On disembarkation day, we checked into the Pullman in Barcelona, dealt with Michael's lost bag (it was found) and just hung out in the hotel room until dinner. So on Saturday, we were both antsy to get out and explore the city.
We asked the concierge if he could give some recommendations on a guided tour we could take, and he recommended the Barcelona Bus Hop on Hop off tour. It had 2 separate routes, a green line and a red line. The cost to do this was 24.95 euros each, and we got to use the bus all day long.
Beautiful Crazy Curved Place in Barcelona
When you enter, you pay your money and the bus tender hands you a map and a pair of red earphones. Either beside or under each seat is a headphone jack, and multiple choices of language. My first seat on the very crowded bus was on the very back row, smack in between 2 families. There was no way for me to bend down and insert my headphone jack. I just couldn't do it. Then on the first stop, I stood up and plugged it in while I could see it, and the bus took off again before I could hit the "English" button.
Colorful Way to Hide Construction
So I listened to the first 10 minutes of the tour listening to Italian. Finally after 2 stops, most all of the people hopped off, and hubby and I were able to sit together, and find the "English" setting of the guided tour. We rode the red line bus to all it's stops, not getting off. Once the sites started getting interested, we went upstairs to the top deck of the bus and started snapping away at the beautiful and diverse architecture of Barcelona.
You'll notice mostly the top part of the buildings of Barcelona, that was our view. When we came to the end of the red line, we jumped off in the shopping district of the city and I had my cappuccino fredo of the day, and Michael had his local beer.
Pit Stop and Cappuccino Fredo Refueling restaurant
I asked for the bathroom, and was sent downstairs. Again with the sketchy bathroom instructions… I had to pee so bad and I just entered the first toilet I saw. I knew I was in the wrong place right away, from the slipperiness of the floor (boys) but by then I was already peeing and just praying that no men came in while I was there. No, I didn't see any urinals. My eyes were trained for a toilet. This isn't the first time I've accidentally used the men's room in Europe. I'd done that in Germany in 1978… thinking the H on the door stood for Her, but actually it stood for Herren, which was "men" in Germany. Oh well, messed up and used the wrong toilet in Spain too.
After we were done with our drinks, we decided to walk around the city a bit and go on the "great purse hunt". This time hubby was very proactive and was trying so hard to find me something I'd like. But nothing really called me. That helped me decide I'd just wait till I got home and order something from Zappo's as a souvenir of the trip. It wasn't that we didn't try! However, we did not cross the street to the designer strip of handbag stores. I just won't shell out for a Gucci or a Prada. My purse habit is bad enough without lusting after bags that cost more than a small car.
He can dream!
No Purses in here
Burger King in Barcelona
So after walking around a bit, we hopped the green line bus and saw the rest of the Bacelona tour. I was starting to burn from riding on the top of the double decker bus and it was hot, so I grabbed my stuff and headed down for the first floor in the AC and stayed there for the remainder of the trip. I almost lost a hat up top, but someone brought it down with them and handed it to the bus tender and I said it's mine, oops, thanks!
The second part, the green bus line, got very tiring. We were on the buses from 10 am until 4:30 that day. Our butts and ears were tired. And we were starving.
We stopped at Monchos for dinner. I was a little nervous there, the restaurant had a lot of middle eastern people both working and eating, ladies with scarves pulled carefully up to their lower lashes unless they were eating. And when I went to the bathroom (downstairs again) I passed a green room where I saw someone sleeping on cardboard on the floor. I'm not afraid to say the whole middle east thing freaks me out.
my dinner at Moncho's
I wish I had taken a photo of the lady next to me, because she was beautiful. But I figured since she had to be covered, she wouldn't want her photo taken. Kind of like the Amish who think photographs steal their soul. But I don't know because I don't understand. It just breaks my heart that women are still oppressed.
We ended the day, rearranging our suitcases for the flight home, and just relaxing. I read a few books on vacation, Jodi Picoult's House Rules (very good 5 stars) and Fifty Shades Darker. Don't waste your time on the 50 shades books. Seriously, this comes from someone who did.
So much beautiful architecture
On Sunday, the porter called us a cab. Not just any cab would do, it had to be one that held ALL OUR LUGGAGE (never again). You know you have too many things packed when you need a special cab. Most European cars are small.
Back to the cab ride. Our driver was driving 110k's per hour, tail-gating and texting on the freeway to the airport. I was certain we were going to die, and begged hubby to ask him to stop texting. He did, but the driver pretended he didn't understand English. After a few moments he did stop texting, and we did arrive at the Barcelona airport unscathed, except for our nerves.
The flight home was long, but it seemed to go faster than on the way to Venice at the beginning of our trip. The dogs were really glad to see us, and it felt so good to sleep in our own bed that night. Monday we just laid around trying to get over our jet lag. We made ourselves stay up until 9pm both Sunday and Monday night, and by Tuesday we were feeling back to normal.