We started the day off at Placa Catalunya where Mirinda wore her new Peruvian hat for all to see.
Eventually, we caught the Hop On Hop Off bus on the green route.
We managed to get as far as the beach and Mirinda suggested we get off and walk for a bit. A splendid idea.
We had a wander around Barcelonita, the ex-fishing village where Mirinda thoroughly enjoyed herself peeking into people’s houses and commenting on their washing. She had heard (on the bus) that the area had some fantastic restaurants so we decided to try a place called Tapa Tapa. In case it’s not obvious enough, it serves tapas. It also looked quite trendy.
The staff were all young, friendly and happy. They fitted in perfectly with the beach just outside, the blue sky and the crowds of merry Sunday sand visitors.
And the food was fantastic. And, of course, I had the grilled sardines which, regardless of whatever Mirinda might say, were absolutely delicious.
Having filled ourselves sufficiently with lo-carb delights, we set off along the beach, heading for the Big Fish. This was made by Frank Gehry and is amazing. The ‘scales’ seem to shimmer in the sun as it moves. Iconic. Beautiful.
By the time we’d walked beyond the Big Fish (not to be confused with the restaurant of the same name in Barcelona) we’d reached the next stop for the Hop On Hop Off bus so we waited and boarded the next one.
I guess I should report on the weather. According to the official weather forecast, it was scattered clouds today. According to real life observation from someone who lives in Southern Britain, it was sunny all day today. The blue sky was dazzling in its brilliance and the temperature, though only ever in the teens, was plenty warm enough for me…though everyone else had puffy jackets on. We managed to stay upstairs on the Hop On Hop Off bus for most of the day…though we did freeze eventually.
But moving right along from the beach…we stopped at Tibidabo.
Most days there’s the Blue Tram that takes you halfway up the hill and then there’s a funicular that takes you to the top of the mountain. Unfortunately the funicular was not working today, which was a bugger, so we just took the Blue Tram up to the end of the track.
The Blue Tram was once for the rich people who wanted to live above the peasants, in the clear air and happy climes well in excess of sea level. They built big mansions, had snotty nosed kids and didn’t want to have to climb up the hill to get home. They decided to build a tramway. These days, the rich bastards are no longer willing to maintain the tram so the tourists pay a lot for the privilege of feeling like the rich…as they get poorer from paying for the Blue Tram.
Anyway, the view at the top was a delight so we sat in the terrace bar and drank it in. Mirinda also drank her own weight in gin and tonic in a glass almost as big as her head. It blocked out the sun at one point and we started shivering.
We then headed back down the hill, deciding we’d lined the pockets of the tram operators enough for one day, on foot. It was quite a pleasant walk though the footpath was in danger of vanishing every now and then. We then rejoined the bus for the trip back into the heart of Barcelona…where we swapped the green line for the orange one.
Now, I’m going to admit to a little secret. I’ve always wanted to sit right at the front of the Hop On Hop Off bus. On the top deck, I mean. Every time we board one, the front seats are always taken. I’ve never seen anyone leave the front seats before and even if I had, there are always masses of people waiting to claim them from the first ten rows behind them.
When we boarded the orange line bus, there was only another couple upstairs and they were sitting, of course, in the front seats – one on each side effectively claiming the whole row. As we approached Placa Catalunya they started to get their stuff together. My heart started beating faster. Mirinda suggested I move quickly to make sure I was in place to rapidly stake my claim.
As they left the bus I was in there! I sat on the front seat like I was born to the throne. It was mine and I wasn’t EVER giving it up.
Of course, I then stood up and let Mirinda have the window seat because the view is better. And we didn’t get off the bus until it stopped running for the day and we had to. Seriously, I’d achieved the front seat and I wasn’t moving. I was George Costanza and the ultimate car park.
The only problem with remaining in the front seat for so long was the fact that we were bombarded with Chinese (I think) spoken loudly, quickly and nonsensically right behind us. I say ‘nonsensically’ because the woman doing most of the talking seemed to say ‘go go go’ with a few other sounds thrown in for good measure every now and then. I’m not kidding. And it wasn’t any better when she started sucking a boiled lolly while continuing to speak to her friend who I think was at the back of the bus otherwise I’m not sure why she had to speak so loudly.
Finally, back at Placa Catalunya, we headed for the nearest purveyor of hot drinks to stave off the chills we were experiencing before wandering back to the Gothic Quarter where we found a delightful restaurant for dinner. We had tapas. Of course.
The day was almost ruined when a strange Brazilian chap tried to dance a salsa with me (ostensibly to steal my wallet, Mirinda claimed – sucked in if that’s so because I never carry one) but we managed to shoo him off before he could dent any of our touristic delights.
Tomorrow we’re booked in to see the Sagrada Familia, something that is on Mirinda’s bucket list.