Our last night on the Equinox was a lot of fun. Starting with a great dinner and ending at our favourite bar. And yes, I am a poster child for 511 clothes.
Drinking Buddies from the Molecular Bar
Our Outstanding Bartenders
And I ate the scorpion from the tequila.
We have had a busy couple of days in Barcelona. The disembarkation from the Ship in Barcelona went very smoothly. We managed to get an excellent taxi driver, Franco, who gave us a quick two hour tour of the highlights in Barcelona before dropping us at our hotel. I’m fairly sure he totally ripped us off for the cost of it, but he did it with a smile and a decent tour so I really don’t care.
Museu Nacional D’Art de Catalunya
The architectural hero of Catalonia, Gaudi and some of his works
Our hotel, the Four Points Sheraton was beautiful. It is away from the major tourist traps but is still convenient to everything. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a reasonably priced higher quality hotel. Our first adventure was finding a laundry mat. Which was a total success, it was a very pleasant surprise, clean, english instructions, and no nasty smells. To top it off we found a little hole in the wall restaurant next door where we got out first taste of Catalonian food. And yes, that is Catalonian not Spanish food. They are very serious about the distinction between Catalonia and Spain.
In the evening after a short Metro ride we met up with some great people from the cruise ship and went out for dinner at an excellent restaurant just off of Las Ramblas. We had a Spanish dinner in that we didn’t get seated until 10:00 and finished at around 01:00. The Sangria and company was excellent.
Yesterday was the classic tourist day. We got the ticket for the Hop On Hop Off bus and did the City. The first stop was the La Sagrada Familia. Really all I can say is WOW. Buy your tickets on line early for the earliest time available in the morning. Get the audio tour and go up one of the towers. Yes it is a bit expensive, but…….simply one of the most impressive buildings I have every been in. Gaudi truly is a genius.
the play of light was spectacular
We spent the balance of the afternoon down by the beaches. It was a National holiday today so there were lots of families out and it was a great atmosphere.
Barcelonian’s out enjoying the sunshine
We were enjoying it as well
The one thing I have to comment on is the concept of urban design. I realize there are all sorts of politics surrounding it, but without a doubt North American cities are retarded in their design for the movement of people and growth. Retarded may be harsh, perhaps just adolescent, seeing as Europe has been doing it for over a thousand years longer than we have. You would just think designers would learn from what has already been done. Watching the interaction between pedestrians, bicycles, scooters, motorbikes, cars, and light rail transit all using the same right of way, with no crossing arms, fences, or warning signs was simply awe inspiring. The lack of signs spelling out all the rules is also very refreshing. I got the feeling you did not want to cross the Police here as when they directed someone to do something, they did it. However the neat part of it is people seemed to police themselves. They crossed the road when it was safe, they picked up after their dogs, there was a noticeable absence of litter in the streets and everything just seemed to work. I am aware that they have their share of problems and I still think North America is a great place to call home but I believe it is only fair to acknowledge when a group of people are doing an exceptional job. I will get off my soap box now.
As we got ready to depart Barcelona last night Karen realized there had a been a bit of confusion with our flight dates from Barcelona to Madrid. So we adapted and decided to take the train to Madrid instead. I am very glad we did. It reminds me of what an adventure traveling can be. Getting all our luggage by Metro across the city to the train station is a doable challenge. And enjoying the ample room you get on a train was great. As well it is a wonderful smooth way to see the countryside.