Rain rain go away.... actually, it's perfect napping weather!
07.05.2016 - 07.05.2016 15 °C
Ah Barcelona, the land of eternal sunshine, cloudless skies, warm Spanish suns….is pissing down rain right on time for my bike tour through the main sights of the town! Woo hoo, at least I can confirm I invested wisely in my over-priced Kathmandu pink rain jacket.
I found my way to the meeting spot, somewhere in the Gothic quarter, in a square with the city hall and parliament buildings, where so many civil wedding ceremonies and shirt-less protests taken place (sometimes, on the same day I’m told). I can see several groups of people milling around what look like tour guides and bicycles, but on approaching them, each and every one was German, Italian, Spanish, or some other language I couldn’t comprehend, and I was running desparately close to being late and left behind! Finally, though, I found my group under an umbrella, and waited patiently under my Bali umbrella for the rest of the people to arrive and to collect our bikes.
The tour was run by Fat Tire Tours, and I highly recommend! The guide, Ben, was funny and informative as he guided us on our broad handled old bikes through the myriad bike paths (Barcelona, you know how to do bike paths, I’ll give you that!). We saw the beautiful gothic cathedral, the square with memorials to those who lost their lives in one of the wars and which is filled to the brim with flowers each year, and the beautiful Parc de la Ciutadella with the fountain resembling the Trevi fountain in Rome near the Arc de Triumph. Apparently, the largest Arc de Triumph is in North Korea, though no one has seen it, but Barcelona proudly can say they have the reddest Arc de Triumph, and one which was not built for the purpose of welcoming back a victorious army, but to celebrate some town planning prowess.
We rode on to visit (from the outside only) the Sagrada Familia, which is incredibly interesting from the outside, then onto the beach (mmm rainy beaches, my fave) which we learnt was constructed for the Barcelona Olympics, and with several tonnes of sand disappearing each year (which was imported from Egypt), they have an annual dredge to top it back up for peak season. We are so lucky in Australia to have such naturally beautiful beaches…nothing compares so far.
A quick drink stop at a dodgy café, and we were back on the road, going through the cobbled streets (a bit jiggly on a bike!) of the Born region to retire our bikes and head off on more adventures.
I strolled through the streets, and headed back via the market to pick up some fruit and a cronut (hmm, jury’s out still on them), before a very long siesta. The Spanish life definitely suits me I’m realising.
After several hours of languishing in bed, it was time to google some more amazing restaurants and find somewhere for a late (or early? Or on-time?) dinner around 9:30pm. I found a place called Dos Pallilos, not far from the hostel, which boasted excellent reviews. I rocked up, expecting fancy Spanish tapas, and was met by an exquisite Japanese fusion restaurant! And the food did not disappoint, and I had it all! Soup dumplings, their take on Peking duck on crispy chicken skin with all the trimmings, 12 hour roasted pork, and smoke infused honeyed bone marrow which was one of the most interesting textures and flavours I can remember. Dessert (well, I should say desserts plural) was crispy pork crackling with ginger icecream, which could equally have passed for an entrée, and these tiny little Japanese doughnuts filled with some sort of oozy creamy chocolately warm goo as well as a chocolately frozen centre. Mmmm hmmm. Everything which came out looked and smelt amazing, as noted by the blokes sitting next to me, who on several occasions saw what I had and ordered it as well and were equally happy.
Belly full, book thoroughly enjoyed, and several new and interesting flavours on the tip of my tongue, I was ready to retire to my hostel.
Hours of sleeping – 12
Cobbled Born streets explored – dozens
Times my tour guide mentioned “the warm, ever-sunny skies of Barcelona” – 3
Course of delectable fusion – 6
Permission to nap anytime, anyplace…priceless!