May 6, 2018
We awoke to rain so took our time revving up the Denman Machine. Eventually, after Baguette, figs and tuna, we made our way to the Catedral knowing that admission is free on Sundays. We were quite early – yes, indeed we were- doors don’t open until 2:00! So we headed over to The Picasso Museum for First Sunday of the Month Free Admission, knowing that it was open and thinking that the rain would deter tourists – HA!! The line was around the block(s)!!! Not only are we not fans of waiting in lines, to be honest, I never have been much of a fan of his work… So on we went.
By now it was lunchtime and still raining and so we ducked into a spot on Bill’s list for some Catalan cuisine sampling. And by the way – the venders are selling quite a few umbrellas!
Bodega La Puntual Barcelona was an inviting and popular place! We started with the Catalan table tapas (fuet, Catalan sausage “bull” & cheese). Bill had vino and I had vermut which is supposed to be a specialty in Barcelona. It was a red brew served over ice with a skewer of an orange slice and an olive! It was refreshing and delicious and tasted like sangria. We were disappointed to learn that one of the recommendations on the board, Catalan Omelette, was already “out”, especially since we arrived ten minutes after they opened… We ordered Patatas Braves and a Spanish tortilla egg and potatoes). The former was delicious with their special spicy sauce. The latter could have set up a bit more. I guess we got our potato ration in for the day.
More wandering and we happened by the church of Santa Maria del Pi. I viewed it last year but it was worth a revisit and Bill wanted to see it as well (though I did have to hold his freshly lit cigar for him to do so.). AND THE THEN THE SUN CAME OUT!!! And the temperature went up!!
We made our circuitous way to the waterfront, in and out of alleys, down Via Laietana, avoiding the crowds, – which then appeared again once we adjoined the liquid relaxation – at least it is for us, boaters for over fifteen years when the kiddos were young, and Bill all his life. We admired the sailboats and cruisers and marveled at the 200’+ yachts!!! Along the boardwalk we continued and observed now that the sales of (vendor pedaled) sunglasses were seemingly increasing! So many people!!! Two Huge cruiseliners were in port, probably accounting for a bit of the crowd.
We loved putting on the waterfront mileage but had to eddy out to our hotel to prepare for our evening. On the way we stopped at a restaurant on La Rambles, Café de Lopera de Barcelora, mostly for an adult beverage. Ultimately we decided to have an early dinner there and were extremely happy with our decision. There was not a lot of pomp and circumstance, but the service, ambiance and food were great! Bill had a nice looking burger with fries and I had eggs, pork and French fries. For dessert we had a ridiculous chocolate cake!!!
After a brief stop at our H10 hotel we made our way to the subway station to get ourselves to the big fotball match, El Clásico – Real Madrid vs FCBarcelona!!! IT WAS SO CRAZY IN THE STREETS!!! Hundreds of fans in a parade with smoke bombs and song!!! And the match itself – Ronaldo vs Messi….. the passing was unbelievable, they played to a 2-2 draw and fan passion was off the charts. To watch two of the most talented, highest paid players in the world against each other was awesome!
Man, the subway was packed!!! What a fun night in Barcelona!!