Well, the cruise is over. The week flew by and I was off the ship by 8:00 a,m.. I was able to just walk off the ship since I all I have is my carry-on & computer bag. It was a little sad – I had gotten comfortable in my cozy little solo cabin. But I have 3 days in Barcelona!
I grabbed a cab at the port and my poor taxi driver was MISERABLE. I had written down my hotel information, as I was sure I would butcher the pronounciation and made the mistake of asking how he was. I really am that nice, but it’s also one of the few phrases I know in Spanish. He answered, in Spanish, and I gathered from the gestures, tone of voice, and general misery that his answer wasn’t “bueno”. The heavy sighs, head in hands at all stops…additional clues. Poor guy – not sure if it was physical or emotional.
I was able to drop my bags at the hotel but was told through mutual giggles and hand gestures by a nice young lady that my room wouldn’t be available until 3:00 p.m.. I found another coffee shop – and people watched for a bit. But it was Sunday morning – not a whole lot going on. So I bought a ticket to the Hop On/Hop Off bus and rode the two routes. By the time they finished things were opening up. I “hopped off” at the waterfront and wandered down there for a while. Some street performers were there – the were adorable “Microguagua” – a Spanish Reggae band. You can google them – they were fun!
Barcelona got a major shot-in-the-arm when the Olympics were held there in 1992. The waterfront is one of the areas that really benefited. It used to be said that Barcelona “turned it’s back to the sea” – meaning that the closer you were to the water, the lower-income you were. The desirable areas were farther from the “fishing”. When you see the yachts and shopping, obviously that is no longer the case. It’s also very historical. There is a gorgeous customs house there.
After the waterfront, I wandered the side streets of the ancient Gothic Quarter that dates back to medieval times.
Most things were closed (Sunday) so I want to go back one day before I leave. I had a late lunch before heading back to my hotel. I thought I was ordering potato and cod cakes – instead I got a potato and fish stew. I told you my Spanish was poor. It was really good – so happy accidents.
I am staying at a hotel called Hostel L’Antic Espai. The location is good, the single rates were decent, and it got good reviews on Trip Advisor – which I rely on heavily. It’s an older building FULL of antiques. My room opens up to a terrace full of plants and birds in ornate cages that sing and sing…breakfast is included and will be served out there.
They have also antique wall plates and my adapter won’t fit. So tomorrow, I’ll have to find another one (this will be my 3rd set – electricity in Europe is a bit of a challenge). I’m staying in tonight and reading a book – I’ve finished 3 already and am on my last that I brought with me. And I’m in a Spanish-speaking country. I also REALLY need to do laundry – on disadvantage of only bringing a carry-on bag.