Music for the Soul
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Travel Log
We have not tried to go into Barcelona yet as we are having too much fun doing NOTHING in Castelldefels. Our hotel is right on the Mediterranean Sea, so the view is gorgeous. The food has been superb. Our Chef is a young man who is very good at mixing unusual flavors like a soup with a liquor base, ham and ice cream! What a combo, the flavors all melted together very well.

Saturday we walked for 7 hours in Barcelona and saw two places: The Museu D'Historia de la Ciutat and The Museu Picasso, and we were entertained every minute.

The Museu D'Historia de la Ciutat
The Museu D'Historia de la Ciutat (History Museum of the City) was an amazing place. It is mainly located underground and is approximately 12,800 square feet of archeological excavations. Unfortunately, again no photos are allowed.

The digs look like digs you see in other parts of the world except they are under existing buildings. We walked on metal mesh walkways that were in places clear acrylic instead of the mesh. You can see the foundations --- including sculptures, walls, a bathing pool, shops, and cemeteries --- of the ancient city of the Romans and Visigoths.

In 1934 when starting a new building, ancient buildings were discovered. It was thought the ancient buildings were from around 100 AD. It turns out that they were from 15 BC! Barcelona is one of the few cities in the world that has conserved the material remains of its first urban culture.

Barcelona was started by Augustus in 15 BC and was called Barcino. The ruins are from this period up to the 4th century AD, then on top of this period is 6th century AD, then the current buildings of the 12th century AD. So altogether from bottom to top the museum covers 15 BC to 1200 AD.

The 12,800 sq. ft. is only a very small portion of the original city of Barcino which probably housed about 2,000 people. They all had their own houses as no apartment type of buildings have been found. When the city was designed they installed a covered sewage system! Wine was a very big deal, as was gambling. Both remained big deals throughout the centuries that followed.

Glass was found from the 3rd century BC, as was cosmetics for both men and women.

The digs were covered over twice, once from 1936 to 1939 because of the Civil War, and again in the 1950s when the money for the digs ran out.

These are the steps where Queen Isabella presented Columbus to Barcelona after his first voyage.

On top of most of the digs is the castle were King Fernando & Queen Isabella presented Columbus after he returned from the Bahamas the first time.

Look closely and you will see the square in the upper part of the picture where the hot oil was poured from.

The King & Queen were not nice people, as they killed Jews and tortured their citizens that did not admit to being Catholic. They also poured hot oil out of holes in the castle to run protesters out of the square. The oil would collect about 2 to 3 inches deep and that was enough to clear the square!

The Museu Picasso

The ceiling shot in the Picasso museum taken from inside my purse.

The world's largest collection of Picasso art is here, over 3,600 pieces, and we saw them all! The collection started with his first works from1895 when he was 15 years old, and ended with his death in 1973.

The museum was housed in 5 mansions from the 14th century. The mansions are all in a row so most visitors of the museum were not even aware that they were in different buildings. There were a couple of gorgeous ceilings. Again, no photos are allowed, but I broke the rules and got a shot of one of the ceilings, without using a flash, of course.

The area around both museums is called the Gothic Quarter and the streets are very narrow and winding with all kinds of balconies. Some of the streets are not the safest, and apparently I was in danger of having my purse snatched before I was saved by a local woman. Jim and I were walking down the street and we were the only ones except for a man walking toward us and an older lady in back of me. When she saw the man she called to me, and then moved my purse from my shoulder to in front of me and told me to hold it with both hands. Since she was speaking Spanish I did not understand all of what she was saying, but she did not like the man that was now walking past us. So the locals watch out for the tourist! Thank you!

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