Published: September 2nd 2012September 2nd 2012
Dos Pizzas sin glutine
In all honesty, after the amazing lunch we had we really didn't need these but at least the experience got us out at night!
Yep it’s official – just in case you’ve been hanging out to know – we finally made it out at night and had dinner Barcelona style at around 10.30pm. We just got back to the hotel and it’s nearly midnight. Wigs has been up for 21 hours and he is definitely inspired the ‘glazed over’ bit in the title. He came into the hotel room and fell straight to sleep in about 30 seconds! But at least he will be in the right sleep cycle from now on. I had visions of five weeks on the road with a man awaking every morning at 3 a.m. Fun!
We had another big day out, which I will get to later, but when we got back to the hotel at around 7 p.m. it looked a bit groundhog day and I was determined to get out and about at night! I went down to the free Wi-Fi to find out about the train times to Girona and when I got back Wigs had hatched a plan to visit a gluten-free pizza restaurant a few suburbs away that had been highly recommended on the internet by some travelling coeliac! So
we navigated several metro trains to Calle Dos de Mayo and found ‘il Piccolo Focone’ – and sure enough they did great pizzas that even I was happy to eat and gluten free beer! So even though poor Wigs could hardly sit up straight he was happy!
On the subway the crowd was in a festive Saturday night mood with groups of boys in colored lays clapping and chanting and a group of girls who all surrounded a busker and started singing and dancing to the music. The trains at this time of night were full of much younger people and couples than the usual mixed crowd of earlier in the day.
Remember in the previous blog I was waiting for Wigs to get back? He never did find a photocopier so he did come back and we set out for Park Guell a Gaudi designed park built on the side of a hill overlooking the city and facing the sea. The guidebook said that 4 million visitors go there a year and I think about 3 million had decided to be there when we arrived! The place was packed full of Spanish families and tourists of all
nationalities. It was totally impossible as the guidebook said to take a photo without a heap of other people in it. As we walked along almost clipping the heels of the people in front of us, listening to cheesey renditions of what sounded ike Abba or Burt Bacharach songs being played on a hammer dulcimer and observing the many hawkers setting out their identical sets of Gaudi lizards, owl necklaces and ashtrays made of tin cans we had a bit of a ‘OMG! What are we doing moment!’ See the pic of Wigs here looking deliberately grumpy! We both felt a bit that way. This did not detract from the Park though which was really quite magnificent but I think better visited in complete off-season and mid week! I know I am a tourist but I have difficulty with the 'identity' of tourist - I hope to become a traveller.
The park was full of sinuous, mosaic decorated walls; cacti topped columns and winding paths that led to a series of plazas that offered the most extraordinary views of Barcelona city. You could see where La Sagrada Familia sat centrally in the landscape, where MontJuic was (the site of
the Miro museum) across to the right and of course the seafront stretching out to form a panorama that had to be seen to be believed!…
We climbed up the Turo del Calvari (a giant stone cross accessed by narrow spiral stairs with an inner rail but no outer rail) to see the penultimate view and although stunning it did trigger off my fear of heights on the descent. Unless I have a rail to hold on to I am not a happy gal but I managed to act and obviously look sufficiently panicked so that all the people coming up the stairs moved out of my way as I crept pathetically down the inside rail! These moments are really disappointing because they expose a weakness that I just can’t seem to overcome in the moment and rob me of being able to experience some sights from heights!
Overloaded with the tourist experience we headed out of a lesser used exit into the suburbs and made our way down hill for what seemed a very long way alongside a set of escalators heading up…my knees could have down with a set of down escalators I must say! We
found some fat juicy nectarines as a snack (we have had great stone fruit here) and back to the city to find a place for lunch. The 3 million people in the park also made their way down ahead of us and were waiting in the centre of town when we got there!
We came up at a metro station in El Ravel in, you might say, a less salubrious part of town. As we walked down one particular lane there were quite a few women who looked surprisingly like Amy Winehouse leaning up against the walls at regular intervals. ‘I think they are prostitutes’, I whispered, ‘I’d rather get some lunch’ said Wigs, so we made our way out of that area and back to tourist central! Spoiled for choice!.
Eventually we found a place that was in a shady spot and not too crowded near the Cathedral. We had some great food there – pork loin and veggies for Dave and I had a tuna salad and spicy potatoes. We also had these fishbowl size glasses of ‘summer wine’! By this stage we were starving so this was a fantastic meal for body and mood!
On the way back we picked up a better English/Spanish dictionary and some ‘supermercardo’ items and that’s where this blog started…back in the hotel room after a big day out but a bit glazed over.
Now with a belly full of pizza it is now truly time for some sleep.
We are off at about 11 a.m. to Girona and will spent the afternoon there exploring before our bike trip begins Monday morning. I am not sure how often we will be able to blog in the next week – internet access permitting I intend to keep it going. Thanks for the comments peeps! Hasta luego!
There are more photos below