Montjuic, Time Alone, and Dinner at the Liceu

Trip Start Nov 16, 2008
Trip End Nov 29, 2008

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Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  , Catalonia,
Thursday, November 20, 2008

We got up at 7:15 am today. Rob left for the conference at 9. The shower only had enough hot water for me to wash my hair. Urrrghhhhh!

We left at about 9 also. The kids and I went to the Placa de Cataluna to catch the Metro to Montjuic. We went up to the window and I told the woman where I wanted to go. After a bit of confusion, I finally understood the stop she told me and the stop where I'd need to change trains. I then went over to the machine where I bought a pack of 10 tickets.

We got on the train, and we were on our way. The stop to change trains was only two away. Once we got on the second train, I pulled out my guide book and compared it to the train map. The more I compared, the more angry I became. That stupid twit had sent us in the opposite direction!!!! I don't know what her confusion was...I did NOT mispronounce Montjuic. We went through about 40 extra train stops to get to where we were going. :( On the bright side, we then had a good handle of the Metro system, plus it's very clean and runs on a tight schedule.

We finally arrived at the proper station and took the funicular (which is part of the Metro system) up to Montjuic. We were then going to take the skytram up to the castle, but the ticket machine wouldn't take a 50 euro (all I had in cash), nor a credit card without a pin number (I don't use pin numbers). More arrrrrrgggggghhhhh. Need to find somewhere to break the dang 50.

So we went into the garden (Jardins de Laribel) and walked around. We stopped at an empty cafe, La Font del Gat. We ordered water, limonada, cafe amb llet (same as cafe con leche), croquettes, and sausages ("king of sausages"). They brought us bread that we didn't ask for, and naturally charged us for it (we learned that this is customary here). When I tried to pay with the 50 euro note, they couldn't break it. YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!! I paid with a credit card, and we were right back where we started as far as getting up to the castle.

So we walked around some more and came across the Museu Olimpic i de l'Esport de Barcelona (Olympic Museum). It cost all of 4 euros for us to get in, but they at least could break my 50. We had a good time there. They had some really interesting displays. The kids most enjoyed racing against a 'light' runner.

We then walked back and got our round-trip tickets for the skytram (Teleferic de Montjuic) to go up to the castle. It was when we boarded that I saw that there was actually a ticket window where I could have easily bought tickets from a live person with my 50. So now I was the twit. Sigh.

We walked around the castle a bit. To be honest, there's not much to it (a comic museum is housed inside the castle). A nice view though. For the kids, the best part was the skytram ride. Somewhere in the Montjuic area there's a Poble Espanyol...a Spanish Village that has been recreated and is a center for arts and crafts. I would've liked to have gone to that, but we didn't make it.

We returned down the hill via the skytram, took the funicular down to the metro station and then took THREE stops to get to our station at Placa de Cataluna. We got back to the apartment and just relaxed a little before DH got back.

The kids were really tired so we let them stay in the apartment and DH and I went a few streets over and walked around a bit. We found some pretty streets with lots of Christmas lights up, but they weren't turned on. We also found a cool pet store that made me miss my Pasha. We walked and walked, and just enjoyed spending some time just the two of us. We found an interesting little coffee shop, Cafe Escac, to stop in and have something warm to drink.

We got back to the apartmentand we all got ready for the conference dinner. We walked down to the Theatre de Liceu and saw that it was sheer madness. They were setting up in front of the theater for the Spanish "Emmy" awards with red carpet and all. We were wondering how everyone was going to get there (everyone staying at the conference hotel was coming by bus) and the street was blocked off by tv stations.

Our friend from Italy came up at the same time we did, so he went in with us. We had gotten there a little early since my DH's company was sponsoring this dinner. We got a tour of the private club which is absolutely beautiful (located on an upper floor of the theater. Much of the decor was in the art nouveau style.

We were then escorted to this very elegant salon for champagne before dinner to wait for everyone to arrive. A man and a woman serenaded us during that time. After everyone finally made it, we went into the long dining room.

The dinner was good. One of the guests, who happened to be seated at our table, was talked into giving us a show. She sang two American Broadway songs, quite well I might add. It was fun and added to the excitement of what was going on outside; a crowd of people were standing outside looking up at our windows thinking we were all Spanish tv celebs! LOL

After dinner, when we exited through our door at the front of the theater, the people from the "emmy" show also started to trickle out. Since I was already within the barricade, I had a front row advantage to see the people coming out. Of course, I didn't know a soul coming out the doors. Shrug. So we walked home...and sacked out.
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