We only had one day to play tourists in Barcelona, so we decided to check out the Arc of Triomf, which was built in 1888 for the Exposición Univeral de Barcelona. It was a nice walk from our hotel and enabled us to get a better feel for the city on the way there.
Behind it, there is a beautiful large area for people to walk, bike or sit around and enjoy the sun.
To keep the area free of cars there's an underground parking lot which enables many visitors to come and enjoy this space if they cannot or do not want to use public transportation. I love the modern elevator made out of glass and leading people right in the main area. I wonder if the green tint on the glass was intentional, to better blend in with the surrounding trees. We decided to keep walking towards the zoo and discovered a park : Parque de la Ciudadela.
The Arc of Triomf is nice, but what you really need to check out if you're in the area is the Parque de la Ciudadela. It a gigantic natural oasis right in the city, with lakes and fountains, and trees, play area for kids, play area for dogs, colorful birds, interesting architecture, etc.. It was a great find so we spend a large portion of that day just exploring the park. It such a great asset in the city. It was nice to see people enjoying the space having a picnic, taking pictures, celebrating birthdays, grabbing a bite to eat. I took many picture while we were there. If I had more time I would have done some urban sketching as there was a lot of interesting subjects to draw.
One of the things I really like about Barcelona is that the more you walked around, the more you discovered nice little tucked away plaza and parks in unexpected places. This was by far the biggest discovery during our stay and we glad we got a chance to experience it.
I hope to be able to go back to Barcelona and spend a little more time exploring this city because it seems like there is a lot to see and experience and we barely scratched the surface.