Day 9 – Barcelona Continued…

May 10, 2013

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The weather today wasn’t as beautiful as yesterday’s but that didn’t stop me. I found myself on my own again this morning (M is a bit sick) and so I ventured out into Barcelona to check out another one of Gaudí’s work – Casa Milà. I wish I had another word besides amazing but really that is what it is. It took quite a while to get in and I ended up making friends with an older, American couple from California standing behind me. The husband was a trip, the epitome of an American tourist. Though, his humor was a bit crude and “so American”, he did make waiting in line, in the cold might I add, a bit easier.

Once we were in, I was clicking away. Everything was curvy, un-parallel and just fantastic. I went through each of the floors, all the way to the top and looked out to Barcelona.  I think this is where it really hit me that trips like this are absolutely necessary in your life and sometimes going alone is quite fulfilling (and not lonely at all). It opens you up to a world that you’d never have known and pushes you to explore things you never thought you would. Even though, it was gray, gloomy and rainy, it was just the moment I needed.

After perusing through the rest of the house, I decided to take a more scenic route back to the apartment. Today, I really noticed that Gaudi’s influence is all over Barcelona; which makes it such an architecturally, beautiful city. I couldn’t stop snapping away with my camera – I caught everything from huge, chocolate hedgehogs, to a woman sipping her morning café while reading a newspaper, to a pair of mannequin legs hanging off of someone’s balcony. It felt so great to just walk around and explore!

After meeting M, we headed back to Las Ramblas to check out the market. This market is insane! If you’re craving an orange-mango-guava-coconut-passion fruit-banana juice – you’re in the right spot. This place had everything – chocolate, fresh fruit juices, chiles, fish, meat, tapas, paella – just name it. We ended up having a crepe made by this awfully, friendly guy. It had loads of jamón, tomatillos, basil, onions – geez…just thinking about it right now makes my tummy rumble. Definitely…mouth-watering and delicious. After chowing down we decided to explore the Gothic District and join a tour. The architecture on this side, is completely different than Gaudí’s but still just as fascinating. I’m into creepy-looking, dark places with gargoyles and dim lighting so I fit right in. We ended up leaving the tour early to seek out food and do our own walking around. The weather was getting colder by the minute but we were on the hunt for a tapas place that M had found. The hour walk to get to it was definitely worth it and unfortunately I don’t remember the name of it. After this, it was time to go to the beach to wait for P to arrive from Madrid.

It was freezing but it felt good to just sit. P finally arrived with a cute, little VW car (our mode of transportation for the next 2 days). Now our intent was to just get into the car, relax at the apt. and then go out for a chill dinner. Now, do things ever really happen the way you think they are?

I’m about to re-create the scenario and hopefully it sounds just as dramatic as when it happened. (Please note: In my journal, I wrote this as “Beach Fiasco” with the intent of writing it out later. However, I didn’t get to do that until just now).

P (to M): I brought you something, it’s in the truck. (Turns out he brought some Indian snacks from Madrid that her Mom had sent with me).

M:  Yes!!!!! (Leaves the passenger side door open and searches the trunk)

While this is happening, a guy on a bike comes to the driver’s side and starts rapping on P’s door. I’m passing in and out of sleep but when he’s rides up, I’m awake thinking it’s a cop telling us to move the car. We can’t make out anything he’s mumbling so P goes to turn the radio down. All of a sudden:

P: FUUUUUUUUCK! (Jumps out the passenger side of the car!)

All I could see is flashes of bright red pants, a bright purple purse, a bike and a guy in all black trying to get away.

Some asshole from the other side had grabbed M’s purse with her cameras, wallet, money, etc. from the passenger side while it was still open!

M pretty much latched herself on to his bike and kept telling him to let her purse go. While he’s yelling at her “Let it go!” Umm…why the F would she do that, if it’s her purse? You moron! He ends up dragging her quite a bit away from the car and she’s almost about to let go when all of a sudden P comes barreling out of nowhere yelling out “I’M GOING TO KILL YOU MOTHER F*CKER!!!” and grabs the guy in a head lock and drags him to the ground. So that’s all I can hear, while I’m sitting there in the car like a stunned deer. Yes, I am so useful.

Then I hear M yell out “Let him go!” “Let him go!” I’m thinking P is in trouble and I decide to save the day (!) so I start running towards them and realize that all the doors to the car are wide open with the rest of our stuff and the keys are still in the ignition. Shit. So I run back to handle that business (luckily everything was still there) and by the time that was over, so was the fight.

M was pretty shaken up and the adrenaline kick they both got pretty much saved all of their stuff, though her Marc Jacobs bag was a bit scruffed up. The punk did end up getting away, I have no idea where the skinny-ass on the bike went. There were a couple of people watching (non-confrontational doesn’t even describe how passive aggressive Spainairds are) who were kind enough to give M back some of the things that had fallen out of her purse.

After attempting to settle back into the car, we just kept replaying the entire scenario over and over again and couldn’t believe what had just happened. My tip to those traveling anywhere is to watch your stuff. The second you take your eyes off of it, is the second that they’ll strike. Always keep your bags zipped and in front of you. I remember having my camera in one hand, my bag right in-front of me, with my other hand covering it at all times. Don’t carry a backpack in Barcelona – it’s just a bad idea all around.

After that, there was only one thing left to do – eat pho. We found a Vietnamese restaurant (owned by a German guy who had married a Vietnamese woman). He was so sweet but the pho was a bit disappointing. Eh…what are you going to do? We were all pretty traumatized, tired and ready for some sleep. This night was done.

On the way back, we drove past Casa Batlló and what a site it is at night all lit up. It was a nice little (very little) pick-me-up since it was stunning in the night light.

Tomorrow we head out of Barcelona and drive up Costa Brava to Cadaqués! I cannot wait – it’s supposed to be absolutely gorgeous.

Off to bed on this lumpy, but cozy futon.

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