For those of you who used to watch Fawlty Towers, you may recall that their hapless waiter Manuel’s vocabulary was mostly “Que?” and “I am from Barcelona”. The actor Andrew Sachs was British, and his childhood language was German (don’t mention the war!) According to Wikipedia “The character’s nationality was switched to Italian (and the name to Paolo) for the Spanish dub of the show, while in Catalonia he is a Mexican (still called Manuel).” Well thankfully we’ve not met any Barcelonans of this ilk. Actually the people we’ve met have been very hospitable and helpful.
After getting in from the Airport via suburban train and subway we rested at hotel. The public transportation system here is very good. If you come to visit, here is a money saving tip – but a T10 card. The ticket is good for 10 journeys at about 1/2 the total price compared to individual trips, And any transfers within a 75 minute period count as a single journey. It is even good for the ride in from the airport.
By early evening we were ready to go, so we walked along the Diagonal and saw some Modernist buildings, including Gaudi’s Casa Milla and Casa Batllo. What a crazy genius the guy was, I can’t help wonder what a building would look like if he and Frank Gehry designed it together.
As it was Saturday night, there were lots of people about. What appeared to be a drunken stag group insisted I take their photo, although what they thought I would do with it, I don’t know. Here’s the shot in case you come across them, you’ll know to be on your guard and put your camera away quickly.
We had a nice dinner of some tapas, salad and very simply, but perfectly prepared fish. Then we walked over to see the Sagrada Familia at night.
In case you aren’t familiar with it, the Sagrada Familia is a church and considered a Modernista masterpiece, and was Gaudi’s passion until the end of his life. It has been under construction since 1882, and will continue to be so until at least 2026. And you thought you had problems with slow contractors! The organic nature of the structure with no right angles and decorations that at times look like melted ice cream sculptures is almost surreal. Did I mention he was a crazy genius?
I guess this put us in the mood for some real ice cream, and here is Kelly enjoying some scoops in front of the church.
It was pretty late by the time we got back to the hotel and went to bed, but I guess we were early by Barcelona’s standards. Our room is on the first floor overlooking the street and revelers continued to shout and sing throughout the night. It got quiet around 3am, but then I can’t figure out if the noisy people at 6am were out very late, or just up very early.