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Mailuna Relax ...

Mailuna is an idyllic place in busy Raval, just a few metres distance from the MACBA in the middle of the so-called barrio chino. A perfect pit stop for the stressed out soul to recharge their batteries in, Mailuna provides goods, food and services for maximum relaxation.

A large assortment of teas, freshly made fruit juices and creative foods can be enjoyed in the informal and quiet interior. Natural body care products like soaps and oils are on sale and there are the tempting options of either taking a siesta in one of their specially designed and decorated rooms, or of having a professional therapeutic massage specially designed for your individual needs.

Mercabarna-Flor Next level flower shopping

From the outside, this architectural eye-candy looks more like a contemporary art museum than a market. With its endless strips of vertical color, the two-tiered angular structure resembles Paris’ La cheminée de Moretti, a kaleidoscope of color among drab warehouses.

Playfully obstructing an immediate understanding of purpose, the crisp air and interior fragrance eliminate any confusion surrounding the building’s program. Spanish architectural firm, Willy Müller Architects (WMA), designed the state-of-the-art flower market in three main sections—one for cut flowers, one for plants and one for accessories.

Though buying a dozen roses isn’t an option (Mercabarna-Flor only sells to wholesale buyers), if you plan ahead you can see the striking building and its colorful contents on a guided tour.

Plaça dels Angels Concrete playground

Epicenter of this so-called civilized society and Skateboarding mecca of the world, the plaza is surrounded by historical buildings and serves as a pulsating cultural core. Blinding white light presides over the area courtesy of MACBA. Flanked as well by FAD (Foment de les Artes i el Diseny), La Capella, a primary school and a few restaurants and cafes (Pla dels Angels, Fragil, Original) on one of its corners, Plaça dels Angels is the result of a neighborhood development measure from the mid-nineties that included the development of other nearby note-worthies like CCCB and the recently inaugurated Philosophy Faculty of the UB up Montealegre street.

The plaza is a daily witness to many an exchange of goods and culture involving as diverse a group of individuals as possibly imaginable, and sometimes unimaginable—from local old timers to foreign skater bus tours to policemen to street dwellers, Pakistani vendors to modernos, school-kids to executives in suits, and not to mention all the rats, cats, dogs, birds and even reptiles present at the plaza at any given time. Enjoy the scenery, and watch out for creepy crawlers and accidentally rocketing skateboards as well.

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