It’s been a wonderful week, you’ve been a great host. But it’s time to go home.
I have not stayed in my house since November 3rd. I’ve not been in my house with its electricity on since October 29th. I’m looking forward to home, heat, lights and hopefully a house that’s been post-Sandy cleaned up (hi, Nat!).
We’ve had a lovely time. Barcelona is a great place. But I don’t think I’ve ever looked so forward to home at the end of vacation.
Sugar, the gift of the sixth anniversary.
We are packing up to go home. We’ll leave the hotel at 7am tomorrow morning and say goodbye to Barcelona, probably for good. We’re thinking Holland next year.
This was a good week. Even though we arrived exhausted, barely slept and we were both sick for most of the trip, we managed to celebrate our anniversary in ways both large and small.
Tonight we ate our last meal here at an outdoor restaurant. We reminisced about our years together and talked about what wonderful things the future holds for us. At the end of our meal, our waiter brought out two glasses of champagne and I wondered if he could tell from our demeanor that we were celebrating something.
I hope so.
Here’s to six years, to sugar in all its forms, to the years ahead and the years behind.
And here’s to vacations, and to going home.
When they ask “what the hell happened to her last day in Barcelona?” tell them it was the sangria.
Montjuic - flckr
Photos from today. The Olympic Museum on Montjuic and some photos from other places on the mountain.
So many steps. So much climbing. I hurt in all the good ways.
Todd says hey, what’s up.
Barcelona, Day 5(?)
Yesterday started with heartfelt coffee and ended with sushi. In between was a lot of walking, walking, walking, seeing parts of the city off our usual path, following demonstrators and just gawking at amazing architecture.
When it came time for dinner we once again whined about how quickly we tired of tapas and paella and, not wanting to venture out to where big demonstrations were taking place, we headed back to Port Vell and the shopping center filled with restaurants. We found a great Japanese place and spent a night in Spain dining on sushi, noodles and edamame while Pink Floyd and the Mamas and Papas played on a radio in the background. Then we just sat by the water and looked at the lights reflecting on the sea before we walked back to the hotel.
Two more nights here. I love vacation but I also get to the point in vacations where I want to be home again. I’m just about there.
Today, we conquer a mountain.
Which will be a lot easier than conquering sleep, something I’ve not been able to do in about a month.
Barcelona General Strike - flickr
We ventured out this morning even though we were told to just stay in today. We found one contingent of the strike marching up La Rambla so we followed them for a mile or two as they shouted slogans and stopped at various banks to plaster the front of the buildings with protest stickers and chant at the people inside.
There’s nothing much going on around here right now, at least not in front of us. But between the eerie silence of the roadways that’s sometimes punctuate by sirens, whistles, fireworks or the buzz of helicopters overhead and the disquiet that comes when most stores along a busy strip are shuttered, it’s a little surreal.
There is supposed to be a protest just down the block from our hotel later, so we’ll go check that out then head back to La Rambla tonight to see what we can find.
You should read up on the general strike and find out what they people of Spain are fighting for. Things I saw and heard today: Better pay for teachers and social workers and the plight of people who are losing homes to banks that were bailed out and they have to keep paying off their mortgage debt even when the banks take their homes.
Oh, and there’s a 22% unemployment rate here.
"I feel like I should be sitting at a long, wooden table eating a turkey leg and discussing pillaging plans with a king."
It’s 5am in Barcelona and I’m sitting on a street corner drinking beer we just bought from a 16 year old kid.
The streets are crowded with people and it’s a little reminiscent of Times Square at 11pm, without the gaudy lights. It’s a weird scene for an American to observe; everyone openly drinking, selling drugs, dropping beer cans and drink cups on the street.
On the far corner about 100 people sit on the cement where a sidewalk cafe will open in about an hour. Next to them, a group of young men, maybe 50, break out into futbol chants and the people on the other side of the street respond with their own chant. The group sitting down opts for what I think is the Spanish National Anthem.
It’s a strange world here. One where 5am is a social event, an outdoor drinking party for all ages where police stand by and watch.
By 6am the crowd of a thousand or so has dispersed. The cleaning crews will come in and spray the streets down with hoses, clean up the beer cans. The cafes get ready to open for the day, the kids go home and sleep off the beer.
This is a strange and wonderful city.