We finally made our way to the beach that was bustling with sun bathers, flaming sand castles, and volleyball. We stopped for lunch at El Pacifico where our waiter, after learning we were from Boston, shared his experience serving the "Tea Party Cocktail" at the Hard Rock Cafe. We enjoyed great Fried Calamar, Papas Bravas, and a delicious Broiled Cod over Squid Ink Rice - all washed down with a local white wine, al fresco.
In our constant quest for live music we finished the day at Guzzo. There's no entertainment on Sunday nights, but we stayed for a drink and a snack. The place was nearly empty, so we had a chance to have a nice conversation with the waitress - kicked off when Nancy acknowledged her interesting nail polish. She encouraged us to come back the next day for "Flamenco Jazz" and we gladly made a reservation - she let us choose a table that would have a great view of the band.
Nancy asked about the odd wall above our heads with scrolls of paper stuck in it - "wishes" she said, so we filled out our own before retiring for the night.
On our last full day in Barcelona we were 100% prepared - we had pre-purchased 10:30 tickets for Gaudi's masterwork - the Basilica de La Sagrada Familia. Construction began in 1882 and Barcelona is bound and determined to complete it in 2026 - the 100th anniversary of the architect's death. The place is like no other church we've ever seen and the cranes and construction activity are only minor distractions (or major fascinations for you engineers).
Entrance with the advanced ticket is pretty quick and comes with an audio guide that is excellent in its pace and content. Expect to be awed by the artistic beauty, the complex engineering, the religious symbolism, and the reverence for nature. After the tour you are directed to a Museum that includes a video about the history of Gaudi and the Basilica. We feel in retrospect that this video would be better as the first stop, so consider heading to the Museum first, then return to the starting point of the audio tour. On our walk home we found Rincon de Galicia right near the Arc de Triomf and enjoyed a down-home Galician lunch.
Back at the apartment we did some work, blogging, and pre-packing before heading over to Guzzo for dinner and Flamenco Jazz. Is there a better farewell to Barcelona? We doubt it. The musicians (guitar, bass, cajon, sax/flute, and trumpet) were brilliant, the singer was authentic, and the Flamenco dancer brought the music to life. They played a fabulous mix of traditional and jazz, and again we heard Chick Corea's "Spain" as well as his "Crystal Silence"! This Chelsea MA born jazz icon is revered in this country!
Flamenco Jazz version of "Spain"
Click here for more Flamenco Jazz video including the dancing and singing and here for a video of Flamenco dancing to Chick Corea's "Crystal Silence".
We left Barcelona knowing that we will need another crack at it. This time we will be prepared with advance tickets to the Picasso Museum, the Palau Guell, the Parc Guell, and other must-see sites. We'll stay away from the summer months and we'll be back at Guzzo and Bormuth for sure.
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Nancy McCabe &