ramblin’ along Las Ramblas

while in Barca, I did some old-school blogging, a.k.a. kept a journal. While my journaling output was akin to my blogging, I do have some goods and will use my pics as a guide for the rest.

Today started out lazy. I planned for a 6.30 am wakey-wakey (we had arrived the afternoon before) so we could hit Las Ramblas early, but the snooze button and I were reunited once again. Finally around 7.30 MommaPithy got tired of the alarm beeping and got up.

After the usual game of 20 Questions about the day’s activities, I started getting ready, which included straightening my hair. Two mins after plugging my fancy-schmancy straightener, pop went the weasel along w/ half the lights in the room, followed by a distinct burning smell. The “converter” MP bought was the wrong one.  A slightly panicked phone call later and housekeeping sent up an electrician to fix the lights and drop off a proper transformer the size of a frakkin’ toaster.

While waiting for the lights, TioTiny decided to shower in the dark, continuing his water conservation technique of running the water in the shower for a few seconds every couple of minutes. Next time I visit TioTiny in Miami (if there is a next time), I’m taking baths every night.

After waiting for TT to get ready — he takes as long as a chick does to get ready, it’s ridic — several returns to the room for MP’s sweater coat (vital since it’s below 80 degrees and frostbite might set in) and the 15lb piece of shit craptop should we find an Internet cafe (we never did) we f i n a l l y headed out to the metro.

The metro system here is a mix of the color-coded lines of DC and the WTF-soooooo-many-lines of NYC (I later learned that the map I was looking at showed metro and bus lines, hence the gaaaaaaah! at first glance). Thankfully my guidebooks are v. detailed.

The metro seats are v. nice w/ butt indents along the back so peeps can stand and lean. The ride is waaaaaaay smoother than the DC metro — no need for death grips on the poles and no jerky acceleration and stopping. DC could get some pointers from these guys.

I was really looking forward to Las Ramblas as all my guidebooks pimped this as the most awesome part of Barca and encouraged travelers to make it a 2-day tour. Uhhh, what were tehy smoking? It’s a very pretty walk and  the WT loved the street performers, but it wasn’t that awesome.

Imagine M St. in  Georgetown (but no pleated pants or sweater sets w/ pearls) but the sidewalks are in the middle and there is only one lane of traffic on either side. The middle part is lined w/ trees and filled w/ lil’ stands selling touristy schtuff (keychains, postcards, shotglasses) and then stands selling birds/hamsters and then stands selling flowers. In between the stands are street performers dressed like statues/demons/angels/midgets/you name it who will take pics w/ you for a small donation. People are all over, walking, biking, running.  Buildings that look ancient are next to buildings that look new.  The stores are a mix of cafes, restaurants, stores (H&M is everywhere) .

We walked the Rambla all the way to the port/sea, after a bit of fudging on my part regarding the distance. By noon the WT were whinging to go back b.c of the time needed to get ready for the flamenco dinner show we were going to at 8. After I suggested they go back to the hotel and I would walk on, they shut up.

The one part of Las Ramblas that lived up to my expectations was the La Mercat de Sant Josep de Boqueria, or La Boqueria. Tons, and I mean tons, of fresh fruit in beautiful, rich colors, a candy display that puts anything you would see in the US to shame,  fishies of all sorts (kinda smelly but not as bad as you would think), nommy cheeses, and meats both cured and fresh off the hoof.  Extremely fresh off the hoof. In the middle of everything is a small pub where the hotties in their soccer jerseys were singing what I thought were pub tunes, but now realize were the fight songs for FC Barcelona as the final for the European Cup were being played that night in Rome. More on that later.

After buying enough fresh fruit for a small army and MP trying to marry off TT to the chicky that was running the fruit stand (I wish I was joking about that) we continued down to the until we reached the sea.

There you find huge monument to Christopher Columbus w/ big-ass lions that have huge nuts. Whatevs, you would have looked too! A walkway w/ modern-looking silver sides leads you to maremagnum, a cool mall w/ a huge outdoor terrace where an enormous jumbo-tron was set up to broadcast the night’s game.  We wandered around maremagnum for a while, heading back to the metro via an alternate path rather than going back to Las Ramblas. Port Vell is the name of the port-ish area, that I just remembered.  Back at the hotel we all nearly passed out. We lazy bums aren’t used to such walking!

Up next…dinner and drunks!


~ by pithycomments on June 9, 2009.

3 Responses to “ramblin’ along Las Ramblas”

  1. Barcelona is one of my favorite places in the world. Walking down Las Ramblas makes me incredibly happy. Hope you’re having/had an amazing time.

  2. Nice!

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