Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Partels Do Barca

After a uneventful evening train at the border changeover we meet a family of five on their European vacation, we thought they were pretty hardcore traveling across Europe on trains and such with three kids!!! We arrived in Barcelona to a bright and sunshiny day were we made our way through the narrow streets, shopping, eating tapas, drinking sangria, and buying espadrilles.  Today after spending the morning at the laundry mat (clearly our Spanish/Catalan/Gujarati is not the best, and yes Sankat’s language is the default after trying Spanish and almost everyone in stores speaks it, crazy huh?) we headed to the Picasso museum which is in an old castle where each small room reveals another stage in his life through text and art.  Pretty impressive place.  Who knows what Barcelona will have in store for us over the next few days!!!   
Sagrada Famalia
Saturday morning we woke up to a downpour and decided that with the crummy weather we would hit Barcelona’s most popular tourist destination, La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s incomplete life work.  This amazing cathedral has been under construction for over 80 years.  Gaudi took his inspiration from nature and created modern art.  The church was super impressive and worth the 45 minute wait, while we were waiting the sun came out and the stained glass was unreal as the rays shown through into the chapel.  We decided to make it a Gaudi day and took the Metro across town to his park, which was a piece of land purchased by a count for Gaudi to make a miniature village.  The project was cut short and left unfinished but still impressive (I guess unfinished was his theme). 
Reggae Band in Gaudi's Park

From a hill in the park we could see the sparkling ocean we realized we had not set foot in it yet and we headed for the beach.  The beach seen was a complete shit show that makes North Ave beach look like amateur hour.  There were tons of bachelorette and bachelor parties going on, in the States girls usually are the ones dressed up and doing ridiculous challenges here in Barcelona the men are all about the theme party.  The big deal is for the bachelor to dress in some ridiculous outfit (usually like a woman) and the attendees would wear matching outfits of some sort.  We saw an entire Baywatch crew complete with rescue devices with the groom in a one piece and enormous fake boobs!!  After some people watching at the beach we headed back to the hotel for some tapas, sangria and bed. 

Hanging out on the Field
On Sunday we headed to Camp Nou where the Barcelona football (soccer) club plays.  The season is over so Sankat head to settle for a stadium tour instead of a live match.  We started in the museum where we saw the history of football then we saw the locker room, field, press box and the stands.  On our way back to the metro we stopped by a high school football match to watch for a bit. That evening we walked back to the beach to explore the boardwalk further.   It was Sunday so there was a little less of the drunken frat boy scene and more of the families enjoying their day at the beach.  We walked the full length of the beach and enjoyed time sitting out by the ocean. 
Cooking Nerds
On Monday, our last full day in the city, we enjoyed a lazy morning of hanging out grabbing coffee and last minute souvenirs.  That evening we took a Spanish cooking class.  We joined four other couples from the US in a intimate kitchen lead by our Chef Kim (a guy).  We learned to chop vegetables make sauce, soup, a dessert and of course paella.  Hopefully you guys can come over to our house and have a Spanish meal prepared by us!!!
On Tuesday morning we tried to navigate the Barcelona metro system to the airport, we got lost transferring from the metro to the suburban line but ended up in front of the Gaudi apartment that we had missed!!!  Of course our flight was delayed to Ireland due to a strike in France.  Once our flight finally took off it was an hour longer than usual due to the airspace restrictions over France and for only 8Euro we could buy Pringles, Sprite and a water!!!

Now onto Ireland!!!!

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