July 1 – Barcelona

Made our flight with minimum to spare, but no problemo.  Airport, taxi, hotel by 10:30 AM.  Ciara and Al are 90 minutes behind us.  So, as a foursome, we’re ready to walk and gawk by noon.  Except Al.  He worked until 0400, so he’s a little bleary…and horizontal for a couple of hours while the three of us get the lay of the land.

We’re in a very modern and retail-oriented section.  There are wide boulevards with wide, tree-lined walking/cycling corridors on one side.  The tram (street car) occupies the center, so it’s a very wide expanse between buildings on opposite sides.  It’s busy, but not frenetic.  Not dirty, not compulsively clean.

This corridor isn’t wide enough to include the cycling path, but it widens (maybe double!) farther up the way, on the other side.

The hotel fits right in; Euro modern (use your imagination), very comfortable and big rooms by European standards..  There’s a shop-til-you-drop mall, L’illa Diagonal (#84 of 706 things to do in Barcelona, according to Trip Advisor), across another open-space corridor behind the hotel.  We’re about a 10-minute walk to the Metro station, 2 minutes from the Tram and there are buses running everywhere; have already purchased passes.  It will be a piece of cake getting further afield.  And to rev up the morning motor, there’s a touch of home, too.

Modern it may be, and hot today it isn’t, but this place is definitely in the siesta zone.  One or two o’clock, many of the shops shutter for a couple of hours.  Restaurants are open and the mall kept its registers ringing.  It’s the smaller places that close up.

Our sole planned outing for the day is dinner.  Al researched from Munich and made reservations for the unfashionably early hour of 9 PM.  Tapas. Nice place. Very comfortable, too.

Afterwards, we wandered one of the nearby neighborhoods with lots of tiny restaurants.  Unlike Granada, most tended to be inside only. We stopped at Bobby Gin for a drink, another spot Al had found online.  He and Ciara are gin hounds, so it’s hardly a surprise.  Arrived back at the hotel at 12:30 AM, but the streets and restaurants were still busy.  Interestingly, this isn’t a club scene, though we did see one place with live music (acoustic).  Eat, drink, socialize.

Oh yeah, happy Canada Day, eh.

Enough! Off to bed with you (talking to self).

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