Anna and I slept Saturday morning to Gerald’s dismay. We got up around 11am but Gerald had been ready to go since 8am. Sorry Gerald. We missed breakfast at the hostel so by the time we were ready to go around it was nearing lunchtime. We had bought a Barcelona bus tour just like in London. It was a double-decker bus ride around the city. The best way to get a good feel of the city before deciding on where to land.
We were hungry so 30 minutes into the tour we decided to stop for lunch in the Gothic quarters. Unbelievably beautiful architecture. It is where the Barcelona Cathedral is housed. My breath was taken away as I stepped into the Cathedral. Words cannot capture the magnitude of breathlessness. I was in awe of this grandiose structure that I was standing in. We had lunch at a little cafe. Gerald and Anna had seafood paella. I had tapas. I ordered the mushrooms, seafood salad and garlic shrimp. It was yummy. We walked around the Gothic Quarters some more and ended up on Las Ramblas where we did some shopping. Well Anna and I did some shopping. Gerald kept himself occupied as we ran from store to store looking for closed-toe shoes for the Catacombs in Paris. Yes, if you can believe between the two of us we had 8 pairs of shoes and none of them were closed-toe. But, we both found really cute ones at El Corte Ingles, the huge department store here.
After shopping on Las Ramblas for quite some time we took our postcards to a Starbucks and wrote them. So, expect a postcard real soon. Some of you should be getting London ones real soon. We hopped on the double-decker tour bus and headed towards Sagrada Familia, Antonio Gaudi’s never-ending masterpiece. I must say that I did wonder if this is where the word gaudy had originated. It was definitely ornate. There is nothing like it in the world. A sad, drooping collection of religious icons and nature. Definitely interesting.
We walked around some and I ended up getting a Happy Meal at McDonald’s for some energy. I went in for a vanilla cone or con flake as the Spanish calls it but came out with a McFish Happy Meal and a con flake. We ended up being in the right place at the right time and there happened to be a Catalun folk dance recital put on by the Mayor of Barcelona. We stayed to watch and got great seats right in front of the Sagrada Familia. The dancing was amazing. I want to take classes. I even gave it some thought about moving to Barcelona taking dance lessons and then going back to the States to open my own studio because I’m sure you all have not seen anything of the like.
So, we head home around midnight calling it a night because we had a long day but when we get there Anna and I were approached by a Harry Potter look-a-like at the vending machines. He asked where we were from and what leg of our trip we were on. He was Norwegian and finishing up his studies. His studies!!! He was barely graduating college and he was hitting on me and I felt like I could have been his mother. Ahahahaha. It was sweet. So, he tells us of a party going on at the beach. We look at each other and asked a few questions and said…when in Rome, do what the Romans do. So, the three of us meet up with Harry Potter and four other guys and two girls. All from different nationalities. We walked to the beach which took 30 minutes or so. We get to the shore and there are throngs of people everywhere. We can’t find this particular party but the clubs on the shoreline are all bumping. So, we pick one randomly find out that it’s 18 euros to get in and no one wants to pay that. So, we walk to another entrance which Gerald had found earlier and said that it was free to walk in. So, he walks in and I follow him. It turns out it’s not the free side. It’s the exit to the exact same club. We got in!!! Only when I turned around the bouncer stopped the rest of the group. He asked them if they had a stamp. They didn’t. So, Gerald and I walked out the front and got our stamps and met up with them. We talked it over and watched the bouncer from afar. We noticed if he was busy talking to girls we could sneak by. Gerald went first and took Harry Potter arm around the shoulder like they were having a good time, flashed his stamp and they were in. The two girls tried one by one and they both got in. Another guy tried by himself and got in. I had Anna and two guys left outside. Gerald came back out. I saw an opportunity when the bouncer started chatting with some people and said let’s go. Gerald grabbed one guy as a buddy and I took the last guy by the hand and dragged him in as Anna squished in between us. We made it!!! We all got in and headed to the crowded dance floor. I had one Barcardi Breezer and that’s all it took. We danced the night and morning away. They had hot beefcakes dancers come out on the hour to do a choreographed dance and then the girls came out an hour after that. Glitter rained from the ceilings and the DJ played from a 57 Chevy inside the club. It was so much fun. Until I got sick that is and needed to get some air. Then I felt it. I felt the nausea coming on and knew that I needed to puke. I hadn’t had food in me since dinner and at this point it was nearing 4am. I sat myself down near a trash can because I knew that I wouldn’t make it to the lavados. Anna got me some water. I dry-heaved several times but was able to maintain my dinner. We decided to leave so we tried to hail a taxi. On the way to the taxi stand we encounter a man in a white t-shirt with blood drenching everything last inch around the surrounding holes. He had been stabbed. He had white gauze around his hands and was trying to hail a cab himself. No one stopped to pick him up. We think he had just been released from the hospital we had walked by. It was a scary sight. I was still sick trying to keep everything down. We get back to the hostel in no time and I wanted to blog about the night but got sick, ran upstairs and I…vomited three times. My dinner came up…disclaimer…do not read any further if you are squeamish…my lunch of shrimp tapas was still intact. An entire whole shrimp came up. Gross. I must say that I made a conscious decision to chew my food 20 times before swallowing today. So, I crawl into bed around 5am and passed out.
I woke up this morning around 11am again. Gerald had left around 7am for Germany. Anna and I took the double-decker tour bus again to finish up where we left off. We ended up sleeping almost the entire 3 hour way. So, by the time we landed in Las Ramblas again it was nearing 4pm. We hadn’t had breakfast or lunch so we were starving and found this really cute place. We decided to splurge and got this tapas seafood special for 2 persons, which ended up costing us 66 euros. My drink alone was 10 euros and it was only orange Fanta. We picked an expensive place to eat without knowing it. But, boy was it soooooooo worth every euro. We enjoyed a siesta and sat for about 2 hours enjoying our meal. We decided that we’d treat ourselves to one very indulgent meal in every single city. Can’t wait until Rome. Yum!!! So, as we sit and enjoy our tapas, we see an old tanned, wrinkly grandpa walk by to which Anna proclaimed, “Look, Grandpa.” I look of course and I notice is tan leathery skin and that his shorts are really short. Wait, a minute. There not shorts. It’s a tattoo of short shorts and he’s completely naked. His schlong is whacking back and forth as he walks down the busy boulevard. The American travellers we befriended next to us were grossed out as well. I couldn’t look away. It was hilarious. He even had piercings on his wang. And he was like 70 years old. Ahahahaha. Greatness. Everyone is doing a double take and he walks by and I find this so funny. Then things die down and return to normal. Twenty minutes later Anna proclaims again, “Don’t look.” And what do I do, of course I look. And this time it’s another naked man. A tad younger maybe 40’s and he didn’t even go as far as to tattoo shorts. He just wore a hat. He had huge balls and a short dick. Again, hilarity. I looked around for a camera crew thinking there must be a hidden camera show going on somewhere. You know those crazy Europeans. But, nope not so lucky. This is just the randomness that ensues in Barcelona.
I can’t believe that I am here and a part of all this. It’s fantastic. So, after that we walked around some more and ended up at the pier where we found a mall. I bought two shirts and another pair of sandals because Harry Potter had stepped on the back of my foot the night before and broke my shoe. I got a good deal on them except when I went to practice my Spanish I had asked for a size 51 instead 41 and the guy behind the counter laughed hilariously at me. Then he explained in English what I had said. Oooops. At least I gave him a good laugh. We headed back to the hostel to do some laundry so that we could get a good start in the morning. But, it’s 1 am and we still have to dry our clothes. Our hostel mates from the first night are back. They went to Pampalona to do the running with the bulls. They are a family of five from Australia. Really cute that the parents, daughter, son and daughter’s husband travel together in hostels like that. Our other hostel mate Justin has been there since we’ve gotten here. He’s rarely ever in the room.
Well, time to go change my laundry. Miss you much. Look out for postcards. They are coming your way.