Monday, May 09, 2005

Barcelona Day 4

Slept in even later this morning. I think we left the hotel around 10:30. Took an 11:30 train to Montserrat and then a cable car to the top of the mountain. We spoke with a couple from London on the way there and then a woman from Chicago. It’s a 1,000-year-old monastery built into the mountain. We listened to a boys choir sing a couple of songs in the basilica. The place was packed with tourists. Took lots of pictures up there. We went on a short hike down trails with ceramic plaques with images of Mary decorating every few yards. Rushed past the statue of the Black Virgin in the basilica to catch the 2:30 train back to Barcelona – trains only go once an hour so we pushed our way through a bunch of German kids to make sure we’d get to the cable car on time.

Gypsy beggar womanDid some more wandering this afternoon. Had some thick hot chocolate and a boccadillo (ham sandwich) from Pans & Company on the Block of Discord. I tried a different boccadillo last night and didn’t like it – it was like eating uncooked bacon on cold stale bread. Found the music district down Callera de Tallers and checked out some CD and guitar shops. Asked a guy about a song we heard at Park Guëll. I sang the French version of the chorus to him – "et à nous la liberté" – and he recognized it as l’Estaca by Lluis Llach.

Took the "Short, Sweet Walk" described in Rick Steves’ book and had some horchata (orxata in Catalan) – an almond milk that’s pretty tasty.

Spent about two hours in an internet café because we were dead tired. Tried to see Palau Musica but it wasn’t lit up tonight. 1 ½ days left! We’re visiting the Picasso museum tomorrow.

Saw a Dixieland jazz quartet in front of FNAC. They were excellent – piano, banjo, clarinet, trumpet.

Day 5


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