May 16, 2009

The rain in Spain falls mainly on Las Ramblas

Kaitlin, Annie, and I arrived in Barcelona Thursday evening. After checking into our hostel, we were starving, and went for dinner on Las Ramblas, the main street of Barcelona. It was such a lovely evening that I suggested we sit outside. In the middle of the street there's a wide promenade lined with tables and chairs for each restaurant. The waiter warned us that it was going to rain. I should have listened. About half way through our meal, the skies opened up and dumped rain down on us. Even though we were sitting under an umbrella, the rain was still blowing in and soaking us to the bone. My dinner plate became a swimming pool. The one upside to sitting on the sidewalk, was that we got to see Bono's doppelganger, sitting at the table behind us.

Spanish Bono

Rain on Las Ramblas

My dinner plate - now a pool of rain water

We made a run for it, across the street, and finished our dinner inside the restaurant. Our drenched evening just goes to show that the Professor had it all wrong... the plains have nothing to do with it.  
After getting soaked, I wasn't really in the mood to go out. But a bottle of red wine in our hostel room dried me off and changed my mind. We went down to the bar in our hostel, shared a couple litres of beer, met some new friends, and then all went out on the town. Luckily the rain had stopped for the evening - nothing but dry skies for the rest of the night.  

Friends share (me and Annie)

Our first stop was for mojitos at a nearby bar. Kaitlin lost an earring somewhere in the streets of Barcelona on our way to the next bar, an Absinthe Bar, to light a few sugar cubes on fire. There was a sign that said "No Singing" in Spanish, and I'm pretty sure that as soon as we saw that sign we started to sing something. Then we did Captain Planet/Power Rangers moves with our hostel room keys, which looked like wrist watches. Our third stop was a dance club, but we didn't all make it inside. Kaitlin miraculously found her earring on the walk back. Michael wanted a piggy back ride, and even though I said "NO", he jumped on anyway and we both fell straight down in the middle of the street. I woke up the next morning with giant purple bruises on both knee caps. It was also the second time that two people had sex in my hostel room and I slept through it. Again, not complaining.     

Hostel Friends at the Mojito Bar

Friday morning we were all hurting from our escapades the night before. But I forced my bruised knees out of bed to go be a tourist, since we only had one full day in Barcelona. We saw the Plaza Real (square), Palau de la Generalitat (seat of the Catalan government), La Seu Cathedral, and stopped for a lunch of Paella and Sangria by the sea.  

Plaza Real

Annie and me at the docks

Kaitlin and Annie enjoying their Paella

After lunch we spent some time on the beach (Platja de Sant Sebastia)

Annie soaking in the Spanish sun

Then went hunting for all of Gaudi's beautiful, yet bizarre architectural designs.
Here is what we found:
Palau de la Musica Catalana

Casa Batlo, Gaudi's House of Bones (Casa dels Ossos) 
or House of the Dragon (Casa del Drac)

Being monsters in front of the monster house

The never-ending construction of Sagrada Familia

We finished off our day at Park Guell. There was a giant hill that we had to climb in order to get to the park. You know it's a bad hill when there are outdoor escalators periodically along the way. When we finally got to the top we collapsed on the famous tiled benches and enjoyed the view of the city and the water.  

The hill

5 or 6 escalators

Relaxing on Gaudi's tiled benches

Park Guell

Beneath the benches was a whole other whimsical world.

At one point, I crouched down to take a picture of Annie and Kaitlin, but this group of guys wandered into the frame.  We waited for them to move along, but they just stayed there. We got passive-aggressively annoyed at them and started to laugh. They took so long to move, that my bruised knees started to hurt and I fell over. We laughed at the situation, and only afterwards realized that the one guy didn't have a leg. Then we felt like terrible people - that poor guy must have thought we were insensitive people laughing at him. Ugh, karma. 
We stopped in a few touristy shops on our way home, and in one of them, Kaitlin rounded the corner to walk down the isle and nearly had a heart attack. There was a cat curled up on the shelf. It was adorable. We also saw some sarcastic graffiti, which I thought was hilarious. Then it was round two of Barcelona nightlife. I took it much easier this time, since I had to fly home in the morning. And by "home" I mean back to Edinburgh. And by "morning" I mean that I had to check out of the hostel in the morning but didn't really leave for the airport until 3:00pm. I just sat in the sun by the docks at Port Vell all morning and afternoon. It made for some fantastic people watching.  

An actual cat nap

Port Vell

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