Art Nouveau and Vespas in the city

This day was a lot of walking in a lot of heat! We roused ourselves from bed and it was time to hit Barcelona’s newest modern attraction, La Hospital de Something to me. Or, Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau, to everyone else.

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Designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, the same guy who did Palau Musica. It was neat, it had been a hospital until 2009, then restored to its artistic heritage. The hospital was full of beautiful Art Nouveau details invoking nature and natural light.  This was all designed as part of the patient’s healing process.  It was really neat.

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We took a fascinating guided tour.  Our favorite was this room.  I tried to do a panorama, but it doesn’t do it justice.  The balcony is a written prayer for love, healing and charity.  Loved it.
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We ate almonds and cashews for breakfast and then headed to Park Guell. Another hike like 2 miles straight uphill. By this time we were roasting. we passed the ticket office but had read in 2 places that you really don’t need a ticket to see the good stuff, so we set off hiking. There were cool forums with pillars that were poking in all different directions.
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We hiked to the top of the park for some great views (HOT) then down to the cool parts, and NO you could NOT see the beautiful forum and “shops” and the Gaudi “salamander’ and tickets were now SOLD OUT so no GAUDI for US 😔

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We were pretty bummed. We hung on the gate trying our best to get pictures. We were depressed. We didn’t know what to do.

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We were sick of walking which had reminded us that we were thinking of renting a moped this day. But there was nowhere near us and nowhere that would be open late enough. But we found a place near sagrata familia so we walked down there and got restaurant recommendations from Alex who recommended El Singular which was amazing! Probably our favorite restaurant we ate at in Barcelona. Look how picturesque!
El Singular Restaurant
Again, avocado with nuts on toast and very light veggie ravioli  and patatas bravas, a traditional Catalan dish with a spicy red sauce and an aioli dipping sauce which were really good.
El SingularSo I left Tara to pay and I went and rented a moped right before they closed. They tried to talk me out of it. “Your license doesn’t work, you could get pulled over.” “How much experience you have? 9/10 people who don’t have lots of experience crash their moped.” Yikes! I didn’t tell tara this part until we were done. They talked me into a GPS unit because it came without having to fill up the gas and a a2nd helmet. Totally worth it.
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First stop, the bunkers of Caramel. The guy programmed it in and then we totally went to the wrong spot! It took a second to get used to but driving was pretty easy. Until I was driving and Tara said “Uh, you know that light was Red back there?” Umm I almost killed us. There’s not a lot of room for mess-ups like that in driving in spain. It was kind of crazy and SO MANY stop lights and pedestrians and confusing roads. So we went to the Labrynth park (we got to scooter though some tunnels which was cool) and parked our scooter and we would put one helmet in the storage under the seat and Tara would carry the other one and look like a biker chick.
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When we were almost to the park it looked like it was going to have us merge on a highway and I was dying!
The Labrynth park was interesting.  Tara said it’s like she stepped into the Tri Wizard Tournament at Hogwarts.  We had fun exploring and finding the middle of the maze.  IMG_8049IMG_8058
But what was really great was the top down view.  So cool!
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It was at the labrynth park that we realized Tara’s Fitbit was gone 😔 It had been falling off, the part where the detachable band hooks on to the main face would just pop off. And it must have been on the scooter. We wanted to look for it, and were on our way and realized we would miss our Sagrada Familia tickets and so we bailed on that and went back to Sagrada familia. Which is going to get it’s own post.  Because it’s awesome.
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Bye Bye FitBit!
After we lingered at La Sagrada Familia until we were about the last people there, it was back to the scooter to look for the watch. NO LUCK. We had a little time on the Vespa so we went and saw Gaudis Dragon gate and the FC Barcelona club. This is where Tara should have driven the scooter. In an alternate life she is a hip ex pat on a vespa in Spain cruising all around town. But when we finally got back to the vespa place (this drive took forever, and we had to turn left to cross the big diagonal which was scary!) And then Tara was going to drive, we had just a few minutes before the bar where we would drop the keys off would close, but the sidewalk was now PACKED! So tara said it was just a tease – just enough to wet her appetite and make her want to drive more. So many scooters in Barcelona. They were everywhere.
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I have to say, for how popular the Football team is, the stadium isn’t that impressive from the outside.  I’m sure inside is better.
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We were starving! (Just like always) We hiked back up the road to a Korean place that Alex had recommended, Seoul, and it was just okay. Lettuce wraps were pretty good. Veggie tempura is always good. And then hike back. Our feet were killing us. Another 20k + step day.

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