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Album: destinations:Spain:Barcelona

The night train to Barcelona worked flawlessly although I had to run along the platform to catch it and I got into the wrong car - 33 instead of 32. The 1st class ticket was well worth it. The car was spacious, cool, and comfortable. The soft seat was great to sleep in too. I did not sleep at all the night before the trip and only a few hours on the international flight the next night so I slept solidly. In fact, the conductor had to tap me to wake me up and punch my ticket and when we arrived I woke up with people leaving the train.

In Barcelona, I got off the metro and people watched on Plaça Catalunya for a couple hours. I found my hotel quickly and showered. The Continental was €42/night. I had the tiny "emergency" room but it was all I needed. Fresh and clean, I walked the amblas south to the port before wrapping around and returning via the cathedral.

The Ramblas was quite a sight. Human statues, artists, musicians, beggars, and tourists filled the wide street. The birds for sale made quite a racket too. It was a short walk down to the monument to Colóm, the Catalan spelling of Columbus. Then on to the MareMagnum shopping mall to wander and eat at Pan and Company. Mmmm jamon iberico. On the way back I got to see the cathedral. Not much to say about it other than the high altar was built around a saint's tomb. I was more interested in some of the Roman stonework in 3 of the towers. Nearby, the ruins of the Roman temple proved a disappointment. All that is left are 4 columns with a building built around them. more interesting was the city museum and the underground excavated oman buildings of Barcino. I took a few illicit pictures. Eventually the day ended at a cervecaria which I closed down.

The next day, October 2, sucked. I spent half the day on the metro after going to the wrong train station and a worthless detour to the Cortes Ingles department store's travel agency. The second half was spent at Sants Estacion waiting for a train and waiting in line. Then I missed the train, waited in another line, and tried to figure out what to do.

But everything works out for me when travelling. I am pretty certain that the train was the wrong one anyway and I would have been really screwed. The ticket guy gave me the wrong time of departure so the right train was already gone. What could have been a terrible day ended with me in a fantastic Catalán pinchxos bar. Pinchxo is the Catalan spelling of the Spanish pincho. These are any of a variety of tasty mouthfuls of food. Common kinds include anchovies and olives on toothpicks, or fried cheese on toasted bread, or my favorite, baby squid on bread smothered in its own black ink. While there, I met Claus and an Italian named guy and spoke with them for awhile. Cool guys. I don't know about their tent idea though. 2½ bottles of white wine and many, many pinchxos later, I left but not before the guy behind the counter "forgot" he owed me 50 euros more in change. Not surprisingly, he retrieved the 50 from his pocket. On the way back to the hotel I stopped at the Hard Rock Cafe for a bit.

The next morning I had to drink 1½ liters of orange juice to rehydrate.

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Photo album generated by album tool a script by David MadisonSat Sep 20 15:39:50 2008



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