Day 4: Barcelona to Granada

Today we woke up excitedly, because Tommy had said he wanted to take us sailing.  Sailing, on the Mediterranean!!  Yeah!  Yeah!  Yea…  wait, no.  No sailing, Tommy had something come up.  But he offered to take us to Parc Guell, instead, which was awfully kind of him.  So we showered and went out for breakfast before our appointed meeting time.  Apparently, no one opens on Sunday morning in Barcelona because it took us a while to find a place.  We wound up at Cafe and Te again, where Jim had his plain croissant and I had the best chocolate croissant “thing” in my life.  It is a chocolate croissant, for sure, but there was a great deal of confusion when I ordered it (in Spanish), as I called it a chocolate croissant.  Apparently the Spaniards don’t call it that, and despite the fact it was the only item in the case that had chocolate in it and despite my excited finger-pointing, the confusion lasted for a few minutes until the clerk and I came to a mutual understanding about what it was I sought.  Oh, well, the lady was nice enough and the whole escapade was soon forgotten once I bit into the elusive pastry.  We ate and as we were about to leave we saw two people outside who looked like they’d been run over by a Heineken truck.  The guy was still carrying a can of beer, and they were clearly just coming home from some giant rave.  Ooooh, sucks to be them.  We left them in the cafe, with the girl staring blankly at the menu, trying to formulate words.  Given my (sober) troubles, she didn’t stand a chance.

Parc Guell

We left and were off to Tommy’s house to meet him for our big outing.  He had his kids, so we all hopped into his car and headed off.  The first stop was to the marina, as he needed some papers off his boat.  We hung around on his boat for a bit before getting back into the car to Parc Guell.  Parking was a bit of a chaotic mess at the park, but in true Spanish fashion, Tom squeezed the car into a spot that I would have otherwise taken for a narrow walkway barely suitable for stroller passage.  We got out and…  entered the fray.  Since everything is closed in Barcelona on Sunday, it turns out that everyone likes to go to the park.  This park.  So we, Tom, his 2 kids, and Jim and I, braved the crowds.  The park is probably cool when it is desolate, but when the entire Barcelona populous is there, it is a bit of a nightmare.  Thankfully, we didn’t stay too long – even Tommy was getting frazzled, and his kids were getting squirelly.  So off we were again, back into our hood.  Tom dropped the car, we got our luggage from the hotel, then we all walked to the Metro where we said the final goodbyes to our friends, and got on the train to go to the airport.

A little note about the Barcelona airport.  It is huge, which is a bit remarkable given they have about 10 flights a day in and out.  Our Vueling flight was to leave from Terminal C, so we dutifully followed the signs during our mile long walk between the Metro and the Terminals.  We passed Terminal A, and then passed Terminal B, and then…  that was it.  No more signs.  Looking back, it was an omen for what was to come in our Spanish travels as, like ham at every meal, we would find sparse signage to be ubiquitous in Spain.  We stopped at an information desk and inquired about the whereabouts of the alleged Terminal C, and were told we had to go outside (duh), then another few miles down the way to Terminal C.  Oh.  Ok.   Crap, by this point we had to beat feet as we hadn’t factored time in for this airport expedition.

After all the rush to get there, it turned out our flight was delayed an hour and a half so we had an expensive sandwich at the airport (with chipsies), and waited.  The flight was uneventful, although Vueling is truly the rock bottom budget airline of airlines.  The planes are new, but they squeeze so many seats into the plane that if you are more than say, 5’3″ you will be uncomfortable.  But no matter, it was a short flight and we landed in Granada in one piece, and that is all you can ask for, that take-offs equal landings.

We hopped the bus from the Granada airport to take the 30 minute ride into town (for €3 each), got off on Gran Via de Colon, found our hotel, the Anacapri (where we each had our own twin bed), threw our stuff down, and headed out.  We first found the cathedral, did a bit of aimless wandering, then settled in for our evening cerveza.  And this one came with a tapas, which was a real treat because we were hungry and were nowhere near Spain’s bewitching dining hour of 22:00.  Unfortunately (for me), the tapas was tuna.  The waiter was very sympathetic to my aversion to seafood and he brought out tapas of ham and pan (bread), instead.  It was served on a plate with tuna chunks.  His good intent was there, though.  The next cervezas we had came with a plate of delicious toasted almonds and green olives.  Not only fantastic but something for everyone!

Since we’d been locked up in the airport most of the day and hadn’t gotten our walk on, we proceeded to wander around for a while before deciding to wander with purpose – to find a suitable dinner spot.  Hoo-boy, thus commenced our dinner stroll.  In case I haven’t fully described the Dinner Stroll yet, it usually consists of us setting out while only marginally hungry to find a place in which to eat.  This walk will generally take us through several miles of streets, avenues, alleys, by-ways, boulevards, and numerous neighborhoods while Jim tries to find The Place that gives him The Feeling.  We kick a few tires along the way, look at a few menus, argue a little bit, get frustrated, and wind up several hours later, voraciously hungry with still with no prospects in which to eat.  Then, invariably and in an act of sheer desperation, we inevitably briefly consider McDonalds before marching into the next restaurant we see that has a menu including pizza.  It’s usually about 3 hours after we initially set out by this point.  It also usually takes us a few beers before we start talking to each other again, too.

So, we found ourselves on the infamous Dinner Stroll in Granada.  After going through all of the above-outlined steps, we wound up at a sub-par Italian restaurant with horrible pizza and pasta.  I didn’t even take a picture of the restaurant for our memoirs, it was that bad.  After dinner, and still a bit cranky, we went back to the hotel and got into our separate twin beds that Jim grumbled about.  As we were falling asleep I whispered across the room to Jim to imagine our sleeping arrangement was just like being at camp.  I think he smiled.

Previous Post
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: