Modernista fun and whimsy was the order of the day, along with tapas, paella, and lots and lots of walking. Barcelona, even with its efficient transportation system, is not a city for those who do not walk. We like to walk.

Our to-and-from the apartment takes us past Sagrada Familia. In the morning light the basilica sparkled. No tour today, though.

Some of Gaudi’s other works were on the top of our agenda today. We were practically first in line for Casa Mila (La Pedrera) with its fanciful chimneys, and most enjoyed our time on the iconic roof terrace.

A very nice retired couple from L.A. took our photo. They were “somewhere” in the middle of a Mediterranean cruise of various ports and had two days shore leave in Barcelona. The movie, “If it’s Tuesday, it must be Belgium” immediately sprang to mind when the husband could not recall which port they had just come from.





Camera-shy, she is.



Casa Battlo, further along the boulevard from La Pedrera tempted us, but the long, long, long line to enter the building did not. We are finicky travelers this way.

Park Güell to the rescue! A UNESCO Heritage site, the park was designed to offer peace and calm, a small point lost on the hundreds of us who climbed, and climbed, uphill to the park to jockey for the right photo op on the sea serpent bench and elbow one another for a pose with the resident mosaic lizard on this sunny afternoon.





The park is like what Queen Frostine’s palace in the game CandyLand might look like if ever architectured for real life.

The remainder of the day was given over to a paella lunch at a sidewalk table overlooking La Rambla, a lengthy tree-lined pedestrian street in central Barcelona that is popular with tourists and time weaving through La Boqueria, Barcelona’s city market. At La Rambla’s southern end passengers from cruise ships disembark at regular intervals, sometimes dragging suitcases and looking a little confused; and in between there are regular tourists, tchotchke hawkers, street vendors and presumably ordinary Barcelonians, all making for excellent people watching.

Oh, Barcelona.