Bar”th”elona

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Well here I am!
After a rough start (not finding my hostel, confusing/scaring myself on the ATM machines, being dead tired and going to bed when most of Barcelona was ordering their first “tapes” of the night), I awoke twelve hours later to a new day.
“Off to the museum!” Thought a perky and determined Adam.
So off I went, to see a temporary Courbet exhibit in the Museo de Arte Nacional de Barcelona. After triumphantly conquering the public transportation, I arrived at the museum: closed on Mondays. Oh good. So I sat on the steps and listened to a man sing patriotic ballads on his guitar and watched a man in a green wig and dress blow enormous bubbles (these borbujas would blow you away, Elena and Julia).
And then it started to rain. Oh good.
Feeling a bit depressed and a lot defeated, I took shelter and waited it out. Shopping? Good idea.
I perused the shopping scene only to find that either I wasn’t interested to go inside or too intimidated. Most (read, all) of the stores I wanted to go into had a man in a suit waiting to open the door for people. I got the impression that I couldn’t saunter in, touch everything and just gawk at the prices. But one day…
I continued down to the famous Las Rambles street. Very cool, very bustling. I got lunch at a market there (a “bageta” with ham and cheese and fresh fruit juice), and then kept walking towards the beach.
Now at the beach, I started walking up the boardwalk towards what looked like later-to-be nightlife (it was only around 7). I walked awhile. I started to realize that I would have to walk back. So I turned and went.
Now that it was about 8:30, people started showing up. I started considering dinner, but not until later. I had heard so much about how late these people eat, I wanted to challenge that.
Back up Las Ramblas, I started noticing people sitting in patios with these gigantic sangrias. I wanted one, bad. But I got distracted- street performers.
Two of the best: a flamenco dancer guy who could have stomped a hole through the earth had there been no wood/cardboard/cement beneath him, and a group of breakdancers that made it look like art. I watched them both do both of their acts twice. I was likin’ Barcelona.
Time for sangria- I mean, dinner.
I sat down ordered “Una paella verdura y una sangria larga, como estos” I said pointing to one someone else had. And that’s what I got. My food came at about 11:30 (ha!) and I got my check just after midnight (royal ripoff, by the way, but I saw it coming). Okie doke, time to go home.
Silly Adam, the metro doesn’t run all night!
Well nobody told me!!! I thought Mr. BigPartyCityBarcelona would actually be up all night. What is everybody else supposed to do? So I stood at the bus stop, now nearing 1am, trying to figure out which night bus would get me closest to my hostel. I found a route that went through the general area, but that didn’t feel quite close enough. Wandering through the quiet streets of Barcelona sounded really scary. It was now past 1.
As I was trying to get the bus directions off my hostels website on my phone (which was not working), a group of Germans walked up to the bus stop and discovered that they had the same issue. I heard them say, “eekch doistch faaf koonmpt yahkt eedledorf taxi, ya ya, taxi.” That gave me an idea, I would take a taxi.
Completely wiped out and wanting a safe place to sleep, I bit the bullet and got a cab (in Spanish!) On the way home Shania Twain came on the radio (that don’t impress me much, oh, oh, oh, so ya’ve got the looks, but have ya got the touch, now don’t get me wRAAAOOONG…). Enough to comfort me.
I was dropped off next to my hostel, at that moment, 11,50 euros felt trivial. It was fifteen past two. It struck me then that my hostel might have a curfew… it didn’t. I went to bed.
Halellujah. 

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5 thoughts on “Bar”th”elona

  1. rita says:

    Whew!What a day!Your writing was so effective that I felt exhausted and relieved when your head finally hit the pillow (that is, if you have a pillow)back at the hostel. The photos are great. Please keep them and your posts coming!

  2. Stephanie says:

    Well- for a day of “learning” you still did quite well. Sounds like you have money, you can order food, and you can find your way to your hostel…even if in a taxi. Now, for that guidebook with museum times and transportation info ;-). Go get ’em!

  3. Meg says:

    Sounds like you made the most of the day! I’m glad you thought to get a taxi- they are great for finding your way when you are lost. I love your self-talk commentary. I was chuckling while I read through your frustration, all of which sounded familiar because I usually only learn the hard way 🙂

  4. Em says:

    Ba-haaa-haaa!!! You crack me up dude! That is such a typical tourist experience! I can’t tell you how many museums, ruined English abbeys, and austrian castles I’ve shown up to that have been closed. When attempted to visit the aforementioned (Fountains) Abbey, I decided to save 5 pounds sterling and skip the taxi ride there as no buses went there, and walked the 3 miles in hurricane winds to the entrance. Got there, and saw cars turning around at a sign that said closed on Fridays. “Oh good” as you would have said. I was so weary from the 3 miles, uphill (no joke) into the ferocious winds that the short half mile to the actual abbey, just for a peek seemed like a marathon in my clogs. I decided to turn around and clomp it back to the nearest village to get water and food. I was thankful for the winds at my back and they forced me to sprint faster than I’ve ever sprinted in my life downhill to the nearest tea room. Feel better? Oh, and that Abbey might just be the place that you and I have to visit when we see you soon!!!!
    Oh, and I totally can picture you walking down las ramblas to the beach! I did the same with my students when I was there!

  5. Padre says:

    Hey Budster Man,

    They say stress is the mainspring of life. Wind it UP!!

    Great story. I’m glad it all worked out. You’ll not soon forget this day and I’ll bet you look back on it with some sort of weird fondness:)

    Padre

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