|Today we went to yet another little cafe (there are a lot of them) and had brekkie. We hopped in a cab and went to Parc Guell for our tour. As I said previously the Parc is high up in the city and has great views.
Our tour guide Anna was very good, she loved to talk and was very knowledgeable about the history of the Parc. The Parc was originally designed for the Bourgeois, they wanted to live outside the old Gothic Quarter of the city, the design was originally for 60 houses, but it ended up only having 3, a reception house and a gate keepers house, there is the hypostyle room - a huge market area for the grocers, butchers, fishmongers etc. The room has 86 columns and typical of the Gaudi style the columns look like trees, all of the outer columns are sloping towards the centre.
Above the Hypostyle is the Nature Square, with fantastic seating around the edge - the seating has lumbar support and is tiled, it also collects the rain water which is fed to an underground storage tank. The Parc has three aqueducts for the same purpose and all the way though the park, Gaudi has used nature for his design; including palm trees, waves and animals.
There is a grand staircase that leads up to the Hypostyle there are 3 water falls, the first is a vertical garden, the 2nd a lions head and the third a salamander (or dragon) all tiled covered.
The park is large and you can spend a whole day there. We caught a taxi back to the apartment and after a rest, we caught the metro to Arenas - this was previously a bullfighting ring that has been converted to a shopping centre, they have done a great job with the conversion, on the top you can go up have more great views of the city.
We then went back to Las Ramblas and got ready to go to our spanish cooking class. The Class starts in a little bar called the Travelbar, after meeting the chef we went to the markets and purchased seafood for the Paella, and walked around the market looking at all of the fresh produce and meats.
We then went for a walk through the Gothic Quarter til we finally reached the school, we sat down and learned how to eat tapas, we got bread, rubbed on a tomato, then dribbled a little olive oil and some rock salt, then out on a slice of ham, chorizo or salami and topped it off with a little fried pepper - beautiful, this was served with Sangria! Then it was onto the preparation of the vegetables and seafood for the Paella, Tracey and I chopped the veggies, others prepared the seafood, followed by more Sangria, Phil then assisted with the cooking of the Paella, followed by more Sangria, and we learnt how to make Sangria, Love it - I was also one of the bartenders learning to make the Sangria, finally dinner was served - I got a Paella with rice noodles and Chorizo - no way I was eating the seafood. and MORE SANGRIA!!
After a wonderful evening we went back to pack our bags as we are heading off to Paris in the morning.