Day_2, Barcelona Walking Tour

La Pallaresa Granja-Xocolateria (Pallaresa Farm-Chocolate),
where we had breakfast every morning while in Barcelona.

Churros, hot thick chocolate dipping sauce, 
croissant or bread or muffin, and American coffee.

Churros dipped into thick hot chocolate was a favorite of ours.

We walked 12 minutes to Jaume I (James the 1st) metro station to meet the walking tour.
The area near Jaume I metro station was very bustling. We saw this cafe.
Wow! What riches of breakfast selection!

On the window of another shop, we saw these bread with boiled eggs in the center.
Maybe these were festive specials to celebrate Easter?

Our group convened shortly before 11am. 
Ruby, from the UK, was our guide.

During the 3-hr walk we made stops at many landmarks.
This is the cathedral. By looking at the different stones used on the outside,
one could tell that they were added on in different eras.

Detailed art work on the Cathedral facade.

Saint George the dragon slayer.
Saint George is the patron saint of Catalonia. Barcelona is its capital.

The front facade above the main entrance to the Cathedral.

Friezes designed by Picasso (but executed by Norwegian Carl Nesjar)
decorated the exterior of the Architects' Association building on the Cathedral square.

Placa Sant Felip Neri - the small square enclosed by heavy stone buildings has been neglected.
During Spanish Civil War a bomb dropped near by killing many children in the school building
adjoining to the church. The pock-marks on the Sant Felip Neri church facade tell the tale.
This church, Sant Felip Neri, was where Antoni Gaudi came to pray everyday.
He walked from the construction site of Sagrada Familia church to here twice a day.
He was a very religious man.

The Generalitat (Government of Catalonia) building in Placa Sant Jaume.
The square, Placa Sant Jaume, was once a Roman forum,
and has been the seat of city government for 2000 years.

Saint George slaying the dragon is prominently depicted on the Generalitat building.

The Ajuntament (City Hall of Barcelona), opposite the Generalitat building in the Placa Sant Jaume.
On top of the City Hall it always flies three flags:
1) The left - Catalonia flag - 4 red stripes on a yellow background.
2) The middle - Spanish National flag.
3) The right - Flag of Barcelona - two red crosses (symbol of Saint George) and two Catalonia flag symbols.

... and anybody is free to fly the independence flag from their balcony.
The Catalonia flag with an additional white star on a triangular blue background - shouts that
the owner is pro-independence of Catalonia.

In the lovely square in front of Santa Maria del Mar church in the Ribera (El Born) district.

We walked along the side walls of the Santa Maria del Mar church.
Built between 1329-1383 in Catalan Gothic style, this church was funded by
the sea merchants during the height of Catalonia's maritime.

A group of tourists on their biking tour with a guide.

Entrance to Parc del la Ciutadella (Park of the Citadel) -
Barcelona's oldest and most visited park.
It was also the main site of 1888 Universal Expo.

The park was very green and pretty.

Ruby said, "I hope you feel the tour is worth a million, and I hope you give me part of the million."
Thus concluded the tour. Everyone gave her a tip.

From the park entrance, one could see the tall bronze Columbus Monument,
and beyond that stood the Montjuic (Mount of the Jews).

Ca La Montse, the paella restaurant recommended by Ruby.

We ordered "Mariscos Arroz Negro" (seafood with black rice) for two, 25.
Because their seafood paella (saffron rice) was multi-course and cost 50 for two,
too pricy and perhaps too much food for us.

The inclusion of jumbo shrimps, mussels and sepia were very generous.
It was very good, although a bit too salty to our taste.

On the way back to our hotel we passed by this restaurant
serving all kinds of Pintxos, which is the Catalan equivalence of Spanish tapas on sticks.

You'd ask for a plate, and put whatever you want on your plate.
Keep the sticks on your plate. When you are all done, you pay by the number of sticks.
In most restaurants, each stick was 1.90.

Even desserts were on sticks.
I guess this accounting system makes it easier for everyone.