(day 20) our last day in barcelona was wide open, and we planned to walk and explore the neighborhood and the coast. we picked up some cubes of jamon for snacking (which ended up weirding me out, but david really liked it). our first stop was to get inside the catedral, which is a beautiful, neo-gothic church built in the 13th to 15th centuries, covered with gargoyles on its rooftop. we got inside for awhile and were impressed by the chapels, and amused by the little field trip classes walking around. then we sat on the front steps and watched an interesting animal rights protest unfold, while listening to a great street-busker play some bob dylan and other classic tunes. we loved how characteristically european the whole scene was.
next, we walked over to the nearby santa canterina market, with its wavy, photogenic roof. we wandered through, and then decided to get lunch at a popular sandwich spot called conesa. we both got grilled, panini-style sandwiches along with some potatoes on the side. then we continued to explore our neighborhood, finally walking down la rambla (passing a statue of colombus… and a street performing reenacting the statue of colombus) to the beach front harbor. we took in all the sights, full of locals with puppies or children enjoying the breezy, seaside air. we explored the neighborhood called la barceloneta, marveling at all the clothing drying, dangling down from tiny porches. we sat on the beach for a little while, before continuing our walk back to the apartment.
at our place, we may or may not have dozed for a bit before taking a long evening stroll up to casa batilo (after stopping briefly in the apple store), so that we could see it lit up at night. it looked even weirder and more distorted in the surrounding darkness. then we took the train up to a modern tapas restaurant called samsara. this place was the culinary highlight of our trip. rachel had made reservations for us, so when we arrived there was a cozy, low-to-the-ground table waiting for us. the decor was asian-influenced, and the small, local place had a hip vibe. the chef came out to greet us, and we decided to do a 7-tapas set that the chef would decide. brad and rachel met up with us, and we had a perfect end to our time in barcelona, complete with the most adventurous food i have ever eaten.