“Will you not have a little more tea?”
“Thank you,” said John, ” but if you can give me some directions, I think I would like to continue my journey.”
CS Lewis, The Pilgrim’s Regress
It’s awfully tempting at times to just sit and people watch or hole up in our apartment with our feet up or indulge in just one more cup of tea, before remembering that we are on a journey and we really must be on our way. After all, there is a great deal to experience in a city like Barcelona.
Yesterday we walked the Rambla, an relatively new pedestrian zone that sits on top of what once was the city’s sewer drainage canal. Today it’s a bustling connector between the waterfront — its malls, marinas and monuments — and the main plaza with its fountains, major departments stores and expansive marble plaza.
Next we took the metro to Antonio Gaudi’s architectural wonder, still in use today, La Pedrera apartments (Casa Mila). We learned a little bit of history and gained an appreciation for Gaudi’s inspiration and unique style before our tour of the Sagrada Familia church today. About mid-way along La Ramblas sits an extensive shopping spot called La Boqueria Market. At its entryway is Pintxos Bar where a tourist can pay exorbitant prices for crayfish and prawns with a million other tourists. And so we did. Also, I’ve been looking for saffron to bring home and apparently, this is the place to find it. But at 80 euros for 25 grams, I think I’ll look for it at the World Spice Market in Seattle instead.
We returned to Sagardi for our typical 8:00pm Spanish pintxos, strolled down to the beach and back before calling it a day.
Today, we took in Sagrada Familia church and climbed to the towers for a full view of the city and Gaudi’s remarkable sculptures. The artist’s vision for creating a space for worship that reflects our natural world rivals any we have seen. The inner columns reach heavenward in soft curves. Green and blue hues imbue a sense of serenity — a canopy of cool lushness, leading the worshiper toward peace and tranquility. Even amidst tens of thousands of tourists, the atmosphere is conducive to prayer with several small chapels inviting the faithful to stop and consider God.
All that wonder gave us an appetite and so, to our guide book. We were looking for a lunch experience — not too expensive, lovely setting, excellent food — and found it at La Crema Canela. Rick Steves was correct on all accounts! Another gluten-free find in Barcelona!
We felt we had earned a nap and so are resting before a brief outing this evening to find that artisan yarn shop we passed the day of our arrival.
But not before another cup of tea.