Friday, May 06, 2005

Barcelona Day 1

Flew to Barcelona nonstop from Atlanta – 8 hours, 55 minutes. I actually got some sleep.

Port de BarcelonaGot to Barcelona at 11am and tried to stay awake all day for a quick adjustment to the new time zone. Took the train from the airport to Plaça de Catalunya, used the bathroom twice at Corte Ingles, and bought some cheese, a baguette, and a drinkable yogurt for lunch, which we ate outside on the grass, right near the sign that said not to sit on the grass (although everyone else was – same way they were smoking all over in front of the no-smoking signs).

Checked into our hotel – Pension Vittoria – which is pretty dumpy but cheap ($47/night). The door locks but doesn’t really shut all the way so we have a towel covering most of the gap. And we share a shower and toilet and bidet with the rest of the guests. At first, we panicked and tried to find another hotel, but the cheap ones were all full so we convinced ourselves it would be culturally beneficial to stay here. It overlooks a medium-busy street, but the white noise maker we brought seems to be doing the trick.

musicians at La BoqueriaWe wandered down Las Ramblas and saw pet vendors, human statues, street performers, and shady characters. There are a lot of French tourists here. We visited a marketplace (La Boqueria) and watched a very talented group of street musicians. I bought a CD for 10 euros after they sang No Woman, No Cry. A pigeon pooped on my arm. Wendy bought some sliced pineapple for lunch.

We continued down Las Ramblas to the water and a giant statue of Christopher Columbus. We fell asleep on the grass for a few minutes and checked out the aquarium (where there were more French tourists).

Stopped by FNAC (a French department store) and watched the end of a Morrissey concert DVD. There were schools of fish in the waterfront at the bottom of Las Ramblas. And massive amounts of pigeons in Plaça de Catalunya.

For the rest of the day we visited cathedrals (where we heard two mass ceremonies in Catalan) and little shops. Wendy had a falafel for dinner and I ate a Hidalgo sandwich at Pans & Company.

We stumbled on to a concert in the cathedral near our hotel and heard the end of Vivaldi's Gloria and an encore of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah.

Day 2


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