again tomorrow.