What can you see in a day in Barcelona?
A lot but first get a great guide. Try Elisenda Soler (Tel: +34 6221 o8 404) from Barcelona Guide Bureau.
Start early, say 9.30 in the morning and walk down La Rambla from Placa Catalunya. It will be too early for the street performers and all the kiosks may not be open but you will be able to admire the Joan Miró mosaic and the fountain Font de Canaletes in peace. Stop briefly at the Virreina Palace on the right, a baroque/roccoco grand residence built for the Viceroy of Peru in 1772-78 and the Opera House before letting yourself go in the Boqueria market.
If you missed breakfast, this is the perfect place for morning sustenance.
Walk In The Gothic Quarter
Leave La Rambla, walk through wonderful Placa Reial and enter the old town with its narrow streets beautiful old structures. Walk through the Jewish Quarter, stop and reflect in tiny tree-lined squares, peep at the Roman Temple, walk past the Archbishop’s Palace and enter the Cathedral.
Drive through town to the Gracia Quarter. There will be a long queue for tickets at Casa Mila but Elisenda would have bought yours days or weeks ago and you will just walk right in. Look at the elegant entrance hall before you take the lift to the roof. Take the stairs back but don’t miss the loft museum on the way down.
Out on the street, you are peckish and dying for a glass of chilled cava. Cross the road, turn left and walk the short distance to the cavernous Restaurant Costa Gallega on Passeig de Gracia. Your table is already reserved. First, sip a glass of wine and gorge yourself on an endless selection of tapas and then, go on to the best Fish Fideuà you ever had. Leave room for orange cake, cream canes and thick black coffee.
Your transport should be waiting on Passeig de Gracia. Climb on board and drive on to Gaudi’s Park Guell.
Again you get in without waiting. You have a timed ticket that gives you an hour in the park – more than enough time for you to see all the wonderful things in there.
It is a short ride to Gaudi’s masterpiece – the unfinished Sagrada Familia. The queues will be long but not for you. In the slanting afternoon light, the colours inside would be magical. Get ready to be moved like no other religious building has moved you before. Wipe away the tears and bathe inits beauty and glory.
It is six in the evening but the light is still good. Drive back in to the city and down to the marina and take the road up the Montjuic hill. Get a glorious view of Barcelona, drive past the Miro museum and end up back in the city, just near the old bullring which stopped being the bullring in 1976.
Say haste luego to Elisenda and drive back to your hotel, tired but happy, thinking about good Penedes wine and a great big Catallunya dinner.