My husband is carrying out part of his current work contract on board the P&O cruise ship Ventura, a vessel we are both very familiar with. Whilst he’s working, I like to explore ashore as much as possible. Today, we visited my favourite European port – #Barcelona. This is a city I have been coming to for a long time, and my visits have created many great memories over the years.
As some readers will know, I used to work in the Shore Excursions department on board cruise ships. I regularly visited Barcelona and saw the main attractions, but these tours were predominantly guided. Now when I come to the city I enjoy the freedom to explore the city at leisure, under my own steam.
My first stop today was the city’s famous food market ‘La Boqueria.’ I love the atmosphere at this vast undercover space and I am always amazed by the different types of produce on sale. From legs of delicious Spanish ham and fresh oysters to meat pies and confectionary, the colours and smells are vivid and fresh. I bought one of the popular local fruit juices for €1 and it tasted wonderful.
Walking up La Rambla I passed my favourite local restaurant called Nuria. I have taken several friends and members of my family to this contemporary Spanish restaurant, which dates back to 1926. They serve a variety of traditional tapas, along with favourites such as pasta, burgers and pizza. The Sangria at Nuria is very potent but delicious!
After a leisurely walk through the streets surrounding Plaςa Catalunya, located at the top of La Rambla, I decided to tick off the one tourist attraction I had not done. Casa Batlló (also referred to as the Gaudi House) is a unique piece of architecture designed by Gaudi for the Batlló family between 1904 and 1906.
Entry for adults is just over €22 each and the ticket price includes an excellent audio guide. The guide uses augmented reality to depict what each room looked like, back when the family lived there. Gaudi created aspects of the house to reflect certain elements of the sea and sea life, but the exterior is often likened to bones because of its skeletal design. My personal highlights were the beautiful light well and the roof terrace, which overlooks the streets below.
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