My intention in Barcelona was to just visit Gaudi sites, and I really didn't research much about anything else. I was to become entranced with the hidden delights that were on our doorstep......quite literally.
We stayed on a street called La Rambala, a wide thoroughfare with limited traffic and a wide promenade down the centre.
I recommend this area as it is central to almost everything, lots of eating places to peruse and lots of small alleys and streets that run off La Rambala, and a magnificent fresh food market that has its roots back to medieval times. The market has been modernised, it is clean and incredibly fresh.
The locals come to purchase fresh seafood which they then take to small bars/kitchens in the market where it is cooked and served back to them for lunch, along with a cheeky glass of wine.
Did I mention the food is wonderful?
We had to try and find a particular chocolate shop after our tapas tour the previous night. I just remembered the images of cats on the walls of the courtyard near said establishment.
These are just one example of the hidden delights that are in the side streets.....sigh...... missing it already!
We found the chocolate shop and had the most exquisite hot chocolates, hard to describe the drink was almost jelly like in consistency. the chocolate flavour refreshing.....seriously refreshing. It didn't appear to have added fats and sugars like our chocolate but a pure flavour that didn't coat you mouth but almost cleansed your mouth......the best I have ever tasted.
I didn't get to photograph the shop as it was open late in the afternoon and I had no light left to get a decent image. It is tucked away in a small alley just near this cat wall....if you ever get there ask a local they will show you.
And now we hit the Gothic quarter.
This is the oldest part of the town, dating back to Roman times. Where aqueducts built by the Romans are butted up against medieval palaces.
We discovered history that is still living, these buildings are still used and revered by locals. There are shrines to saints tucked into corners
and retail outlets that date back centuries. I was too shy to ask to take photos but one shop intrigued me so much and it was the icon store, where religious icons and statues were bought and sold. Such amazing art.
The shopping in this quarter is very good. They had a section dedicated to beading, trims and necklace making, quite unexpected. Along with antiques, tapas restaurants and modern homewares. Very few tacky souvenir stores,,,they tend to stay out on La Rambala,
Looking up you see more wonders. This was a detail on a nondescript building, but the guttering was quite something.
A detail over the church entrance
My long distance lens enables me to see great details
So that is small taste of this part of Barcelona, a real unexpected delight for me to discover.
Some of the buildings along La Rambala
This place has much more to offer than I ever imagined.