We wandered through the narrow streets of El Born towards the Barcelona Cathedral. This is always an interesting walk with lots of street music to listen to — old standards, classical guitar, even an opera performance. When we actually saw this quite large lady she was dressed in jeans and a sweater not opera glam. This walk also appeals to your sense of smell with cafes trying to tempt you with churros and chocolate. Churros are long thin deep-fried pastries that taste like homemade doughnuts. They are to be dipped in the very thick chocolate drink. Perhaps they aren't healthy but they are a delicious treat.
An elevator brings visitors to an underground level were you'll find the remains of the Roman city of Barcino, founded around 12 BC by emperor Augustus. The underground section covers an area of about four thousand square meters.
Following the walkway, we first saw the remains of a laundry, and adjacent to this a dying workshop from the second century. We could see the stone vats where items were dyed. They used something called Pompeii blue and we could see the remains of the blue dye on a stone channel. This area was known for salted fish and there were huge stone areas and large round clay vats for this as well as the remains of a garum factory. Garum was a popular fermented fish sauce. They even had a large wine making facility from the third century AD. There were more clay vats for the wine that was shipped to many areas in France, Genoa, Rome and Sicily. I'm not sure how this would taste but some of the vats held honey mixed with salt that was then added to the wine.
We moved to the ruins from a later period, including a church from the sixth century Visigoth period, and the episcopal complex, built between the fourth and seventh centuies AD.
Back upstairs you end up at the Palau Reial Major, a royal complex built in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Here the museum has a series of displays that tell the history of Barcelona during the Middle Ages, from the eighth until the thirteenth century, when the city experienced rapid growth. The tour concluded with a visit to the St. Agatha Chapel and the Tinell Hall built in the 1300s. The hall was used as a throne room and important guests were invited here. Christopher Columbus is said to have reported his discovery of America here to king Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.
Our tour of the Barcelona History Museum had come to an end. We thoroughly enjoyed it and will visit again some day.
Since we had some time left before our return train we took advantage of the weather and walked down to Barceloneta, Barcelona's beach area. Here you can walk for miles along the promenade visiting different beaches. There were lots of people sitting on the beach. Some were surfing and we could see that a handful had been in the water. They must have been visitors from northern climes.
By eight o'clock we were back in the Port. There was no wind and we were in just enough time to go to the champagne party opening of the new pizza restaurant in the village.