BootsnAll Travel Network

Josh and Jenny’s European Adventure 2009 – Day 4 Barcelona, Spain

I got up at 1015AM as I was startled by Jenny who was peering through the glass door that separates the living room from the kitchen.  She claims that she had just gotten to the door when I popped up but I have a feeling that she got to the door, saw me sleeping, and said to herself “lets see how long I can stare at him before he notices and wakes up!”
After we got ready for the day we met Stefan at 11AM at Hotel Casa Fuster.  From the hotel we explained to Stefan the day we had planned and he agreed to the plan.  Our first stop was Parc Guell.  Parc Guell was designed by Gaudi, one of the most famous artists from Spain.  He is known for breaking things apart and putting them back together in a unique way.  I would say he has a mosiac type style to his artwork.  Anyway we jumped on the 24 bus which was packed to the brim with tourists eager to see the same park we were.
On the bus Jenny was greeted by this older couple.  The guy had a rocking mullet with curly blonde hair.  It was definitely all business in the front and party in the back.  The guy started chatting with Jenny and I about things to see and do in Barcelona.  Basically we gave the couple the things we did yesterday because a lot of it is free and the weather was perfect today.  Sunny, not a cloud in the sky and at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
After we got off the bus the couple introduced themselves as Kent and Cindy from Hannibal, Missouri, formerly from Portland.  As soon as they said somewhere, Missouri immediately dueling banjos began to play in my head.  Kent was a funny guy and as we started walking down the path to where some of Gaudi’s sculptured buildings started Kent came right out and asked if we didn’t mind if he followed us around the park since Jenny clearly knew what she was doing and he was looking for a free tour.  We said that wouldn’t be a problem and Kent also said that if we wanted to ditch them if they fell behind.
Overall I thought the park was very cool.  I didn’t even know who Gaudi was (which is such a shame), but I quickly learned who he was (thanks to Jenny) and what he was all about.  I took many photos while walking around the park and even got a photo in front of the famous lizard at his park.  It was a struggle to get the photo and I had Stefan take it since he is like 6 foot 3 and could stand above the massive crowd who were all fighting to get their photo in front of this creepy lizard.
From Parc Guell we wanted to go to Sagrada Familia Barcelona’s most famous church which was designed by Gaudi.  To get to the church we decided to not take the bus again since it was so crowded that we would try the metro.  While the nearest metro stop seemed close on the maps it wasn’t.  The metro station was a little over a mile away, down pretty steep hills and several blocks over.  Anyway back to information about the church, according to the government and historical records Sagrada Familia has been under construction which includes restoring and building new parts of the church since 1909.  Apparently the church only moves forward on restoration, renovation and construction based on donations received by the church.  It is said that the whole process will be completed by approximately 2030 or over 121 years!  The backside of the church was much nicer than the front since the back is not under as much construction as the front and it is easier to snap photos.  Jenny took us to a cool park right behind the church where you get a much better view of the church.
After walking around the church and spending some time looking at all the cool designs Gaudi put along the church we were all hungry and in need of food, but didn’t know where to go.  Stefan said that he had been here several years ago when he was studying and remembered that in a particular direction there might be restaurants.  We ended up coming across a lovely little restaurant with seats outside that served tapas and other types of food.  Stefan ordered some tapas for the table and I ordered what I thought was a hamburger.  As it turned out I was given sausage in patty form and immediately spit it out, but did eat some of the French fries.
This was my first real Spanish tapas experience and I have to say the three types of tapas we got were all fantastic.  Even though I had been to a tapas restaurant in Berlin with Linda which was awesome this was the local version of tapas thought I enjoyed.  From the restaurant the three of us walked to the Monumental metro station and ended at the Gothic Quarter yet again.  This time we were brought to the Gothic Quarter to go to Museu Picasso.  I thought it would be a good time to head to the museum.  When we finally arrived at the museum the line to get in was down the block.  So we got on line and waited.  We decided that if by the time fifteen minutes had passed we hadn’t pass a certain spot on the line we would get off and leave.
Good thing for me the line only lasted ten minutes and we were in for free.  I have to say that I had never really looked at Picasso’s paintings but by the time I was done I really began to understand why he is so highly regarded.  I will say that my early impression of Picasso’s paintings are that I really enjoy his pre-1900 work.  I also liked some in the early 1900’s but really did not like his abstract period.  I found it too modern for my taste.
I enjoyed his paintings so much I bought two small reprints.  One from his pre-1900 period and the other from 1917 and I think the name of it was “Women in the shawl,” or something like that.  They weren’t that much money and I thought it would be cool to bring home and put up on my wall.
By the time we left the Picasso museum it was roughly 4PM and everyone was tired.  Jenny and I decided that it was time to head home and Stefan decided that he wanted to see one of the buildings that Gaudi designed in Barcelona near Jenny’s apartment so he took the metro back with us.  When we got out of the metro after transferring to the appropriate line, it was time to say bye to Stefan and then Jenny and I started towards the apartment.  But before we went home I wanted to head across the street to the small casino that Jenny had not been in since she came to Barcelona.
The only machine of interest for me was the electronic roulette machine.  This was the same type of machine that I had won money playing in Amsterdam during my last day.  I figured I would try my luck again.  I cashed in twenty euros while Jenny changed ten euros.  When you cash in your bills you get euro coins for the machine.  After the employee explained us how to work the machine in Spanish and by pointing Jenny and I started to get the hang of it.  I have to say since the buttons were in Spanish it was a little difficult to understand.
In the end I won 15 euros bringing my total to 35 euros!  I hit a few big bets and decided to walk away a winner.  Unfortunately Jenny was not so lucky but was a winner because I was a winner so we both left happy.  And finally before we went back up the apartment to call it a day we went to the supermarket located up the street from Jenny’s apartment to pick up some groceries for dinner and for our flight tomorrow.
We ended up getting chicken and tortellini.  We also got turkey, breakfast bars and some soda and a pastry for dinner.  When we returned home after again walking up the 110 steps we relaxed.  I watched a movie and Jenny took care of things for our trip to Scandinavia.  After the movie was over and Jenny had packed, started charged her necessary electronic devices we cooked dinner.  Well I cooked dinner and Jenny assisted me.  Jenny made the sandwiches to go in the food bag for our trip tomorrow.
By the end of the night we were both really tired and since we had to get up at 8AM to make sure we caught our flight at 12 from Barcelona’s main airport BCN, it was time to go to sleep.  I couldn’t get to sleep right away as the people living next door to Jenny were blasting their television so loud I had to wait for them to finish.  Eventually I dozed off at 1AM capping off a rather long day.


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