_6190517Sunday seemed to be the day for protests and parades.  It started when we arrived at the Placa Catalunya in the heart of Barcelona to find squatters who seemed to be there to protest for quality housing.

At the Placa de Sant Jaume, which is where the Catalan government sits, there was a good size “free Syria” protest. while meanwhile, elsewhere in the square there was a competition with different teams vying to build the tallest human pyramid.


Later in the day we ran across large protest parades that seemed to be asking for economic freedom.

Barcelona has a Chocolate Museum, which has the distinct bonus that with each ticket, you receive a high quality chocolate bar. The museum is mostly about the history of chocolate and how it is made, but perhaps the most impressive artifacts were chocolate centerpieces made by master chocolatiers:


We then walked around the Old Town, or Barri Gothic,which is studded with old buildings and interesting decorations. 


One part of the quarter has a bridge modeled after Venice’s Bridge of Sighs.


It was hot today and at least this overweight basset hound had the right idea!

After lunch we went to the Picasso Museum, which was free today after 3pm.  The museum focuses on his time in Barcelona, and does a very good job of tracing the development of his style from classic portraiture in his earliest days to the cubism we all associate with Picasso,

Beneath the City History Museum lies the largest subterranean Roman ruins in the world, about 2,000 years old. I’ve seen Roman ruins in many places, but this place was unique in that you could actually see where they made  fish sauce (this Rome’s equivalent of Worcestershire Sauce or Thai Fish Sauce) and their wine making factory.  Fascinating!

Also on display were Medieval Jewish inscriptions and displays explaining the Jewish history of the city, unfortunately all in Catalan and Castellano, but we could understand  well enough._6190563_6190566_6190567_6190568_6190569

Afterwards, we took a walk down Las Ramblas, the main pedestrian walkway, to the seafront.  The city is full of statues old and new, including  Frank Gehry’s “Fish” made for the 1992 Olympics.

Nearby was another statue, entitled “David and Goliath” by Antoni Llena, also from 1992.


We rode the Metro back to the Barri Gothic where we had dinner consisting of Papas Bravas; Smoked Salmon, with dates, mascarpone cheese and sesame oil; gazpacho with apple and sunflower seeds; and roast eggplant with yogurt honey dressing and cheese infused polenta.  Yum.

We Got some desserts at a pastry shop on the way back to the hotel and Kelly and I agreed that the almond in filo dough pastry was amazing.  Hope to find more like it!

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