Wednesday, October 30, 2013 @ 8:15 PM in 2013 Europe
It was overcast all day and a bit on the chilly side but at least it wasn't raining. I got up, ate breakfast, had some coffee, read Game of Thrones for a little bit then got ready for the free walking tour that starts at the hostel every day.
The tour guide was a little late and then we walked to a few other hostels to pick up some more people for the tour. When we got to the final meeting place the group of people split among two tour guides and we went on our way through the city.
I'm assuming each tour guide does their own customized tour since we didn't see the other group the entire time. Our tour guide was originally from Brazil but has been living in Barcelona for the last 12 years. Her tour took us through the old Roman areas of the city as well as the Gothic quarter and she told us a lot of history about Catalan and how the region is working to become independent from Spain.
We also got to see where Christopher Columbus met with the Queen of Spain when he brought back items from the new world. Next to the old royal palace was where the inquisitors from the Spanish Inquisition passed judgement on people. I had no idea that they sat so high up above the peasants and normal folk as a way to impose a sense of power over them. You literally have to look straight up about 50 feet to see where they sat in a very ornate wooden balcony.
After that we saw some more sections of the old Roman wall as well as where the shore used to be during those times (a lot higher up than it is currently). Apparently a lot of the old gothic looking buildings in the city were built in the 1880's and are a complete facade to the original look of the churches. Many of the important buildings were also moved piece by piece from around the city into the gothic quarter. Some of this process lead to mishaps when it came to reassembly and arches didn't get completed or they were put in the wrong place (see one of the photos below).
We ended up at a bar down by the port where they gave cheap beers to people on the tour. I sat with a couple other people from my hostel and we sampled some tapas over beer. On the way back to the hostel we walked back up La Rambla and stopped in the Boqueria market again. One of the guys bought a full fish, mushrooms and some other veggies.
Once back at the hostel I worked for a while and read a little bit before making dinner. This hostel has free pasta, garlic and oils so I made some more pasta with garlic, red pepper, jamon iberico with some bread and wine.
Since I booked several more nights here before heading to Morocco I'm just going to take tomorrow easy. I'll probably head out and walk around town but don't really feel the need to get up at the crack of dawn to start the day. That's what I love about having more than a week in one place... the lack of feeling pressured to be out and about at every second of daylight.
Posted from: Spain