Monday, March 7, 2011

Down the rabbit's hole in Barcelona

O what a weekend... After spending the week in classes, per usual, while my parents were having adventures driving along the eastern coast of Spain, I met them in Barcelona.  
Thursday: Not a very exciting day, I got there at around 4:30 and it was pouring so we just stayed inside for a few hours. The hotel was in an amazing location though! Right in the center of the old city by the cathedral, not the Sagrada Familia, although it does look like it.  
This is the view from our balcony
We then wandered around the old city looking for this tapas place that Dad read about in the Fodors Guide.  It looked really good, but it was packed, and with foreigners, so we decided to go elsewhere.  We found this random little restaurant which was kind of a fusion of everything.  We then went to have an Irish coffee at a pub on the way back to the hotel, as it turns out we must always have a nightcap in the Surrey family.  Apparently, our Irish coffees had to be made the right, and traditionally Irish, way taking almost a half-hour.  By the way, Irish coffee comes from a bar in San Francisco.  To amuse ourselves... Dad is not a very good architect, however both Mom and I managed to make card towers out of the five coasters on the table.  
Friday: Friday we went on the Gaudi walking tour as listed in the Fodor Guide.  It was altogether a very odd day.  The tour began on a street just off of the Ramblas, which were also very cool.  We spent awhile walking up and down them before branching off onto the Passeig de García where we found the Casa Batllò (pronounced without the 't').  This was perhaps one of the oddest places I have ever been in my entire life.  Not only did the house look odd from the street, but the inside was so drug-induced it was like the architectural version of Lewis Carroll.  However, with the entrance fee we were given audioguides which explained, in great (and often times excessive) detail why Gaudi did what he did, and what practical purpose everything served.  The house was built with a nautical theme in mind so everything is meant to produce an undersea effect.
 The outside of the house
 The lamp in the living room
 When looking through the glass on the landings
After leaving the Casa Batllò, we continued on our walk.  We saw the Casa Milà, which is an apartment building with a chimney garden on top of it.  We didn't go in though since we had just experienced the pinnacle of oddness and couldn't handle anymore at that moment. 
We continued on our walk, on which we saw a few more houses in the style of Gaudi, but not by him and ended up at the Sagrada Familia.
The Sagrada Familia is actually unfinished, both inside and out, but it was still really spectacular.  We then had lunch somewhere, I can't remember where so it must not have been anything particularly special, and then we walked over to the....Museu de Xocolata (aka the Chocolate Musuem)!! First, Dad got us very lost, and after I saved the day by actually reading the map correctly we entered heaven.
 Basically it was a museum filled with sculptures made out of chocolate.  It was very cool.  At the end they had a little chocolate store, of course, and Dad and I each got two truffles, of course.  We then went to the Picasso museum, since the day hadn't been odd enough already.  Following that we went back to the hotel and had a bottle of wine before going out to dinner and having...a bottle of wine (there was probably one at lunch too bringing the average daily total of wine to 3 bottles a day...well done Surrey family, well done). The dinner was actually fantastic! We went to a really nice restaurant and had an amazing dinner.  I had lobster spaghetti and for dessert, todo caramel (caramel ice cream, caramel candy, caramel sauce, and caramel mousse) It was really good, and actually none of it was overly sweet.
Saturday: We woke up and went to the fresh food market off of the Ramblas for breakfast, and to buy a picnic lunch.  The market was absolutely amazing. It was filled with stalls with fresh fruit and cheese and veggies and bread and all sorts of deliciousness.  The picnic we bought consisted of; red wine (of course), manchego cheese, bread, olives, and a kilo of fresh strawberries.  We then went to the Park Guell, another Gaudi oddity.  We walked around the park and we saw his house, which was not nearly as absurd as it should have been considering what we had seen the day before.  
After devouring the entire picnic, including the whole kilo of strawberries, we walked back to the metro station.  We found Cheers, the bar, an had a drink where the bartender told us that no one ever goes to Espanyol games (the other soccer team in Barcelona), Dad had asked, and then gave us a free shot because we told him we were going to the FC Barcelona game later that night.  And then, because we didn't feel we had fulled our absurdity quota for the day, we went to a Salvador Dalí exhibit.
If you can't read the caption, it says, "Automobile Giving Birth to a Blind Horse Biting a Telephone."

The man himself
We then went back to our hotel to get ready for the Barça v. Zaragoza futbol game!!! The stadium was absolutely packed (it took us a hour to get back on the metro because of the amount of people) and this was a not so important game.  Barça is playing Arsenal (the London team) tomorrow...that will be craaaaazy.  Anyhow, Barça won 1-0, should have been more but the ref was not so nice, and we got to see Messi, David Villa, and Iniesta play!
Sunday: Since the market was closed and we couldn't go there for breakfast, we had churros con chocolate at Valor (I got Dad addicted to it in Murcia) and then we walked over to the old synagogue and later the shoe museum.  The synagogue is actually thought to be one of the oldest in Europe since they found that parts of the interior wall date back to the 3rd century, Roman times.  We then went to the shoe museum around the corner which housed shoes from the 1700s and a pair of Ronaldhino's cleats as well as a ginormous pair of clown shoes.  We weren't allowed to take pictures though : (  Then we walked over the the gondola thingy to go to the Montjüc Park.  It was pretty much just gardens, and the wait to go on the gondola was almost a hour, and the line had gotten longer by the time we left.  The park did offer spectacular views of the city though. 
We then walked along the beach, which was really crowded although it is March, to get some lunch.  We had a really hard time finding a table since it was prime lunch time, really good weather, and a Sunday, but finally we managed to find one.  After eating a yummy seafood lunch we walked over to the Icebarcelona (an ice bar, the only one in the world on the beach).  The interior is made completely of ice, including the walls, chairs, and even glasses.  The room is kept at about -7 degrees celsius (19 farenheit) so they gave us winter coats and gloves upon entering.  Because we were a little hammered, following the standard bottle of wine at lunch and then the martini variations (they don't do regular martinis in Spain) in rapid succession, Dad decided it would be funny to take a picture holding the fish ball.  I wish I were kidding...
Because the Surreys are never done, we went back to Cheers and put Norm in his place.
Later that night we went out for another fantastic dinner at a restaurant called Citrus which had a view of the Casa Batllò.  We started with some amazing salads and asparagus and then I had duck breast, Mom had chicken, and Dad had fish.  For dessert I had a cold pureed red fruits soup with violet ice cream.  We then promptly went to sleep since we had to be awake at 6 am to go to the airport.  I am now sitting on my bed recuperating and my parents are somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean.
Altogether a fantastic weekend in Barcelona and I got to see my parents!!!

¡Hasta la semana que viene!

No comments:

Post a Comment