Saturday, February 09, 2013

Free Tuesday #5 on Saturday: Monastery of Pedralbes

Trick! My free Tuesday was really on Saturday! (This past Tuesday, I was being a tourist in Prague.) Last night I met James, Kristin, and Josh for a restaurant tour. We hit up El Vaso de Oro and Can Paixano before heading to the Black Horse... a wonderful evening full of great friends, food, beer, and cava!

This morning I woke up later than I meant to (um, see above!), so I went for just a short run before meeting up with the group.  As soon as we grabbed our train seats, we dug into croissants Josh had picked up from Hofmann's.  (Glad my run made up for about 1/10th of that pastry!)  Finding this award-winning bakery has been a blessing and a curse because their croissants are divine. Next time I will actually take a picture of one instead of just showcasing the bag. :)  But to describe it - buttery, flaky, and filled with smooth raspberry preserves.... Um, awesome.
Our tourist mission for the day was the Monastary of Pedralbes.  This isn't one of the more typical tourist attractions in Barcelona, but I had read enough reviews to convince me to go.  We found the church first, and I was taken with the simplicity of it.  I thought it was stunning, and very similar to my favorite church Santa Maria del Mar.  Already the trip was a win!
After viewing the church, we headed next door to enter the actual monastery. Side note: I love how Barcelona showcases attractions with a big "B" sign.

We spent about an hour exploring the monastery, which included tombs, cells, an art collection, a film about the church's main fresco, a wine cellar, a diorama display about the life of Jesus, a beautiful courtyard, and an abbey. 

Here we are with the courtyard behind us.
After leaving the monastery, we explored the neighborhood a bit and headed to Bar Tomas, which was supposed to have the best patatas bravas in Barcelona.  The place was packed!! Of course we each ordered a plate and I will say they were pretty tasty - certainly a great snack to counter what was to come... which was afternoon tea time at Caelum!  Josh found this place in my guidebook (thanks Laura!!) and was intrigued by the fact that everything in the place is made my monks or nuns, and the bottom part is an old Jewish bathing house.  We ended up arriving before it opened, so we wandered around the Raval neighborhood a bit, and then returned at 3:30 for this wonderful treat. That would be a fig cake and mint tea.... so yummy!
Isn't this place adorable? And romantic apparently - didn't mean to catch this couple smooching!
I came home in time to chat with Angie... we are planning out our month-long European tour! We ended up buying Eurail passes because we 1) couldn't make up minds where to go, and 2) just got excited and wanted to book them. The Eurail map looks like a giant mess of spaghetti - figuring out the trains is going to be fun!

Tonight I may go to an ESADE Carnival party if I can motivate myself to leave.  And then tomorrow... Joe comes! It will be fun to have him back now that I feel I really know the city better. I have so many places (restaurants/bars) to take him to...

Tourist Tuesday Saturday - awesome! My "Barcelona List" is coming along quite nicely!

No comments: