I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. - Robert Louis Stevenson
Monday, June 2nd - We arrived, we had a day of rest and sight-seeing. Our reservation for the night was with Patricia. We found our hostess with www.airbnb.com. We are just a couple of blocks from Las Ramblas.
After getting off the airplane and asking directions at the airport we found the bus service into the city center with a cost 6 Euros each. Jessica could not believe we were in Spain.
We got off in Plaza Catalunya and from there stopped at a McDonald's to get some free WiFi and got our directions to Patricia's piso/flat. After stopping for directions a couple of times we then got to our hostel and found the flat with the black label as we were told to look for, after ringing us in we walked up to the 3rd floor on a very narrow steep stone staircase. We were greeted with a hug and the double Spanish kiss from Patricia's sister and mother, but I almost bumped faces as I started the kiss routine on the wrong side.
They took us into our room and we sat on our beds and settled our luggage. We were now ready to head out to Las Ramblas. We walked south towards the sea and the Cristobal Colon statue before having lunch. I wanted this first meal in Barcelona to be special, so went to the the Mercat St.Josep, La Boqueria to have a look and lunch. Jessy and I shared some fried baby squid and a very savory tender octopus in lemon and olive oil. It was a bit pricey but well worth it. I did not know the price but after receiving the bill the $30 for Octopus was well worth it.
We walked back to our hostel, got cleaned up and headed back out to jump on the metro to see the Sagrada Familia. We took the underground to Universitat, to the Sagrada Familia. After seeing the long lines we decided to walk around and take a few pictures. Instead of taking the Metro we decided to walk back to Plaza Catalunya. Halfway back we stopped for tapas, but this time we ate fried octopus and croquetas made of ham and cheese. They reminded me a bit of the one's my mother used to make. We saw demonstrations at the Plaza as in a week's time Prince Felipe will be named King of Spain. There were many signs that said Felipe will never be king. We finished off the evening by having gelato in Las Ramblas. (Or so we thought the evening was over)
Now back at our Hostel it's almost 10 pm and we have had maybe 2 hours of sleep in the past 30 hours. I was looking for a simple Birthday cake that I had asked Patricia to get for Jessica's 16th Birthday. I wanted it to be in Barcelona, as Jessy had her first Birthday in the city. Patricia talks Jessica into having her cake down in the plaza along with a snack. We went to the neighborhood Plaza and Patricia's friend and mother joined us for the small celebration. They ordered Nachos which tasted somewhat like they do at home but given in a much smaller portion. I have some vino tinto and Jessy had coke. We sat for a couple of hours and discussed everything from current Cuba to the number of Brazilians now doing El Camino because of Paulo Coelho's book "The Pilgrimage" which Patrica's mother who is Portuguese read recently. We shared the chocolate cake late in the night and at about 1 a.m. headed back to get some sleep.