Sunday, November 9, 2014

Buenas Noches Barcelona!

After such a full day of running around Barcelona after a late night of drinking around Barcelona, I woke up Sunday morning realizing that I had clearly not drank enough water. If you know me at all, you are aware that I have bizarro world issues with dehydration, and seem to be ultra sensitive to internal as well as external elements affecting my body. I need to drink about twice as much water as normal people to feel hydrated and therefore happy and healthy and not super cranky. I also need to eat protein and vegetables and not be left hungry for large periods of time. The worst part is that I am sometimes completely unaware of these repercussions until someone else points out just how bitchy I have become. That being said, I did not wake up in a foul mood, I just wished I could attach a banana bag to my arm and/or momentarily transfigure myself into a sponge. 

My Father had suggested we meet near their hotel circa 9:30am for a quick coffee and pastry. They had breakfast included with their hotel and would be up at around 7am anyway, so this was mainly for the purpose of feeding me and so that we could see each other before they had to make their way to the cruise ship. We had hoped to be able to meet again in the afternoon, but since the ship was docked further away than we thought and what with the hassle of boarding, etc... It wasn't going to be possible. Still, I met them at a MacDonald's of all places, partly because my Dad seems to be obsessed with the fact that their coffee really isn't bad, and partly because he knows my affinity for iced coffee, which is a hard commodity to come by in Paris. I had actually noticed when I arrived in Barcelona on Friday that Spain endorses the American chain "Dunkin' Donuts". I don't care what you have to say about America or chains or oppressive forms of globalization, I love me some Dunkin' AND some donuts. Regardless, it was lovely to see my Dad and Stepmom once more before they had to depart.

This of course left me to my own devices for the afternoon. I made my way back to the hotel to check out and decided I would first head back to La Sagrada Familia, so I could really get a better look. The line and price were a bit too much to check out the inside, but I was amazed my the exterior at any rate, and was glad for the opportunity to get up a bit closer for some pics. After that, I decided to head on back to the beach. I was unfortunately unable to have any beach time all summer, and since the weather was still sunny and fine, I thought it only fitting to spend my afternoon lounging on the sand. 

The most interesting part of the Barcelona beach is the insane amount of vendors hawking their goods along the shore. Many Asian women were offering massages for €5, men were selling tapestry blankets and even more men offering mojitos and various other beach-appropriate cocktails. I quickly learned that even saying no thank you propels them into pushing even harder, though they seem to appear again every 5 minutes whether or not you acquiesce. Now, I know as well as anyone that all of these offerings are overpriced and unnecessary, but I was also totally intrigued by the idea of enjoying the sun and breeze and warmth while sipping a crisp cocktail. Therefore, when one man came by with his tray of drinks I asked how much he was selling them for. He stated his priced was €10, which for a tiny dixie cup of liquid was just insulting. I said noooooo thank you, and he asked how much I would pay. I suggested €2 and he tried to haggle me higher until finally agreeing to €2. Of course, when I realized I only had a €20 bill at my disposal, he said that he would come back with change, and he left the drink with me. This of course seemed completely ridiculous, so I left the cup undrunk in case it became an issue or I ended up leaving before he finally returned. At long last he appeared again, still with no change, and suggesting he take my €20 bill to the bar where he could come back with the appropriate return. I said absolutely not and tried to put the untouched beverage back on his try. Finally, he got change from some of the other guys selling drinks and even then, he still tried to charge me €3 instead of €2 but I held my ground and reminded him that that was the deal. Of course when I was finally able to sip my hard earned refreshment, I realized that there was little to no alcohol in it, so I had paid €2 for a cup of lemonade more than anything else. Not a terrible price, though, all things considered. In addition, it added a bit of flavor to my afternoon story. 

Not long after this, however, I decided to choose a restaurant along the water for some lunch. Not wanting to spend lots of money or even eat anything intense, I found a place where I could get a cheap focaccia and a glass of sangria while enjoying the final glimmers of seaside sun. Eventually, I retrieved my bag from the hotel before taking the shuttle bus back to the airport and heading home.

All in all, it was a lovely first weekend in Spain and I was left feeling that while perhaps Barcelona wasn't my soul-city of inspirational splendour as others have already proved to be, I would definitely return to explore more of the architecture, lounge on the beach, and indulge in tapas tapas tapas.

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