Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Another holiday in Barcelona and a trip to the Cathedral

Last Monday was yet another holiday in Barcelona and Josh had the day off.  So we had our regular Monday sitter come later in the day so he and I could go off and do some exploring during daylight hours as well as have some dinner. 

With no particular destination in mind and absolutely nothing other than restaurants open, we headed initially for the Placa de Catalunya area and of course, to our American friend, The Hard Rock.  You see, finding a good drink in Barcelona is hard.  Actually let me rephrase that - finding a good martini in Barcelona is hard.  The sangria, wine and cava are all fabulous and even better, cheaper than water!!  However, finding a martini is like a needle in a haystack.  And when you find a place that makes one, they tend to make literally just a typical martini.  But not the Hard Rock, oh no... they make them all.  For me, it was a yummy pomegrante one - delish!!  And then Josh and I asked if they could make espresso ones.  And dreams do come true - they can and they did!!!   Our absolute fave!!

After a quick early appetizer and a few drinkies we headed off again with no particular destination in mind.  We ended up in the Barri Gotic.  This is a neighborhood that I have mentioned before and have posted some pictures of.  As a matter of fact there are pictures of the Cathedral from the outside listed on earlier blog entries.  But I had never been inside before.  To my knowledge you had to pay to enter and since I almost always have Liam with me, I hadn't wanted to bother for a quick in and out sightseeing trip. 

The Cathedral was over all very simple by comparison to others I have seen recently.  The Cathedral is over 700 years old which to me is just amazing.  You don't see that kind of history in the US.  How they were able to build something so magnificent without the tools of today is beyond me.  Upon entering the Cathedral you see a courtyard.  Within this courtyard is a fenced in area which is called the Cathedral Cloister.  Here live 13 geese which represent the age that Santa Eulalia was when she was martyred.  She is the co-patron saint of Barcelona as well. 

The rest of the Cathedral is broken into three naves (honestly I don't know what a nave is - I'm taking this from a tour book) and an apse with an ambulatory beneath an octagonal dome.  There are two towers that rise on either side.  While we did not see this, beneath the alter lies the cypt of Santa Eulalia.  Apparently many of the more antique furnishings are in the City Museum. 

Not being a Catholic I also found out that I was being a bit sacraligous by entering the Cathedral with bare shoulders.  I thought I saw someone being approached when we entered regarding needing a sweater but I kind of disregarded it, only to find out thru a friend later in the week that I actually did need something.  On our trip to Rome this past weekend I heard it yet again... so I made sure for our visit to the Sistine Chapel to wear short sleeves and not sleeveless! 

Overall this was a quick little tour that we took but I wanted to share it with everyone since it's considered a keystone to Barcelona history!

Enjoy the pictures!


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