Caspar Institute logoitinerary   < 14 May    Barcelona    15 May >

Barcelona 14 May 2016

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Slow Saturday

Our bodies having (mostly) arrived, and remembering our traveling pace, today was a perfect day. Our first task was to find a printer to print our TGV tickets for Monday.

<p>Mercat de Santa Caterina</p>

Mercat de Santa Caterina

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 (Y'all travel with a printer, right? So it makes perfect sense that when you buy a ticket online, you'll print it out? Worth noting: exceptional in all other things – great guided tour, perfect narration, oodles of younglings eager to help – they also had their access business utterly tucked in: a guy at the door with a mobile that took a picture of the QR code on your mobile, and in you went!)

Our host, Viviana, told us where to find a public printer nearby, off away from familiar territory in the Ribera district across Via Laietana, the big artery that runs beside our building. Same winding gothic streets, mainly pedestrianized. Studying the map before the expedition, I noticed a large structure labeled Mercat de Santa Caterina. Got to check that out!

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<p>Samples of foodstuffs available in Mercat Santa Caterina</p>

Samples of foodstuffs available in Mercat Santa Caterina

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Where La Boqueria is a very tourist oriented market, this one is purely for residents ...although they were happy to see us. If anything, the welcome here is more cordial and good humored, being less routine. We're no longer in the food buying mode; we're pretty well provisioned for the next couple of days. So this was sheer pleasure. Healthy-looking chickens, better prices, more selection, more biased toward the foods actually eaten by Barceleños.

Oh, yes, we found our printer. We ask, tentatively and apologetically, "Do you speak English?" The usual answer is "a leetle." This guy fixed me fiercely and grinned. "Yes." Phew! Try explaining in broken Spanish, "I need to print a PDF on a piece of A4 paper in color to get on the train Monday."

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.com/eng/" target="guest">visit their website!</a></p>

visit their website!

Back home for a brief rest, and then time to navigate across the Gothic Quarter into another new neighborhood, Raval, where we had reservations in a little hole-in-the-wall justly famous for its paella.

You'll notice that feet never left the ground today (except Rochelle's for a nap.) All navigation was by foot along streets rarely polluted by wheels, and that is surely one of the reasons this was such a lovely day. I'm beginning to get the hang of Barcelona, and can find my way from point A to point B with only two or three consultations with a map. "I don't know how you got us here," admits Rochelle. It definitely has to do with a (usually) imperturbable sense of direction. We found Arume easily.

Feeling brave, we started with a blackberry mojito (at left, below) Next, burrata spring salad with pomegranate, guacamole, microgreens and hazelnut vinaigrette, and then their signature paella, ranked 34th of 7,201 restaurants in Barcelona on TripAdvisor. To finish off, la Torrija de Manuel with vanilla ice cream: as if crême brulée had a baby with a pudding cake. After this indescribably delicious meal, we were favored by our host (whom I think we amused with our foodiness and appreciation) with a couple of little glasses of the local after dinner drink, an alcoholic concoction of chocolat (spelt xocolat here) and cherries.

1103 : 805

1105 : 801

So what if we did get a little lost transiting the Barri Gotíc on our way home? We got to walk past a bit of the Roman Wall left over from 200 CE, and here's Rochelle waiting for the photographer to get in the elevator. She's fuzzy in the picture, but that's just bad lighting. There can be no doubt that the photographer was himself a little fuzzy from lunch...


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