Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day fifteen - Barcelona to home

Knowing that we faced many hours stuck in a plane later that day we endeavoured to spend our remaining hours in Barcelona walking. First around the block to have coffee at a bar across the street from the Estacio de Franca and from there down to the waterfront of Port Vell. his is very tourist friendly area that now includes a floating boardwalk out to a shopping centre in the middle of the harbour. We admired the boats in the adjacent marina, had another coffee and a brief look at the shops before resuming our trek. We were at the base of la Rambla in Placa del Portal de la Pua, a traffic circle with a huge monument to Christopher Columbus for a centrepiece, somewhat reminiescent of Nelson's Column. By this time more and more people were out (it was Sunday morning), many of them presumably coming ashore from the five cruise ships we could see docked in various corners of the harbour. A flea market had been set up here and I was immediately drawn to a table filled with Beatles memorabilia. I followed another imortant rule of holidays which is to be mildly fleeced at some point. In my case it was a small colour photo of John, Paul and George in the very early days in the middle of performing at what looks like a private party. It is a great picture, one I have never seen before. I knew the chance of it being an original photo was higthly unlikely but what if? what If? Well, so what if it's just a really good, probably pirated scan - I like it!

From there we wandered up La Rambla past the human statues and sidewalk games of guess which box the pea is under. We came across another flea market in Placa Reial We decided to head up to the main shopping area near Placa Catalunya not to do more shopping but because I hoped to get photos or video clips so Jenny could see what fashionable Barcelonastas were wearing. El wanted to do more shopping at those fabulous sales. But of course being Sunday shops were closed and young locals were probably still in bed from being up late the night before. It was really just us tourists out on the streets this morning.

By now our time was running out and after taking a look at our street map we determined that we could cut straight through the warren of alleys that make up the Gotic section if we were careful to bear only to the left or straight ahead. This worked pretty much. And on the way we passed through another lovely square we hadn't seen before giving us a different view of the city's main cathedral. As we passed down the side of the cathedral the alley opened into a little square where a musical trio was playing arabic inspired jazz melodies.For me there is something special about finding new music on our travels so I was delighted to hear this group and buy one of their CDs.

We got back to our hotel with time to spare for a cool beer in the bar across the road before heading for the airport. We thought that from this point on food would be disappointing but there was one more little surprise for us, getting to enjoy an excellent lunch in an airport restaurant, El's last sea bass. We arrived home after an interminably long flight, tired, but filled with wonderful memories and ready to do it all again the first chance we get!

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