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Published: October 21st 2013
Today we visited Barcelona and I didn’t have great expectations of what it would be like. It was a bit dismal and rain was sprinkling as we waited for the bus to get to the city because it was a bit far to walk. We paid out our 52 euros and toured around Barcelona in an open top bus with the option of seeing over 40 places of interest. That was the best investment of the trip. We went to an incredible number of places including a number of sites from the 1992 Olympic Games.
The people of Barcelona are still really proud of having held the games. While Barcelona is a magical place now, I’m sure it wasn’t back then and ordinary people, as well as the government but in a great deal of effort and money to make sure the Games were a success. The Games Village has been redeveloped as an exclusive residential area which is very close to transport and the major attractions of the city.
So we cruised around on three bus routes around the city listening to the excellent quality commentary. It was a bit tricky leaving the bus because
you often ended up being tethered to it by the blue headphones. Everyone did it so I wasn’t the only goose!
Peter had staked out a location for us to visit: the Sagrada Familia (Church of the Holy Family). I had no idea of the marvellous place we were about to experience. We queued up for about an hour in the sun to get in which is much less time than we waited to go to the bloody Eiffel Tower which was a non-event for me. I really hoped it wasn’t going involve a large crowd squashed into a very confined space. I was very pleasantly surprised.
The building and decoration was absolutely amazing and at at all like a traditional cathedral/church. Imagine a building with wonky, curvy walls, jagged hand railings on nooks in the walls, Venetian tiled sections at the tops of spires. I know there are technical terms for this type of architecture but it was a joy to just look at this strange and fascinating building and ornamentation. You can go to church there which would be incredible. Here is a bit of the history about the church if you are interested http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Templo_Expiatorio_de_la_Sagrada_Familia
With our heads full of new and wondrous sights, we hopped back on the bus and went past the Barcelona football (soccer) stadium. Football is more a religion than a sport over here. Bit like cricket is to Australians!!!
As it was latish in the afternoon we decided to jump off the bus and go and find a café. We walked a few streets of the main road until we found a café and adjoining barbers shop. So we had to stop. Peter was in dire need of a haircut; his inner werewolf was coming through. So he booked in and we had a drink while we were waiting. Very civilised. Christine, Peter suggested that you should open a bar in your salon and you’d get heaps more customers.
OK being in Spain we needed to have some tapas with our drinks. I ordered in English and the man working in the bar didn’t understand English but he smiled a lot. I hoped I had ordered a plate of mixed tapas. Alas not, it was steak, eggs and chips and it was not tapas sized. So there we were eating or “tapas” waiting for the haircut.
5 euros Peter had his hair cut, beard trimmed, neck shaved and got a massage with a really strange hand held massage machine. The Barber in Vietnam use a prehistoric version of this massage machine so Peter wasn’t surprised this time. So after a number one blade all over and a massage we parted company with both the barber and the café owner and headed back for the ship just in time for dinner!!! No, the steak and eggs tapas was not enough to keep body and soul together….
We left Barcelona and arrived in Porta de Mallorca early this morning. As it was a Sunday most things were closed so we took leisurely stroll into town. The Porta de Mallorca marathon was being run and we had a great view of the competitors from our vantage point on the bridge. We waited on the bridge until we cheered the last competitor on her way. She wasn’t going to break any records but she was sure having a good go!! We really hoped she finished.
When I say things were closed in town, I really do mean closed. Even MacDonald’s was closed!! We followed a group of coffee
shop lemmings who had sniffed out an open café and were rewarded with strong coffee and wifi. I think Peter also snuck in a beer. It’s all much civilised over here. When our devices were flat we toddled back to the ship and have been lazing about for the afternoon.
Some of you may be aware that I have started a renovation job on our front stairs and entry way. The wallpaper went mouldy and the paint was chipped off the stairs. It looked pretty bad. I spent a couple of weekends scraping off the wallpaper and made very slow progress. Our lovely friend Julie who is staying in the house has taken up the sander and the paint brush and is doing the rest of the renovation job.
Julie’s partner Cass is also doing a monumental job for us: cleaning out the kitchen cupboards. That is a really big job because our cupboards were a mess. I am of the “fling it in and slam the door quickly” school of putting things away. OK, so things fell out occasionally but I believe Cass has solved that problem. Thanks gals, you are doing great work and we love
you to death for helping us.
I haven’t heard what job has been delegated to Cleo but I suspect it’s something to do with supervision i.e. Cleo supervising Julie and Cass’ work. If she had a shovel to lean on Cleo would make a good council worker!! Either that or she’s hiding up the tree in the back yard trying to decide if it’s safe to come inside and not get paint on her tail!!
We are having a wonderful time on board the ship. We are currently leaving the port flanked by a flotilla of small boats. It could even have been an armada…I forgot we were Christopher Columbus territory. Quite an amazing sight!
Talk to you next from Valencia
xx pj and sandy
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