When I woke up, I called the front desk receptionist immediately and was assured that they will move us to a different room. By 10:30am, when we were ready to leave the room, Angelica from the front desk had our new room ready, a better room, higher floor, better views, a more panoramic view of the city with the Sagrada Familia to our left. Angelica also suggested that we go to Raco de la Vila, a local restaurant. So we did.
Raco de la Vila
We walked to this restaurant which was about a 15-20 minute walk from our hotel. We were the first ones to come in. We ordered Paella Costa Brava and a "side" order of steamed mussels. Our dishes came after 15 minutes of waiting. Our first paella in Spain did not disappoint. it was loaded with shrimp, clams, mussels, baby-looking lobster. I've cooked paella myself, so I had an idea of what to expect. As long as the seafood was served hot and not chewy, then we're in business. Nancy had a very generous serving of mussels. There must have been 15-20 mussels. She had quite a bit that we decided to add her mussels to my paella...great idea!
Let's go the hospital
After reading a few tips on TripAdvisor, one of the places to check out was Hospital de Sant Pau. We were not exactly thrilled about going to a hospital while on vacation, but the pictures of the hospital grounds made us curious enough to go there. From Raco de la Vila, we then took a cab to the hospital and the cab driver drove us directly to the entry of the hospital. Come to find out, the information desk told us that we needed to walk down a few minutes to get to the tourist area of the hospital. No problem. It was a downhill walks so that was easy.
The facade of Hospital de Sant Pau was one that was eye catching. I couldn't get over it. It was breath taking....a hospital! A hospital. We went in and got our tickets. We paid around $10 euros each. The kids got in free. There were tunnels to go in to. The buildings reminded me of an Ivy league school. It was just beautiful. There was a wing that we went to and it showed how it was used in years past - for surgery. Other rooms were preserved. The tile work was just exquisite. This tourist section of Sant Pau is no longer used as a hospital but it's now a place for concerts. It became a UNESCO heritage site in 2009.
Another reason why I wanted us to go to Hospital de Sant Pau was due to its close proximity to Sagrada Familia Basilica. We could see Sagrada Familia a few blocks. We just couldn't miss it. We didn't have tickets to go in to the Basilica but we walked the grounds and admired building and the construction that's currently taking place. Hundreds of people were circling the grounds. Pictures just don't do justice. It was definitely masterpiece, a Gaudi masterpiece that is projected to be completed in 2026.
Musee Nacional d'Art de Catalunya
We left Sagrada Familia and took a couple of train rides and headed over to Placa Espanya. Once we got out of the Metro, we saw the roundabout monument, the Barcelona arena, and bam, the majestic Musee Nacional d'Art de Catalunya.....it sat on top of a hill. It was hard not to miss. It was like looking at the United State Capitol building, but this one was not in white. There were fountains that led to the building. It was a vast space. Being there during sunset added to the magic. We had a great view of the city, but to sit on top of this hill felt like we were a world away.
That's it....that was our Day 2 in Barcelona....thank you for following along!