MICHAEL and JEANNIE in BARCELONA
19 August 2005
On Friday morning, 19 August 2005, we slept till nearly 9:30. We traveled by subway to Plaça de Catalunya where we planned to find breakfast. But we came across a Dunkin Donuts before we got above ground, so we enjoyed filled donuts while sitting in the plaza.
We intended to ride the tourist bus for the north ("red") route, but found the passenger line nearly a block long. Instead, we rode the subway to La Sagrada Família. This famous cathedral was started in 1882 by Gaudí. Not yet complete, it must be the most unusually designed cathedral on earth. After waiting in quite a long line to get in, we walked about the small portions that are open to the public. There was evidence of much construction going on, except the workers must be on holiday in August.
We found a good Italian pizzeria nearby. The waiter spoke only Spanish, so we ordered in Italian and succeeded in getting an insalata caprese and a pizza to share. From here we boarded the tourist bus and rode the majority of the northern route back to Plaça de Catalunya. The day was mostly overcast and quite pleasant.
After eating some (almost Italian) gelati, we stopped for a Coke Light at McDonald's. We then spent a couple hours shopping along La Rambla with thousands of other tourists. La Rambla is the name derived from an Arabic word that meant dry river bed. We walked the length of this one kilometer long boulevard three times.
Unlike other places we visited in Europe on this trip and in the past, Coke in a glass was typically served with ice in Barcelona.
In the Barceloneta district, we stopped at a Mediterranean restaurant. For supper Michael ate paella, a famous Spanish dish of rice and seafood. Jeannie tried a beef dish that she found unappetizing. We returned our aching feet by subway to our hotel.