Julie and I took the train(s) from Sevilla to Barcelona, getting settled with three days of buffer before my sister Jennifer joins us.

View from the hill down at La Sagrada Familia View from the hill down at La Sagrada Familia

Staying in a very different neighborhood (El Born this time; previously we were adjacent to La Sagrada Familia) offered up some new opportunities to immerse ourselves in different parts of the city. El Born is adjacent to the gothic quarter and part of the ancient, less-planned section of the city. While we had a number of issues with our 2 bedroom AirBnB, the location was fantastic.

We mostly rested and regrouped in the days leading up to Jennifer’s arrival, but spent a few hours each day wandering and doing a few mostly-new things for us. Top of the list was a visit to Montjuïc, the hill down the coast overlooking the city. I’d first been up this hill back in 1990 as friend David and I explored the olympic venues being constructed for the 1992 summer olympics, but my memories were very fuzzy.

Olympic stadium and home to FC Barcelona Olympic stadium and home to FC Barcelona

We did a lot of walking this day (and climbing), starting at the castle on the hill then wandering by the olympic stadium (home of FC Barcelona), the Catalan art museum, and the magic fountain. Most of the fountains in and around Barcelona remain temporarily shut down because of ongoing drought issues.

El Born cultural center El Born cultural center

A very nice surprise just a couple of blocks from our apartment was the El Born cultural center, formerly the Mercat del Born. The market has a long and rough history (read the linked Wikipedia page), but about 10 years ago it re-opened with restored archeological remains exposed. Most of the center is free to visit, and the building alone is worth the visit.