Friday, December 15, 2006

Rainy Day, Internet Cafe

Location: Barcelona
Time: 12 noon
I am having a great time here in Barcelona! Honestly I have to say I have been blessed by the weather gods. Besides today, which is wet and rainy, I have had nothing but beautiful weather. So instead of wandering around in the puddles I thought I would take a moment to use this internet cafe and provide you with a little recap of what I have been up to.
Wednesday was my first day for exploring, on the schedule was Parc Guell and Poble Espanyol. When I arrived at the park I found that I was one of the first ten tourists in the park. This meant that I was the only person sitting on the winding bench enjoying the view over Barcelona. It was so tranquil compared to the chaos I experienced the last time I was here. As I was wandering up the hill to the higher vantage point I met a nice old man who insisted on showing me around the park and pointing out all the sights across Barcelona. This of course all occurred in Spanish, good thing that I still remember a word or two from Mexico! After telling me the history of the sights he checked his watch and revealed that he needed to get on with his day. I thanked him for sharing his knowledge and then was left to admire the view and wander around the park some more. Unfortunately, by the time I made it back to the front of the park I had been joined by a couple of tour buses of Asian tourists, a tour bus of Italian school kids and many other visitors. So much for more peaceful time in the park.
At this point I decided to wander back into the center of town and took a stroll down La Rambla. I grabbed a bite to eat and then continued my wander in the direction of Palau Nacional and Montjuic. The Palace, at the end of the Avenue of Cristina is such a spectacle to behold. Last time I was up here I wandered around the Olympic Stadium, however this time I was determined to check out the buildings and crafts of Poble Espanyol. Built as an homage to Spanish architecture this area contains all sorts of craftspeople. It was great to wander around and see all the local talent.
Thursday, I used the day to get lost in the old town. First stop was La Cathedral. Located in the center of the old town neighborhood it is absolutely amazing. There are something like 26 side chapels inside the church, all decorated differently. Although I have to say the best part of the church is taking the elevator to the top and wandering around on the roof. At a cost of €2.20 it is definitely the best item I have spent money on since being here. On the roof I was able to enjoy the sunshine while having a 360 degree panorama view over Barcelona. After visiting another church I grabbed a bocadillo y jugo and headed down to the water front to enjoy even more of the sunshine. I think the temperature yesterday was 15º, perfect weather for watching the yachts in the harbor by Mare Magnum. After a stroll along the waterfront I headed back to the old town to get lost in the winding streets and alleys. I found quite a few arts and crafts stands along the way and eventually ended up at the Feria de Santa Lucia next to the cathedral. It was amazing how quickly five hours pass when you are just wandering aimlessly through the streets of Barcelona.
Today, despite the rain, I have been perusing the shops around town. For lunch I am going to the Falafel place that my friends and I loved the last time we were here. This afternoon, Dad and I are hoping to visit La Sagrada Familia and then we are treating ourselves to dinner. Tomorrow I have to say goodbye to Barcelona, as we have a 7 o´clock flight back to London. It´s been an amazing few days and I only wish I had more time and more sunshine to explore even more. Next time I come I am definitely planning a day trip out of Barcelona to the Freixenet winery, only 45 minutes away by train.

No comments: