Monday, November 2, 2015

#1533 2 weeks in Barcelona day 12: Sitges, the Block of Discord and tapas for dinner

I'm almost done writing about the Spain trip. Tomorrow will be the last post that centers completely on the trip. I predict, though, that there will be days when random Barcelona thoughts and memories will creep up on me and I will be compelled to write something else about the trip and show a photo or two. The hardest thing about writing about a vacation is that when you're done writing, it's like the trip has ended all over again. But it's so much fun to write about the days that I can't help myself. So...

Friday 25 September 2015

My mom and dad spent their honeymoon in a beach town called Sitges. It's about an hour south of Barcelona by train. As with most places, it had been many many years since I had been there, so when Mom suggested we take a day trip to Sitges, I was excited to go. I was charmed by the older part of town pretty much as soon as we got off the train.

look at those flowers cascading over the side of the building!

check out the quaint narrow streets!

admire the ancient church (built in the 1600s)!
I'd say the old church is the focal point of the town. It's not much to look at from the outside, and we didn't even try to go in it, but it's so old and so dominant there on the point that you can't help but admire it.

Mom and Lizzie on the steps of the church

view of the beach from the church

I just like this scene

I thought this photo was cool :)
We had lunch at a place called El Sunset de Sitges. It was across the street from the beach. There were noisy parrots flying around and the service was kind of slow - there were only two guys serving and they were busy. I didn't really mind because it was awesome to sit there and enjoy the sun and being with my mom and sister. Plus, there was sangria with cava and everything is better when you have sangria with cava.

sangria de cava
For lunch that day I had a steak with alioli. It was a good steak. To start, though, I had calamare a la Romana. Look at the size of the calamare:

calamare a la Romana
Honestly! They are like onion rings! I know, I know. I've gushed about the calamare in Barcelona before, but goodness. It's really a treat. I don't know if I can eat calamare here anymore. Maybe in California.

After lunch we walked around the town and up by the church and down the little streets. I kinda went backwards with the photos but I wanted you to see the town first. It's really a neat place, perfect for a  day trip from the city.

We decided we had seen what we wanted to see in Sitges, so we got back on the train and went back to Barcelona. The train station was on Passeig de Gracia not far from la Manzana de la Discordia (Block of Discord), so we decided to go look at the famous houses up close.

The Block of Discord - sounds so much nicer in Spanish! - is a block on Passeig de Gracia where three well-known Catalan architects were asked to build houses in the Modernisme style. It is called the Block of Discord because all the houses are so different from each other.  One house, Casa Lleo Morera is on the corner, about two or three houses away from the other two.

Casa Lleo Morera
Then there's Casa Amatller.

Casa Amatller
And then there is Casa Battlo.

Casa Battlo
I think all three houses are splendid in their own way. Casa Lleo Morera seems very elegant. Casa Amatller has interesting detail and I like the lines. But I confess that Casa Battlo is my favorite. Maybe because it is a Gaudi creation and I am totally crushing on all things Gaudi from this trip. I love the balconies. I love the mosaic details. I love that big window on the bottom. I love the dragon's spine along the top. Check it out:

Casa Battlo with the dragon spine on top
You can go on a tour of Casa Battlo, but it seemed kind of expensive (around 22 euros) and there was a long line so we decided to skip it this time. Maybe next time :)

My mom went to a school a couple of blocks down from la Manzana de la Discordia. She said she probably walked past these houses hundreds of times as a kid/teenager and never even gave them a thought. I was giving it all kinds of thoughts. I really like it!

selfie with Casa Battlo!
We caught a cab back to our apartment and spent a bit of time relaxing and talking and having merienda - a light snack you have around 6 pm since you don't eat dinner until 9 or so. Mom and Lizzie were trying to figure out a place we could go for tapas for dinner. We had eaten a big meal at lunch so we weren't too hungry but wanted something. I think I was reading so I didn't participate in the choosing of the place. Not to worry - they found a really cool old place called Cafe Rene.

Cafe Rene
We sat outside, ordered a canya and some tapas and laughed and chatted and had a nice time. I took this photo of my mom which is my very most favorite photo of her ever.
mi madre
Lizzie or I said something to make her laugh and I just happened to push the button at the exact right moment. I love this photo and the memory of this moment a lot. <3 p="">
Anyway... I'm all teary now. I need a minute.

Okay, I'm better.

Good thing that's the end of the day! Yes, it was another amazing, fabulous, wonderful day. inside look at La Sagrada Familia and a walk along the Passeig de Sant Joan and our last night in Barcelona.

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