Saturday, April 23, 2011

Barcelona 3

Our last full day in Barcelona we struck out on our own. That is our usual procedure after we have had time to get acclimated.
After another good breakfast, at the Hotel, we walked 5 short blocks to "Palau Musica Catalana" ( the Palace of Music). This is a must see on nearly every ones list.
We had been warned that the English speaking tour( only one per day) was sold out but we wanted to get the closest tour, timing) available. The 10:30 Catalan tour was open and so we booked space, along with some other non-Spanish speaking people. As a German friend, we had met the day before, said, the architecture and decorations are in no language. The building, is impressive and we'll worth a hour of little understandable communication. The preview film is in several languages and our guide did give one or two instructions in English. I was not only impressed with the hall, the most rococo place I have ever seen( bright, colorful and a terrific example of the time and art that flourished a century of more ago), but also with the acoustics and sight lines. A women's chorus was practicing while we were there. The building, especially the interior has to be seen.
From there it was on to "Mercat Santa Caterina", a new, much brighter and less crowded food market, with striking architecture, wider aisles but a sparkling array of food.
I talked Marilyn into spending a couple of hours at the "Museum for the City" and I am very glad we did. After a video, tracing the history f Barcelona, from pre-historic times we walked down a ramp and were immediately transported back to "Barsco", the original Roman walled city built on that site, of present day Barcelona, in 200 to 400 AD. It was one of the most complete archaeological excavations I have ever seen. The viewing is all on a metal and glass walkway suspended above and covers, in my estimation, about 3 full acres, maybe more. I was blown away. All the excavation is under a present day Plaza and city streets

Lunch beckoned and I though a smart move would be to walk back to "L'Academia" and ask for another suggestion. Low and behold the metal curtain was down, as they do not serve lunch on Saturday. Marilyn had stoped by a shop, in the neighborhood and thought we should ask the proprietor. Interesting experience as he spoke little or no English and we no Catalan. English, French and Spanish had him drawing a map and 15 minutes later we were seated At "Parellada" Argenteria, 37 Tel 93 310 50 94, a definitely up scale room with a mixed clientele, soccer fans to business people. Conversation, halting, with the adjoining tables made us realize the difference with Spanish lunch( 3 or 4 large courses) and our usual repast. We split a very large salad and a grilled sole with nut crust. Both very nice.
Since it was the last night, with our shipmates from California, and since they enjoy, slightly "upscale" I booked a table for 8:30 that evening.
The rest of the afternoon was spent getting ourselves in shape for our return flight. Marilyn bought a book and got her glasses fixed, temporarily, and then is was sorting and pre-packing time.
"Parellada" must have a tourist following as the hallway was full at 8:30 but they handled us well. We chose several dishes we had seen at lunch. We, the table, tried the local fried potato strips with two dipping sauces. I a Paella Pan, this time filled with very thin chopped noodles, slightly crispy and garnished with scampi, while Marilyn ended her Barcelona dining with a beautify roasted half duck.
The table shared wine and two desserts, as had become our custom, and we left full, happy and promising to return to Barcelona.

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