Thursday, June 25, 2009

Barcelona: the Cathedral to Colon

Last fall I ran into two people from my mission and had them over to dinner. Something about that made Rob decide that this time we were actually going to go to Barcelona (we've always intended to, but it's always been too expensive/all booked up by the time we looked into it), and in January he found tickets for $80/person round trip. We found an apartment to rent in c/San Pere mes Baix, but since I always served around Barcelona instead of inside the city, we didn't know if we'd done well.

We arrived Sunday afternoon and after finding our apartment and dumping our stuff, we ventured out to the Gothic Cathedral. We thought that Joss had gone to sleep, but we were mistaken, and he got progressively more and more cantankerous until I took him out of his stroller. He absolutely loved the geese and the fountain in the cloister here. He played in the water for at least twenty minutes, and when we finally extracted him from it, he was sopping and he made protests at decibels that haven't been heard here since the Inquisition.

I remembered the cathedral as being low-key and free as a missionary. Now it is being refurbished and they charge an admission fee, but they also let you see everything and take pictures inside and out. The kids were surprisingly interested, but I guess it isn't every church that has a skull and crossbones, geese, a crypt, a tower and the usual candles. We spent a long time there, and we thought about Saydi, who would have absolutely loved the light for taking pictures. Family portrait in the cloister, anyone?
It turns out that I remember things being low-key and empty in Barcelona because I did most of my sightseeing there between October and January. No one was around. We played soccer up on the plaza at Parc Guell, which was crowded with people this time. In fact, everything was crowded with people. This time it felt like a continuous party of people in beachwear. We walked over to the Ramblas, getting ice cream, and meandered down for a few blocks to the Placa Real where we sat on the fountain and enjoyed the palm trees and people. Rob was grooving on how different the place is from his mission -- it's got such a loose, carefree, Eurail vibe compared to Vienna or Berlin. We walked down side streets to the Cristopher Columbus statue at the end of the Ramblas.
Only now they don't end; the industrious Catalans simply extended them out into the marina and call it the Rambla del Mar. We walked all the way down to the end, which was also the end of our children's collective rope. Of course then we still had a solid half hour of walking back home. Thankfully, the heathen hippies health food store was open on the way home so that we had something to feed kids for dinner and breakfast. We staggered back to the apartment and put up our feet. For a minute.
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1 comment:

Heather said...

You are living a magical life right now. And you deserve it. Thanks for letting me participate vicariously.