Monday, January 30, 2012

Walking around Barcelona

Barcelona is a wonderful city for walking, and we do. In fact we walk at least 10 km a day. That was our plan for today but first the little matter of the safe that wouldn't open. We called downstairs and shortly after an obviously unhappy manager appeared at our door. After giving him the code that still didn't work, he attached a machine that resembled a visa to the safe but as the Spanish would say, "nada!" More beeps, still nothing. When he said that he couldn't get it open, I was becoming alarmed but I knew that I wasn't going to be separated from my belongings. After some considerable time and more beeps, the door opened. Seamus had visions of us taking the train to Figueres and then a cab home, calling a friend for the key and back to Figueres for the car. I'm so glad that he didn't tell me any of this. We stored our luggage downstairs and we were off on our walk.

Our first stop was Magellan's ship the Victoria, which we toured in no time as it was so small. It must have been horrible being one of the 42 crew members sailing in the ship. Right next to it was the Santa Eulalia, a tall ship built in 1919 and now maintained by the Maritime Museum of Barcelona, also giving tours. It must have been three times the size of the Victoria and much more comfortable. We walked along the promenade past a small food market that had the biggest loaves we've ever seen and fresh crepes with Nutella and bananas. Then we were at the wide sandy Barcelonetta beach. There were more people out walking than we saw in September. The beach stretches for miles and we walked and walked passing tables of old men playing dominoes for money. Finally, we turned around and started looking for lunch but it really wasn't very good. The sea bass I had should have been thrown back for being too small. Seamus had fideua, which looks like paella but with noodles instead of rice, along with saffron, whitefish, mussels and crayfish.

We picked up our bags and made it in time for our media distancia train to Figueres. The train was lovely and warm after a day of chillier weather than we are used to and I must admit I nodded right off for more than half the trip. As we were driving home we saw dustings of snow much lower down in the mountains than previously. It is definitely colder now. Home at last after a lovely weekend.

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