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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Around Barcelona's Cathedral: Shine your light !

La Cathedral, Cuines Santa Caterina, 4 gats, Betawi... Nice place to go in Barcelona...during Christmas, during summer, whenever you can, it is always magical...

When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs? Gilbert K Chesterton

 We do have many long weekends here in Spain, and the " Puente de Purissima" the longest puente is just around the corner( 6th December is constitution day and 8th December is to celebrate the belief in Immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary). If you are taking a break and going out of Barcelona, enjoy! If you stay here, you can  enjoy BelleBarcelone!
You could start from the Cathedral of Barcelona where you have a Christmas market: Feria de Santa Lucia. You will find decoration for you Christmas tree, "figuritas de pessebre", small figures to make your own nativity ... The tradition is t to buy a small one every year to add to your " belen" at home.
From the 1st to the 22nd December you also have the Tio Gegant. Children under 12 can hit " the Caga tio " ( Poop log) and will get a small gift in return. It is a very Catalan tradition. You can also purchase these Caga tios in what ever size you want and the best thing in whichever famous person you want ( you have all the barça players), many presidents ( Mas, Rajoy, Obama ...),the pope, the queen of england..You also get mistletoe for good luck and Holly to hang over your door .

You can visit the interior of the beautiful Cathedral, and it has a marvelous " belen" in the cloister, you can enter from the c/del Bisbe. The official Barcelona "belen" or " pessebre " (in catalan )is in Plaça St Jaume  where the Town Hall is . You can visit it till the 6th of January from 10 am to 9 pm. They have had beautiful ones in the past years... I have seen it at night this year so it's been closed and seemed very contemporary. 

 Have a nice grilled sandwich in Can Conesa just around the corner and then  a nice biberon or bombon café ( expresso with condensed milk ) in " Meson del Café" , both in c/de la Llibreteria. You  will also see  a nice pastry shop and a good fresh juice bar.
Just behind the Catedral you have la Placa del Rei (not plaça real) where each friday night , you have a dance with live music till the 21st of December : Els divendres a la Plaça del Rei.
Just walking around the Barrio Gotic is invigorating. You can shop on Porta Ferrissa and Porta del Angel. Try to go during siesta time and it won't be so crowded.  
One of the side streets from Porta del Angel ,there is c/Montsio where you can find "Els 4 gats". It's name is a catalan expression for few people. It opened in 1897. Pablo Picasso 1st individual exposition took place there. It is a very pretty place, where you can have a coffee or a drink, have a chat and of course has a beautiful restaurant on the inside. You have jazz nights on Tuesdays.. It opened as a cabaret in the yearly years and got inspired by " Le chat Noir" in Paris. It closed in the early 1900 and a group of restaurant bought it back in 1989. 

Opposite Els 4 gats, you have a small, but nice Indonesian restaurant : Betawi. Coming back to the cathedral , you can cross the Via Layetana and you have a Mercat Gotic. The Mercat Santa Catalina is there as well as the restaurant of the group tragaluz : Cuina Caterina . It is well integrated to the market and has a vast variety of Mediterranean as well as asian cuisine. You can have breakfast with a fresh juice, go for a drink or have lunch in their vast hall, and dinner as well.

Nearby on the via Layetana , you have an interesting store Sai Maya where beside the habitual electronic supplies ( batteries,watches...), videogames you also have an ample variety of Indian spiritual books, Indian gods statues , rosaries from India Tibet , incense...
Across the street , walking towards calle Condal , you also have a very entertaining store Tiger : it has a bit of everything at very affordable prices, good secret santa gifts, some interesting indian sauces , sweets, cookies...
¡Buen finde!


A day with BelleBarcelone

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