It is Wednesday September 3rd. It’s going to be easy to count the days this trip.
After a late night ( 🍷🍺🍺🍷- see previous post 😄) we slept in a bit. Decided today would be a visit to Sagrada Familia and the beach. Packed our swim suits and those airplane blankets as towels into the backpack. Found a breakfast place and mmmm coffee. Coffee here is strong and served in smaller cups. Note if breakfast says sausages, it’s a form of hotdog. Blech!
We bought a 10 trip pass for the metro and got a metro map. Information people there were very helpful. Hopped on the metro (holy Hannah hot in the tube station but air conditioned nicely on the trains) and arrived at Sagrada. OMG there were lineups practically around the entire structure – and that was to buy tickets!! Re-calibrated our expectations and went back on the metro to the beach.
Barcelona has seven beaches within the city limits. Apparently they were pretty awful before, but were reclaimed and cleaned up for the 1992 Olympics. We got off the metro at Bogatell, which was supposedly a couple of minutes walk to the beach. More like 20 and my Spanish came in useful for the first time ¿Donde estas la playa? Which sounds different here than in North and South America. All tthh sounds and most people speak Catalan which (no offence intended to the Catalanese) sounds more Italian/French at times .
Back to the beach. We ended up at a different beach than Bogatell. The beach where topless is okay. I think he planned this ☺️). So here is the conversation (as I remember it)
M: “Okay David, don’t stare. ”
D: “What do you mean? Oh my, that’s interesting!”
M: “Careful, you could get whiplash”
Actually it was very tame. Very few topless. In case you are wondering: No I did not go topless 😃
We rented a couple of loungers and took a splash into the sea. Grimy and sweaty from trekking around it felt good and refreshing, although we ended up saltier than before,
After a few hours, some cold water, sketching, book reading, and buying the cutest little handmade notebook from a beach vendor, we packed up and headed to the nearby pier overlooking the Olympic marina. Burgers, beer and wine.
Barcelona has a BiCing program. Bright orange bikes around the city that you rent and ride and drop off at one the many stations anywhere. We used these types of bikes in Nice and thought it would be great way to get back. However, you can’t just put your credit card in and rent them. You have to sign up for a card which takes 1 to 2 weeks to be sent to you. Opportunity missed Barcelona!
It was a sad moment, my feet were tired. We strolled along the very nice and wide beautiful boardwalk along the ocean, passing many beaches. We saw a bus stop and thought we would check it out. Surly driver pointed at signs and wasn’t too helpful. But we did figure out we didn’t have exact change. So back to walking. David then spotted one of those bike taxis! Yay! It was a fun ride, swerving in and out if traffic, people, lights, up and down little side streets. David nailed it exactly when he said it was like one of those simulator rides! Breezy fun way to see more of the sites. Our “cabbie” pointed out places and was a lot of fun!
Took us right to the Barcelona Cathedral which is only a few blocks from our place. Cathedral was closing so we didn’t get inside there either. (Striking out on cathedrals today) Found a pretty little courtyard and got some good pics of the cathedral and it’s gargoyles.
We went back and organized Thursday. How to get to Montserrat and times, and online tix for Sagrada. Martin and Nicky suggested a little bar around the corner. Directions were left, left and left. Man with a big mustache. Found it, including the man! Picturesque bar. We ordered some tapas and drinks. Had my first Cava. Very bubbly Apple cider. Was okay. Changed back to wine. They brought us a little tapa of bread with some spread on it and said
on the house
we ate it, it showed up on the bill. This is apparently common, they will bring something to the table, if you eat you pay for it. Send it away if you don’t want it, no offense taken. The bread thingy was good. We also ordered a tuna and tomato salad. Best way to eat canned tuna ever. And sausages in BBQ sauce. These are mini hotdogs. Not our favourite. We had envisioned some delicacy, chorizo type, flavorful awesome bites. We now know what “sausage” means.
Back to the flat, and turned in early.
Big day tomorrow.