After our big day of museums yesterday (for the record, it was two, but you would have thought it was 1,000 the way the gallery was yelling), the decision was to minimize the museums unless they were ‘fun.’ Today we would be walking through the town seeing the highlights.
Some people are so hard to please. We saw a historic basilica and a master painter but that was deemed too much. Today we decide to spend some time outside walking around the town, seeing the sights and if we find something fun to look at and maybe, just maybe, stop in a museum.
First up, though, was a bit of torture for AJ. My wakeup time is approximately 2.5 hours before AJ’s wakeup time due primarily to the 4 decades difference in our lives. Today I neglected to wait the appropriate amount of time, woke AJ up ‘early’ and took him out to a park by our hotel for this thing called ‘exercise.’ Specifically a run.
AJ yelled louder than the jackasses outside our window (in his defense, he wasn’t fortified by a whole bunch of alcohol), but I was undeterred. We were doing this and we headed down the street to the park. Unfortunately for AJ, this park was situated on a hill and we were at the bottom of the hill. The run this morning was a lot of ups and downs; mostly ups. When finished, one of us felt great and the other was AJ.
Breakfast and we headed out for our day of adventure. First was to find a fernicular. We were heading up to Mountjuic to see the castle at the top and nobody wanted to walk up there. We saw that we could take a cable car to the castle and a map told us we could take a ‘fernicular’ to the cable car AND that the fernicular is close to our hotel. Now to figure what the hell a fernicular actually IS! Turns out it is a cable car made to ascend steep slopes. A look at our map says that there is one located in the metro stop that we have used like 20 times. Turns out there is a door that leads you to a cable car which takes you up the mountain. And it works with the regular metro ticket! Holy crap!
We hop on the fernicluar (and no, I can’t say that word enough) and head half way up the mountain, then onto the cable car for a ride rest of the way to the top. AJ made his case and we got the ‘round trip.’ Castle good but very hot. Cable car back down better.
Did you know that Barcelona hosted an Olympics? They did, and the remnants are still hanging around their city and you can walk by them. Which we did. On our way down hill to some big fountains. AJ and Jan, at this point, have decided enough is enough. We must get snack and we must get snack now. We hop back on our favorite metro and head for a light lunch.
We have hit our 10,000 steps by lunch and there is a small amount of grumbling coming from the home team fans. We make a decision to hit a couple of museums in the afternoon to both reduce the number of steps (but ironically, not the amount of time upright) as well as reduce the exposure to the heat. First stop is the maritime museum.
2/3 of us pronounce it most excellent for two reasons. First is their audio system that you wear as you tour the museum. It automatically detects where you are at and plays the appropriate sound track which is awesome. The second thing is a galley from the late 1500s that is on display. Like the whole frigging boat. Plus a description of how it worked and how the people on board lived. For the majority of the crew this was ‘horribly.’ They were slaves chained to their oars and they did not leave their seats once underway. Ever. Like never. Not to sleep, not to eat and worst, not to go number two. If that doesn’t make you say ‘ick’ don’t know what will.
Relieved that the conditions on our boat turned out to be not so bad (in comparison anyway), we left the museum and headed to another Gaudi location. This was the Palau Güell or (in English) the Güell Palace (see? This learning new languages stuff is pretty easy, isn’t it?). It was a mansion that Gaudi designed/built in the late 1880s. It is a pretty quick walking tour through the floors from the basement to the roof and it is worth the trip. We could see the things he did in this mansion that carried over to the Basilica, like the chimney covers on the house were ceramic and looked like (wait for it), bunches of fruit! 3/3 of us pronounce it most excellent!
We head out the door and over to the old section of town for dinner. On the menu is paella for me and this turns out to be a mistake–it is just not good. No worries…we drop AJ back at the hotel and was the taste of bad paella out of our mouth with good sangria.