Saturday, June 1, 2013

Day 2 in Barcelona, the Beach, the Park, Getting to know the city

I did not have a plan for today when I woke up at around 8 am, earlier than I had planned.  Since I was up, I checked  out the hostel's breakfast, it was decent, first time I have seen wheat toast at a hostel since I began touring Europe.  Our ration for breakfast, 1 muffin, 3 slices of bread and 1 juice box, I had 2 slices of bread instead of 3.  After breakfast, I took a shower, then got back in bed for a couple of hours.  I went to bed late last night and needed to catch up on the sleep I lost getting up early to fly to Barcelona from Rome.

When I got up around noon, I decided I would go to the beach.  I knew I could walk down the main tourist street, Las Ramblas to get to the Port, I figured the beach would not be far off.  I checked with the hostel staff, she told me to turn left at the Christopher Columbus monument, and the beach would not be far off from there.

I spent several hours at the beach today, I did not go in swimming attire, I figured the water would be too cold for me, I was right.  I rolled up my jeans when I got to the beach, the water was cold, I took a few pictures and that was enough.  I walked down most of Barcelona's beach front, consisting of several beaches.  Surprisingly, these beaches were all topless, being from the US this was new for me.  Our tour guide warned us yesterday on the free walking tour that Barcelona's beaches had nude old Spanish men, I did not see any of them, only topless women sunbathing.

The beach was nice, I am sure nicer when the water is warm.  I found a place to sit and relax for an hour or so after walking around the beaches along Barcelona's coastline. I read my Europe guidebooks on my kindle and decided what else I wanted to see in the city.  There are a lot of things to do in Barcelona, a week here will be fine, plus I will take at least one day trip outside the city.

Lynnae at beach in Barcelona 

Waves crashing against rocks in Barcelona 

View from Barcelona Beach 
After spending time at the beach, I decided to walk around the city.  I had already walked a lot today, but it was early, about 5pm, I decided to explore some more.  I read about the area with a Gaudi fountain, the Catalan Parliament and the Barcelona zoo in my guidebook, I checked my map, I was not far from these areas, the map also listed the Olympic Village as being close, I decided to check them all out.  I did not find anything of interest in the area on the map marked the Olympic Village, I went into the mall to use the bathroom.  I walked down to the park with the Gaudi Fountain, it was nice, had a lake with boats that people were using, there were lots of people out on this Sunday afternoon.

Lynnae in front of Gaudi Fountain

Lake in Park 
I lost my map in the park, I had planned to go back to my  hostel along a new route, see something different, other than the Las Ramblas tourist street.  I thought I remembered the route I planned to take home, there was a major street I needed to find, I walked a few blocks, did not see it, passed some free street concerts, listened to those a few minutes, then went back the way I knew.  I got a new map when I returned to the hostel and realized, I only needed to walk one more block to find the street I was looking for, did not matter.    I saw more of the same on Las Ramblas, but I arrived there from a new direction and a new street. I stopped at a restaurant on my way back to the  hostel for dinner, I ordered the mixed Paella dish.  I decided to get authentic Spanish cuisine, tomorrow I will get a cheaper meal.

Free Street Concert after I left the Park 

Paella Dinner 
After dinner, I went back to my hostel, I spent all day out enjoying Barcelona.  Barcelona is supposed to have a great nightlife too, I am not in the clubbing mood, so I stay in.  My hostel is cleared out, it is Saturday night, I think I am the only one left in the room for the night.  Things also start late in Barcelona, dinner around 9 pm, and everything else afterwards, my hostel  mates here are here to party.  I am satisfied seeing the city and going to sleep at night. Tomorrow, more exploring Barcelona, Monday I may take a day trip outside the city.

Day 2 in Barcelona Photo Album

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