Our second full day in BCN stated off with us getting up early(ish) to get our tickets for the Pablo Picasso Museum. Again as with Parc Güell you have to get tickets for a certain entry time. We got lucky and got a fairly early entry, but there was still time for brunch before our time slot so that was music to my ears.
We stumbled upon one of Fiona's listed brunch spots by accident - Milk Bar and Bistro. I'm a huge lover of brunch and this one hit the spot perfectly. It's located in the Gothic quarter so we took a stroll around this amazing neighbourhood to walk off our food babies.
The Gothic quarter was one of my favourite experiences in Barcelona. Even just walking around it you can just feel this different type of energy to elsewhere in the city.
I loved looking up at all the buildings and peeking into people's flats (as I type this I realise how creepy that sounds). I'm so envious of all the Barcelona inhabitants and their high ceilings and wrought iron balconies. It reminded me so much of my year abroad, it was actually a bit nostalgic.
My absolute highlight of our trip was the Picasso Museum. Sadly I couldn't take any photos inside, I didn't fancy the wrath of the security guards so the above snap of the courtyard had to do.
We splashed out on a ticket with an audio guide to get the full experience. I've found that in some museums audioguides can be overwhelming and get a bit boring after a while. Not the case here. The audioguide offered a great insight into the paintings and the background of Picasso. We got to see some of the drawings that would later evolve into Guernica and the fascinating Las Meninas and The Pigeons series.
The fact that the entry time was restricted to a certain number of people meant that whilst the museum was busy, it wasn't overwhelming and you didn't have to elbow anyone out of the way to see the paintings like you do in some places (looking at you Mona Lisa in the Louvre..).
Post the Life of Pablo we headed up to Montjuïc
We took the cable car all the way up to the hill and got some amazing views of Barcelona which were very different to the views we saw in Parc Güell. It was great way to see a slightly different side of the city, from one of the viewpoints we got a closer look at the ports and the beach.
Our next stop was the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya which in my opinion is probably one of the most beautiful buildings in Barcelona. The view over the city was breathtaking and you could see some of the buildings that were developed for the 1992 Olympic Games.
It was great to take a few minutes to sit in the blazing sun and just look out at the city. The sheer size of Barcelona is actually a bit overwhelming
So whilst the view from the museum is stunning, the view up to it so also pretty amazing.
The Palace was constructed between 1926 and 1929, with the goal of being the main building of the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition, holding an Exhibition of Spanish Art named El Arte en España (The Art of Spain). More than 5,000 works came to the Exhibition from across Spain. I can't imagine the sheer manpower that went into building something so beautiful and then continuing to add to it.
Exhausted and hot from a long day of walking all over Barcelona we hopped back onto the metro and took a quick rickshaw ride down to the beach. This was the perfect way to wind down from our busy day. I braved dipping my feet into the water which turned out to be freezing and a wave caught me unawares so I just ended up with soaked jeans.
Sitting on the beach in Barcelona was a similar experience to Rio, sellers persistently try and flog their ready made mojitos and various snacks. One lady was even offering massages on the beach.
After resting and relaxing we headed back to the hotel to get ready for a night out in the W Hotel which you can see in the pictures below. We got our glad rags on and headed to the 26th floor to the Eclipse Bar. It was a fun experience of the Spanish nightlife, although by 2:30am Fiona and me were ready to call it a night. That and the fact that two gin and tonics came to €23.
Sadly this is the end of my BCN photo roll. I'm already prepared to jump back on that plane. Even though this was my second visit I feel like there is still so much to explore, I'll most certainly keep my passport close to hand for a third visit.