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Today, the plan was to go to Montserrat. I was really looking forward to Montserrat. But it was not to be. We started the day late and by the time we were ready to go, it was 11 plus. 😯
And we weren’t quite sure how to get to Montserrat and surprisingly, the receptionist at the hotel wasn’t clear either. What was clear was we need to get to Placa de España. As we set out from the hotel towards the metro, we felt too lazy to venture all the way to Montserrat. 🙄

So we scrapped the plan to go to Montserrat. Same logic as previously, we’ll be back again and Montserrat would still be waiting. 😮

Sigh, we were turning into the most lazy tourists ever. 😕

So then we decided to explore the Montjuic area.
We first headed to the Montjuic castle. To get there, we had to take the funicular to get to the cable car station.

The funicular led to us to the cable car.

From high up in the cable car, there were really nice views around.


The cable car led us to the Montjuic castle. Simple garden at the castle.


Upon entering the castle, we had to decide on which route to take.

I suppose both routes would take us to the same destination. We took the right route.
And we reached the open space in the castle. And it was here that we got the most lovely views of Barcelona. One view is that of the city and the other was that of the sea.

Beautiful view


Upon seeing the lovely sea view, I could understand why Rafael Nadal loves Mallorca so much. I believe the views at Mallorca would be comparable to that of Maldives. Hmmm, I would really love to visit Mallorca some day.


And this was the view from the adjacent side.

The views were the best part of the Montjuic castle.



Statue somewhere on the grounds


And after climbing a small flight of stairs, we reached the top which gave us views of the courtyard.



There was really nothing much in Montjuic castle except for the views. Somehow I felt cheated. I was expecting a bit more from a ‘castle’! 😕 There’s a couple of rooms with some exhibits but we weren’t very keen on them. So then we descended via the same way we had ascended. When we reached the metro station, a couple stopped us. They were tourists too and they wanted to know if it was worth the trip up Montjuic castle. Being as honest as ever, I told them there’s only views up there and nothing else. Of course, I added ‘very nice views’ in my vocabulary but, in my opinion, the views alone are not enticing enough for me to go back again.

So one of the reason why I decided to tour around the Montjuic area was because some parts of the area were built for purpose of hosting the Olympic games. Think the games were held in 1992 in Barcelona. So being keen in sports, I was interested in checking out the facilities. So we walked from the metro and just walked towards the Olympics area. Gosh, it was mighty hot in Barcelona.

The first encounter with the Games was with the museum commemorating it.

We headed into the museum to take seek refuge in the air condition. While we contemplated paying for the museum admission, we decided the exhibits weren’t enticing enough.

So on we walked and entered the next gate. This was a venue for some sporting events, including the Olympics. There was even an indoor swimming facility.

We then chanced upon a stadium where a small event was taking place. And the stadium is huge!

We then crossed the road and headed towards MNAC. We reached the rear side of the museum in about 15 minutes.

As we headed towards the main entrance, we saw a man and a teenager playing a form of tennis called ‘Front sin’. The contraption allowed one person to practice with the ball. The ball was attached to an elastic string and would bounce back towards the hitter after, well, being hit. Two persons can also play with it. It was so interesting, I asked if they know where it could be bought. Turned out they were selling it. It costs 15 euros. One of my best buys ever! Now I could play tennis alone in an open space, not against a wall.

View from the front main entrance of MNAC




We decided we were not entering the museum (yes, we are getting boring!). So we walked down from MNAC.

This is a view of MNAC from lower ground.

So, descending from MNAC would bring one to the Magical Fountain. In daylight, the fountain is ordinary. However, in night time, it would turn into a magical fountain.

The underlying reason why we were not so keen on sightseeing was….shopping, We had shopping at the back of our heads! 🙄
So we headed to El Corte Ingles at Maria Cristina metro, the only department store that has a Prada store. I still find it hard to believe that there is only one! Prada boutique in Barcelona. I had to make a trip there to look for a bag for my sister-in-law. There’s many El Corte Ingles department store all over Barcelona but the inventory of each outlet differs from each other.

At El Corte Ingles, we headed to the foodcourt for some late lunch. I wasn’t expecting the food to be fantastic and was glad to be proven wrong. The foodcourt is inaptly named. It is more like a restaurant as there are service staff around to take orders and deliver the food to tables.

Menu


Complimentary appetiser due to us getting some tourist pass


Complimentary red wine – It was rather awful


A most delicious salad!


And the husband got a curry again! 😛

Additional condiments


I love eating noodles and couldn’t resist ordering this when I saw it on the menu. It was fine, something that I could cook at home. But since I have not had noodles in the trip, it was very satisfying. 🙂

It was one of the best meals we had in Barcelona. I simply love the salad.

So what did we do but shop and shop. Perhaps sightseeing fatigue has set in since it was nearing the end of our trip.

And for dinner, we ended up in Las Ramblas again! I had no idea how come we also ended up in Las Ramblas. My Spanish became useful again.

Omelette


This time round we ordered normal sangria. But it still comes without chopped fruits. 😕

Sangria


Champiñones – mushrooms


Chorizo


Fideua negra


The fideua negra was quite nice, just be sure to have it while its still hot.

So that was it to end our day.
Note: Night falls about an hour earlier in Barcelona than in Paris. I have not yet seen Paris in the dark yet! 🙄

Well, on hindsight we should have really gone to Montserrat and skip Montjuic. We didn’t find Montjuic very fascinating. Then again, we had the benefit of hindsight. I’m sure I would have kept wondering what the Olmypics Montjuic would be like if we had skipped it. Plus I would have missed out on the Front sin. 😉

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