Memorial Day


It's weird being in another country and knowing there's an important holiday being celebrated back home.  I've lost track of time and what's going on around the world.  If it weren't for Facebook, I would have never known about the volcano in Iceland or the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  More recently, I found out about the deaths of Gary Coleman, Dennis Hopper and Rue McClanahan.  Regardless, to all my veteran friends out there, I was thinking of you today. I was also thinking of the sacrifices of those who have fallen while defending our country.

Since it was Monday in Barcelona, all the museums were closed.  I had a bit of a plan for the day.  I was going to find the Chocolate Museum to find out how much it cost for admission and if it was open.  Then I wanted to retrace some of my steps from yesterday to see if the Basilica and the Cathedral were both open.  I also wanted to head towards Las Ramblas again to go to Mercat Boqueria, then up to Passeig de Gracia to see a few more Gaudi buildings.  I figured that would kill a few hours or more if I walked.

I found a place to grab a cafe con leche and croissant for breakfast.  The area around the pension has lots of options for food.  I found the Chocolate Museum and since I am low on Euros, I decided to wait until I have some money.  I went over to the Cathedral and Basilica.  Both were quite impressive.  Lots of tourists but not nearly as bad as some places I have been.

I headed towards Las Ramblas and Mercat Boqueria to find lunch.  This place is quite amazing.  It's similar to Pike Street Market in Seattle, Washington, but it's all food.  The meat stalls are the most interesting.  They have skinned heads of animals with the eyes still attached.  There is tripe and livers and other assorted animal parts, all proudly on display.  I refrained from taking pictures, it was a little too much, even for me.  I did take pictures of the fruits and veggies though!  I walked all through the market and ended up with a fresh coconut/pineapple juice and a 1/4 of a pineapple cut into slices.  It was SO good!

I continued along Las Ramblas to Passeig de Gracia to see more of Gaudi's work, specifically Casa Battlo and La Pedrera.  The admission prices into some of these places is ridiculous, so I admired from afar!

I caught the metro back to the pension for a siesta.  Since coming off the Camino, I am really starting to enjoy the Spanish daily rhythm.  I look forward to my afternoon naps!

After my nap, I decided to splurge on dinner.  I found a local chain called Origens.  Their prices seemed fair and they had a good looking menu.  I had a mixed salad with fruits, nuts and vinaigrette dressing.  For the second course, I chose chicken with roasted potatoes and apples.  I had a glass of local Syrah, followed by a dessert which was an almond nougat custard and a cafe con leche.  It was a great meal and worth every single euro cent.  :)