To get to the park from the bus stop, a hill must be taken, one much like in San Francisco or Sayulita :) But the park is worth it, in a Gaudi way. Which reminds me - I think I’ve discovered where the American term “gaudy” comes from, although we use it in a more derogatory way. Gaudi’s style is very colorful and ornate, with a lot of texture, which makes it enchanting. While I was at the park, I met a number of young, American ladies whom I traded picture-taking with. One of the girls was taking a picture of her friend and said something like “show ‘em what you’ve got.” I giggled out loud and she realized I was American, too. She said, “Oh! I’m not used to anyone understanding me....I’m a bit embarrassed.” We exchanged some English and Spanish phrases, some smiles, then went on our way.
|My MOM even let me know she's with me in Spirit :)|
When I visited the Hospital de Sant Pau, it was closed to the public for tours because of major renovations.
This seems to be a common theme around the city since it’s the low-season. That’s okay by me - just imagining the insides from the fantastic architecture on the outside, leaves my imagination wild. The Sangrada Familia was way too packed for me to venture into...the entry lines were longer than I have ever seen, anywhere.
|the line to make entry isn't completely shown here...|
It’s extremely rare for anyone to live in a “house,” seems to be exclusive to the wealthy. I did see more houses on the west side, closer to the hills, but even there the majority were multi-story “flats.” Most of the city is made up of, what I’ve heard called “mulit-purpose” buildings where all the businesses are on the 1st level and living spaces (apartments) are from there up. We’ve seen quite a few of these being built in Austin during the last few years....here, they’ve been around for a long time. AND they recycle everything! and have receptacles in every block.
|these are dumpster-size recycling bins|
As I walk through the city, I notice the streets are quite clean, I see many types of people, gaze upon skateboarders and graffiti, hear numerous languages spoken, enjoy the many parks and artistic flair. There is always something beautiful to see! I have a feeling it’s easy to get lost between the tall buildings and the hustle n’ bustle, where locals loose the ability to appreciate what is around them, as we all do sometimes. Shopping is abundant here in the port city of Barcelona, like other large cities I suppose. Prices are written with commas instead of decimals, like this: 8,95 instead of $8.95 which takes a little getting used to. I never got a chance to exchange more money into Euro yesterday, and the banks are closed on weekends (of course). But I’ve been lucky that most places take credit/debit cards. The only catch is that I am actually paying 3% more, courtesy of the bank(s) back home. I’ll just use my cash when I return on February 3rd - no problem! I used the majority of my leftover cash to purchase some hand lotion from tallerAMAPOLA since I am resembling a lizard now....
I’m writing from the CatBar where I’m eating hummus, bread, and salad with cafe to warm my bones from the cold outside. It’s been pretty cold today, the air is brisk and I am extremely glad that I put on my thermal under wear this morning! Not to mention the crazy static. I am grateful there is no rain, except for a few sprinkles this afternoon while I was on the top deck of the bus. The CatBar's small menu is completely vegan; I am very pleased with my meal and really happy that I found the quaint little place in what felt like an alley, but is actually considered a street.
Most of the places to eat advertise their menu with enlarged pictures of each meal. I find these unappetizing! and can’t make myself eat at any of them. Food isn’t something I’ve really been eager for. Well, my clock says it’s 6:23pm so I’ll be headed back to the bus stop shortly to move closer to my hostel in the darkness of night. My 30 Euro for a 2-day pass onto the Barcelona City Tours bus has been well worth it.
I walked around for a little while down by the port and up the La Rambla a tiny bit...finally saw an ambulancia running code-3 while walking to my hostel. I’m just happy it’s not frequent. Here are what they look like while in station...
The Hostel BCN Port is very convenient for me and I plan to make my reservations to return my last three nights. They are safety oriented, too. When guests leave, they ask that you leave your room key-card for accountability sake. The glass doors at the front must be activated by the receptionist before they open, there are automatic lights and cameras in the hallways, plus a safe in the room that can be programmed by each individual guest. I’ve felt safe here.
NOW...it’s 9:05pm and time for a nice hot shower to wash my head and dreads, plus a little yoga in my room will do me some good! Tomorrow it’s La Rambla after breakfast. Then I’ll be boarding the cruise ship between Noon and 5pm. I’m excited. HA!
Good night =)
p.s. Wanna see more pics? Try this...Sharing SPAIN