During my first morning in Barcelona, I had planned on doing a free walking tour that I found in a map that I got on the Aerobus. I woke up early enough to shower and get ready and…I ended up being late and missing it. Honestly, I’m not usually late for things and I pride myself on being on time or earlier for most things that I need to do. Nevertheless, when I made it to the meeting spot, the group was already gone and I couldn’t figure out where they were.
I decided to go back to my hostel to create a new game plan, but I took the metro over to the Arc De Triomf station instead. I actually liked using the Arc De Triomf station more than Urquinaona since it was much easier for me to figure out how to get back to my hostel from there. Anyway, the Arc De Triomf is a huge arch that was built as the gateway to the 1888 Barcelona Universal Exposition. Unlike the Arc De Triomphe in Paris, this one is made out of red bricks and not open to the public to climb.
Back at the hostel, I looked up different things that I could do. It was a Sunday, so several museums in the city were free. I chose to check out the Museum of Barcelona History, so I took the metro to the Jaume I station and found myself in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, though I didn’t even know it yet. The architecture quickly tipped me off though and I started to wander the narrow alleyways to see what I could find.
I eventually wound up finding a crowd of people in front of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, also known as the Barcelona Cathedral. They had gathered to watch a group of men and women who were performing the sardana, a traditional Catalan dance. The dance essentially consists of people holding hands in a circle as they slowly rotate back and forth.
Here’s a video so you can get a better sense of what it’s like:
Nearby was the Mercat Gòtic, a flea market specializing in a lot of great antiques such as old cameras and other relics of the past. If I didn’t have to worry about any weight or space issues with my bag, than I might have ended up splurging on something, but I had enough self-control to prevent myself from taking home something crazy like a phonograph.
I wandered around a little more until I finally came across the museum, which was actually not too far from where I had started, but more on that in my next post.