Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Belated Brief on Barcelona

Notes from a more decadent time...

Itinerary: Barcelona with Kate, April 2012.  Photos here.

Day 1.  Arrive in Barcelona by plane close to midnight on a Friday evening.  Take the bus; take the train.  Arrive at train stop and realize map is insufficient for further direction. Take a cab but driver also gets confused.  Follow tourists on the street until I find the hostel.  Reunite with Kate, realize our neighborhood has only other tourists, and wander the streets dejectedly observing the foreign vendors of street beer and samosas.

Day 2.  Get up around 10, go to La Boqueria market, and day-drink in Montjuic amidst numerous fountains and the "most cactus garden." Descend Montjuic just in time for the magical fountain show.  Try to go to beach clubs but our friend Adnan is wearing Those Fucking Shoes.  Adnan redeems himself by dancing his way into a private function.  "Are you with that guy?  He is strange.  Here is a drink."

Day 3.  Get up close to noon, procrastinate going to the Picasso Museum, and eat a delicious vegetarian meal in El Ravel (at Sesamo*).

Day 4.  Get up at noon.  Walk past the Sagrada Familia; line is too long.  Walk past more Gaudi; admission is too expensive.  Walk around Parc Guell; drink more wine.  Meet up with a friend's friend who shows us a "real Barcelona experience."  We get Middle Eastern food; we go to some bars; we go to a club (Apolo).  At one of the bars, the friend's friend engages in a series of arm-wrestling matches with strangers.  Kate has a video somewhere.

Day 5.  Get up at noon.  Take the train to Montserrat to see the Benedictine monastery from the 15th century.  During each of my trips with Kate, there is a moment when we clutch each other in amazement.  This happened here.

Day 6.  Kate catches her flight.  While walking alone in the Miro park, I become victim to an elaborate con involving photography, cocaine and heroine, and policemen real and fake.  I can send you the definitive story via e-mail.

Out of consideration for the travelling pleasure of our future selves**, Kate and I have saved some sights for future visits.  Among these are the inside of the Sagrada Familia and the coastal village of Caldaques, home to Dali.

* Every meal was amazing.  Sesamo happened to be the one place where I took a card and so remembered the name.
** Not laziness.

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