Barcelona II

Trip Start Apr 25, 2012
Trip End Oct 10, 2012

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Flag of Spain  , Cataluña,
Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Thursday night I arrived in Barcelona again, which was a sort of strange feeling given I'd been here before, but it felt much the same as last time (that is no bad thing, though!)

So friday the tennis tournament begun in hot and humid conditions. It is a beautiful venue though, where the tennis at the 1992 olympics was held, and there is a nice pool. I played a tough player whom I thought I would have a hard time beating, and I actually brought my a-game to a singles match and won a tough match. Then I played not so well in doubles with aussie partner Sandy and we lost, so a reversal of the usual trend. That night I didn't do anything as I was rewarded with a lovely 8am match on saturday...

...which I lost. I didn't play disastrously but my opponent didn't allow me to play my best which I was disappointed about, as I felt I could have won. He went on to make the semi final. So I had a beer and a swim and waited for lunch to start (1pm to 4pm, I have to get used to everything being done several hours later) while I chatted to the now many familiar faces.

Sunday I went with an american tennis player Sunil to Parc Guell, which was my second time. It is a really nice place save for the hordes of tourists, with interesting and beautiful architecture. We witnessed a weird incident of undercover police raiding merchants selling knick knacks and cheap souvenirs. Danielle I already have bought several cheap crappy knick knacks for you as I know how much you love to have them hanging around the house. Later we went to the 4D movie theatre to watch a 15 minute movie on the lore of Barcelona (the 4th dimension is sensation in this case) which was surprisingly pretty cool. Later I went on to Eixample and had some fun with my ebab host checking out the bars.

Monday I slept in late, and just walked around. I went on Robert's suggestion to see three Gaudi designed apartments on Passeig de Gracia, which are very interesting and revolutionary given they are built late 19th to early 20th century (see photos). The rest of the day I just relaxed.

Tuesday I met with Ramon, Rupert and Nacho again, and met three of their friends for lunch. We had traditional Catalan food, which included a rabbit and snail paella (more snails). After a few Irish coffees we went and joined the festivities. To be honest, I didn't know much about independence of Catalonia movement etc before I went to Europe. But it was a really amazing day. Apparently 2 million people were packed into many streets of Barcelona. We couldn't move at one point for about two hours. It is a very joyous festival despite the seriousness of people wanting independence from Spain. The music, singing and thousands of flags was all really fun. I ended up being there about 5 hours.

Today I will just relax, eat and sleep before I wake up very early to fly to Rome tomorrow.
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mum x on

Matt I'm pleased you bought those cheap, crappy knick knacks for Danielle to display and collect dust. I know she'll be waiting with bated breath : )

Danielle on

Knick knacks! They better be plastic and involve animals with quirky but profound sayings.

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