Our friendly English-speaking guide Olga met us at a location right near La Rambla, Plaza Reial fountain, right on time. From there we walked through the Gothic quarter while she gave us relevant history of the area and pointed out sites, with all descriptions keyed to our prior experience. We were the only couple in the group so we were lucky, as it was in essence a private tour. We stopped at an excellent tapas place near Santa Catarina church where we had abundant tasty tapas with sangria, then toured the Picasso museum for one hour on our own after Olga got us in, with beat-the-line entry. There are hundreds of Picasso pieces from many periods in this amazing but crowded museum, and we used an audioguide. There were not many places to sit or rest in the museum and leaning against bare walls even where there are no pictures is forbidden too, and it was warm inside, so we could only do so much at a time. Would have to come back to experience this museum fully.The museum entry fee was extra, 42 Euro for two.
Then we went to a different Basque, Euskal Etxea tapas/pintxos place, drank summer wine, even tastier. Olga finally walked us through the district of Born telling amusing and interesting stories and pointing out sites we easily would have missed. The Modern Art Museum was also on the agenda but we were out of energy so skipped it. We finished with coffee and cake in a little alley pastry shop called Petritxol, with real whipping cream, instead of a third tapas place, that was our choice, We had had so much tasty food we skipped dinner. Total walk time was just under four miles on our pedometer, nothing was too steep. Olga spent six hours with us though the tour was officially only four hours. Overall, this was an excellent tour for food and art lovers combined with orientation to the Gothic and Born quarters of central Barcelona.
Annette our tour guide was wonderful. We met at the Placa Reial and began a walking tour of the Gothic Quarter and the area where Picasso lived and worked before moving to France. Annnette was very knowledgeable about the art and food of Barcelona and pointed out many areas of interest. Because both couples on this intimate tour had been in Barcelona, she tailored to tour to things we did not know. She also tailored the tapas, which consisted of a stop for savory dishes along with our choice of beverage. We choose a Spanish red of her choice which was wonderful. We then walked to the Picasso museum where ample time was allowed for us to visit the entire exhibition. While not included in the price of the tour, pre-arranged, skip the line tickets were available to us for 16.00 each. We then walked to our next tapas stop for dessert and Cava, the local Catalyunian sparkling wine. Annette ordered traditional treats of Catalyunian Creme, bread and chocolate and chocolate and whipped cream. it was a wonderful afternoon and we would do it again!