Eth eth eth eth eth eth! Scorchio!

Trip Start Jun 09, 2005
Trip End ??? ??, 2006

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Saturday, April 8, 2006

Sorry for the title, this will only make any sense to those of you familiar with a certain 1990īs british skit show.

Well, I have been jumping up and down with excitement for weeks about heading to Spain, and is was with much anticpation that we headed off to the airport late Saturday arvo. We had plans to head out on the town that night, knowing Barcelona had a reputation for not sleeping. It was almost 1am in the morning though, when we finally got to our hostel, so decided we would keep it for the next day. Our immedaiate impression was fantastic though. Barcelona is much more spread out and green than London, and immediately felt much more relaxed. People were happy and smiling,although it could also have been that I didnīt need three layers of clothes.

Barcelona is FUN! We spent the first morning just wandering around, taking in the atmosphere and soaking in our first fully sunny day in months. There are loads of street performers everywhere, lots of cool, funky shops, markets etc. We had heard loads of warnings about pickpockets, especially around the region where we were, so kept a very close eye on possessions, and couldnīt fully relax. Headed down to the water, and lapped up the smell of salt water. Ahhh, nice! Loved it - until about 1pm, when its Siesta time and everything shuts. So when in Rome - we decided to head back to the hostal for our own siesta.Iīm sure this is a good idea if you are used to it, but I woke up distinctly grumpy, and it took a couple of hours to shake it off. I know whatīll fix it! How does sitting on the city beach eating Pimientos (little tiny peppers slow roasted and salted)and drinking San Miguel sound? Pretty good you think? WEll, you would be right! Next stop, seafood paella in the main boulevard, Las Ramblas. You will see from attached photos what happens when you order a large beer! I think the waiter spotted us a mile off.

Ahh, what a day!

Day 2

WE decided to have a tourist day (well, Lisa did). Started the day by heading through the main food markets and leaving a trail of drool a few kilometres long behind (youīll see what I mean by the photos - where is Johno when you need him?). You wouldnīt belive how fresh all the veggies looked. So nice not to have your veggies vacuum packed, like they are in London. Somebody give Mick a kitchen!

Then headed off to take the Bus Touristico, which seemed like a good idea, rather than trying to figure our buses, trams etc. Bought a ticket from the very helpful tourist office - hmm, working well so far. Until we turned the corner and saw the line for the bus. Crap. About three quarters of a hour later, we were aboard, and all is well again. Given the crowds, we decided to skip a few of Guadiīs houses that were first on the route, and head to Barcelonaīs must see -the Sagrada FAmilia - Guadiīs otherwordly cathedral that you may have seen photos of. Another half an hour of lining up, and I can see Mick getting more and more frustrated ( I think the Shepherd family would probably know the look I am talking about).

After finally getting inside, only to discover that the view was better from the outside anyway (the inside is basically a large construction site), and that we would have to line up for another hour and pay another 2 euros to get to the top of the church, where all the best and most surreal artwork is, we took a few half-hearted photos and kept going. In the end, it was worth it, because this is a piece of amazing art that I have always wanted to see, but was let down by just too many people. Aaaahhh, deep breaths! I hate being a tourist!

The next must see was Parque Guelle, which Guadi was hired to make into a housing estate but that was never finished. Again, extremely frustrating as there were too many people to actually see the art work as people were swarmed all around it, trying to get the obligatory photo. I wander if they even looked at the art, or just took photos to check it off their list? The bits I saw of it, were very beautiful, and the park is high up on the hills overlooking Barcelona and the ocean, so was great. Just too many tourists! I think you need to get up VERY early to see at itīs best.

At this point, it started raining, so decided to cut our losses and go shopping instead. Yeah!

Spent the evening Tapasing and bar crawling, once we figured out how to order. The pointing at whatever looks the most mouth watering technique seems to work pretty well. Gave the Sangria a miss tonight though, as the thought of it was enough to send my stomach into large knots. Why do I do these things to myself? Another plate of pimientos and all was good with the world again.

Barcelona is an amazing and completely crazy, and so far, I think, our favourite city for fun and good times.My favourite thing was the all the public modern art that was scattered over the city. Incredible! After being hit 20 Euros for a plate of capsicums and two beers however, decided it might be time to move on.
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