Barcelona Day 3: Moco Museum, Shopping, Casa Milà, Casa Batlló

Ronda Litoral, Barcelona, During Sunrise

This is the first morning that my girlfriend and I woke up early together. First, that’s because she wanted to have a morning run and second, I wanted to fly my drone from the coastal area. We walked to Ronda Litoral on the east of our hotel and as she ran, I flew my DJI Mini2 to Barcelona’s sky. There are several limitations on how high you could fly (120 meters) and other criteria of the drone (<250g) that you could use without obtaining a permit, so it its prudent to check the local regulation before every flight.

Flying Over the Eastern Side of Barcelona
Barcelona Cityscape in the Morning

An hour or so later when the sun was visibly above the two-stories buildings we walked back to our hotel to take a shower before going to all the museum and landmarks planned for the day. We started the day slowly, first going to the Bishop’s Bridge while there were few people around in the morning and took couple photographs of the famous spot. Walking further north from the bridge we found a small café with a patio outside facing Catedral de Barcelona named Estruch. There we had our breakfast of croissant, orange juice, and coffee accompanied by hundreds of birds flocking in front of the cathedral. A pleasant morning indeed, but unfortunately the nice weather does not last until the evening, as we later found out.

Bishop’s Bridge, Barcelona
Our Breakfast at Cafe Estruch

Our first destination was the Moco Museum Barcelona, which is located nearby the Picasso Museum we visited yesterday. The name Moco was taken from the fact that it houses MOdern and COntemporary art. Compared to the museums we visited before, Moco is more descriptive and grounded on street art. If, like me, you need a break from the abstract paintings you can’t understand, then this museum offers a refreshing collection that common people could relate to.

Moco Museum Barcelona
Snoopy Sofa at Moco Museum
Banksy’s Monkey at Moco Museum

The rest of our morning was spent on walking through small alleys between Moco Museum and Plaça de Catalunya, visiting small shops located there, while heading to Passeig de Gracia, where most of the branded stores and shopping malls are located. Among the stores we visited on the strip includes Massimo Dutti, Longchamp, Cos, and Lego (yes, as an adult it is still a fun store to visit).

Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona

Near the end of north end of Passeig de Gracia was Casa Milà, the first landmark we visited for the day. It was a residential condo built for Roser Segimón and her husband Pere Milà between 1906 and 1912, and also the last private residence designed by architect Antoni Gaudí. Before beginning our tour for the interior of the building, we were given an audio guide device that explains in details the building features and structures. Mind you that we have to climb the stairs to the rooftop at the very beginning of the tour, which could be exhausting for older people or those with disabilities – there are elevators for wheelchair, but it does not seem to have access to the rooftop.

Casa Milà Taken from the Rooftop
The Rooftop of Casa Milà
Sagrada Familia Taken from Casa Milà

Going through the rooms in Casa Milà tells us plenty about the way of living for upper-middle class population back in 1900s. Compared to our current situation, they seem to be living a pretty good life. For example, the maid’s bathroom is three times bigger than mine in Montreal! Not to mention having a private library and an office space, which is a luxury these days.

For lunch we have table d’hôte at a local specialty cuisine restaurant named Suculent that is located on Rambla street. The use of spices and quality of both the seafood and meat were great, but perhaps it is too exotic to my liking. We had a duck croquette and red prawn ceviche as a starter, followed by steak tartare, stingray, lamb neck, and a dessert. My personal favorite is the lamb neck that was cooked to perfection until the meat becomes very tender. Overall, we had a good experience, although it was probably more fitting for a slow dinner over a bottle of wine rather than for a lunch following long walking day. 

Not long after we were back on Passeig de Gracia to continue shopping. First, we went to Loewe – where my girlfriend bought a bag – and then to Hermès, where I got myself a tie. One thing I noticed almost immediately is that every branded store offers a plain white paper bag to cover the regular paper bag, confirming my suspicion that petty crimes rate might be elevated in Barcelona and that walking on the street with branded paper bag is not a wise decision.

Passeig de Gracia Seen from Inside Casa Batlló

Our last landmark visit for the day is Casa Batlló, another residential masterpiece designed by Antoni Gaudí. Although it clearly has a similar style to Casa Milà we visited earlier, the interior feels more exquisite and polished. Despite us buying the golden ticket – that includes a one-hour jazz-like concert at 7pm at the rooftop – there was a queue outside the building, and we noticed that it started to drizzle. The tour begins at the basement of the building where audio guide (we got an iPad mini and a headset) was distributed. From there, we could independently explore the rooms level-by-level until we reached the rooftop.

The Rooftop of Casa Batlló

As we feared earlier, once we arrived at the rooftop, we were told that the concert would be canceled and that there will be a partial refund for our tickets. We had such a high expectation for the night and in the end the big rain never happened. The drizzle stopped when the concert was supposed to begin, so we were quite disappointed that night. To cheer ourselves we decided to go to a popular Chinese hot pot restaurant, Liuyishou that is located not far away from Passeig de Gracia. The food is as expected but not very special, in my view. After the meal we went straight back to hotel via metro and slept.

About Journeyman

A global macro analyst with over four years experience in the financial market, the author began his career as an equity analyst before transitioning to macro research focusing on Emerging Markets at a well-known independent research firm. He read voraciously, spending most of his free time following The Economist magazine and reading topics on finance and self-improvement. When off duty, he works part-time for Getty Images, taking pictures from all over the globe. To date, he has over 1200 pictures over 35 countries being sold through the company.
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