Monday, September 20, 2010


17 Septiembre (Viernes) - We walked over to the Palau de Mar to get the 19 bus to the Picasso Museum.  According to the bus route map, the bus is supposed to stop right in front of the place, but we saw nothing to indicate there was a bus stop.  I thought we could just wait until the bus showed up, but then the rain began falling.  It was already cold, so we just said the hell with it and returned to the apartment.  Hopefully, the weather will clear up later.

So much for that theory.  Not only did it not clear up, it actually got worse.

We were sitting in the apartment watching rac105, the local version of MTV which plays mostly videos in English, when we heard really loud drums.  I looked out the door but could see nothing.  Robb and I grabbed our umbrellas and walked down to the corner.  There in the alley between Chito's and Como, was a group of about seven or eight young boys playing drums in the rain.  They had drawn quite crowd.

We were just about to have dinner in the apartment when the rain let up a little and we made our way down to Como.  There were only two people there and they were just drinking.  We were warmly greeted by the waitress, a young girl from Italy who only spoke rudimentary Spanish.  We ordered a white wine and she brought one from Penedés.  We were wondering if it was made by Torres under a different name because it cost less.  Whatever, it was good.  We both chose the €19.90 menu. My first course was Ensalada de Queso de Craba, which was a green salad with cheese, sunflower seeds and toast.  Robb had fried mozzarella.  Our second course was Pollo al Curry (curried chicken).  The third course, dessert, was a chocolate mousse with ice cream.  Everything was absolutely delicious.  There is no doubt we WILL return.

By the time we left, the rain had stopped.  We're hoping for a nice day tomorrow, but they are predicting another day like today.

18 Septiembre (Sábado) - It was another cloudy, cool day, but at least it was dry.

We once again tried to find the bus stop for the 19 near the Palau de Mar.  We once again failed.  We took a taxi to the Picasso Museum where we met Susan.  I'm not a big fan of Picasso, but the buildings in which the museum is housed are fantastic.  Of course, the public isn't allowed to wander about, so we didn't get to see the really neat stuff.  We checked out his early period when he was an actual painter, then Robb and I went down to the museum restaurant for a snack and some cava.  Susan went through the whole collection.

It did rain while we were in the museum, but had stopped by the time we left. 

Afterward, I was determined to find a 19 bus stop and did.  Susan went back to her hotel to get her stuff and will be moving back in with us.  We had to wait a good while for the 19 to arrive and discovered it doesn't go anywhere near what the route map indicates.  Así es la vida. 

Susan went to some kind of dance show with people she met in her travels about the city.  Robb and I went to dinner atSegons Mercat.  I ordered three things from the tapas menu, Robb had a salad.  Luckily for me, they only brought two of the things I ordered because I could not even eat all of that.   We did, however, manage to each consume four glasses of cava.  When we were nearly finished, a group of six Americans entered. Good grief, they were so loud.  My major complaint about the Spanish has been that they are so loud.  What a noise would have been created if a group of Spaniards had joined the Americans.  And just to make things unbearable, throw in a group of Italians.  That would be enough noise to level the building. 

19 Septiembre (Domingo) - I started my day by walkig up to the alimentacio and buying a liter of milk.  Have I ever mentioned how much I love the milk in Europe?  It's so much creamier and richer tasting.

Another observation.  Elsewhere in the world, when two dogs meet they give each other a little 'sniff' and move on.  I Spain, when two dogs meet, they want to kill each other.
Robb and I hopped aboard the 59 bus to Plaça Cataluya where we hopped aboard the 55 bus and rode to the Funicular of Montjuic.  We paid our fare and rode up to the castle.  It's a great ride from which you can see the whole of Barcelona and the Mediterranean Sea spread out before you. Including a view of the Barceloneta where we're staying.  After getting to the top, it's still a pretty good walk and it's all uphill.  The castle isn't really much to see, and is actually kind of small as castles go, so it's basically the views (which you already got on the funicular).  There is one view that you can only get once inside the castle.  It's what I assume were the baths.  But if you're not the curious type, you most definitely will miss it, because first you have to enter what appears to be a display featuring pictures depicting the various periods in the history of the castle.  But if you walk to the end of the display and happen to glance to the left, you will see a tiny little passageway which leads to another tiny passageway at the end of which is a glass partion that permits you to look down into the pool.  One thing I really liked was the poster for the prediction of the Barcelona population in 2020.  

But the weather was great and I would say it's absolutely worth the trip.

On the way home, we stopped, got a gelato and listened to a South America band,Los Andes.  I liked their music and bought a CD.  

Before we left for the castle, Susan, Robb and I had made a tentative plan to have a picnic dinner at the Magic Fountain in the evening, so after we got back to the apartment, we rested for a couple of hours and then set out.  

We walked up to the metro station at Plaça de Pau Vila, caught the Line 4 to Urguinaona, where we got the Line 1 to Plaça España.  When you get up to the surface, the National Museum of Art of Catalunya (a worthwhile destination in its own right) is directly in front of you up the hill.  Near the bottom of the hill, is the Magic Fountain of Montjuic, our destination.  

There are always a bazillion people at the Magic Fountain, but it's worth the trouble.  We somehow managed to find a spot on the wall, set out our picnic regalia and enjoyed the show.  I've seen many videos of the Magic Fountain but they cannot possibly show the majesty of this fantastic fountain.  Each show is different and you would have to spend the night there to see all of them, so people were constantly coming and going.  We could see a lot of them looking at us and thinking to themselves that they, too, should have thought of having a picnic.  Or maybe it was the cava we were drinking.We sat through several shows, our favorite being the one that featured the music of Rodrigo.  

When we decided to leave, Robb discovered his wallet was missing.  He and Susan think he was robbed, but I believe he just lost it.  We all trudged to the Police station which was an exercise in futility because they told us to come back tomorrow.  Needless to say, poor Robb is in a state of shock.

You can see all the Barcelona pictures here: Barcelona
Hasta la próxima, amigos.  


Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Sounds like you are all enjoying yourselves. It is nice to travel when everyone gets to do what they want, either alone or in the group.

Looks like the temperature is just about perfect. Sorry about Robb's wallet.

Have fun,

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Where are you guys now??? Have you seen any evidence of the strikes? Be safe -- have fun!

Megan said...

oh, too bad about the wallet. Such a pain. I usually try to take photocopies of my important cards (such as SSN, driver's license, etc)