Sunday, May 16, 2010

Barcelona - Bari Gothic and Palau Musica Tours

We took a guided tour of the old part of Barcelona called the Bari Gothic. An exuberant guide described the many churches and Spanish history including the Roman origins (Roman walls still exist) and battles with the Moors, French, etc. He described in delighted gory detail how Saint Eulalia was tortued in 13 different ways before she died. There were lots of quaint little shops and art galleries in the windy streets but we did not have enough time to explore yet, so we'll have to go back. We did find the "oldest candle store" and bought a few cool looking candles.

Next we went to Palau de la Musica for a tour of the most beautiful concert hall that I've ever seen. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take photos inside, so here's a "borrowed" one that I found on the internet. We got to sit both on the ground floor and the balcony in the most expensive seats and they played a tape of some orchestra music so we could experience the acoustics.

Saturday turned out to be "free museum" night until 1am, and we were all excited that we had the chance to see more museums than were originally in our plans. We did get into the Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA) but found it very boring.. thank goodness it was free. Next we tried to go to the Antoni Tapies museum and La Pedera Gaudi museum and found the lineups each spanned 2 blocks! These Catalonians seem willing to wait hours in order to get into a museum free! We decided we'll just pay another day. In hindsight, now we know why we waltzed right into the first one!

It is now Sunday night and apparently this is soccer night and Barcelona's team is playing. We first figured this out when we saw a crowd of people crowded on the street in front of a bar, trying to see the big screen TV. Then we got to Placa Catalunya which is the big square next to our apartment, and heard more noise. The radio channel was broadcasting the game there and the square was packed full of fans listening, cheering and waving flags. Every time Barcelona scored, there was huge cheering, fireworks went off, horns honked and even police cars were blaring their sirens. Just now I think the game is over and Barcelona has won! More fireworks and "We are the Champions" is playing .. hope the crowd goes home soon or we won't be able to sleep tonight.. Gee these Europeans love their soccer!

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