Barcelona - Day 4
Trip Start Oct 18, 2005
6Trip End Nov 05, 2005
We went shopping in the morning. The cereal that Mars liked is all out (yup, I ate most of it - muahaha). Today, we were to meet our guide to head out to a little village called Rupit. The guide was late by 30 minutes, so we went and had a coffee where Mars took a few black and white photos. Twas an expresso we had.
Once we met up with our guide, he threw us into a red van and we headed out of the city. There were 2 blokes. The main guide, Charles, was American born and now living in Spain. He gave us a run down on Catalan history (this part of Spain is known as Catalunya) and we discussed politics a bit. The group was shocked to learn I'm a Howard voter :P (I'll refrain from expressing my political views on tihs forum - each to their own :) )
Rupit was a wicked little village. It's such a cute spanish town with only local catalan/spanish people visiting. No tour coaches and just families spending a nice day out. I fell in love with it's beauty and the awesome weather helped too. If the people here only led their life as simple villagers, I'd say they were the wealthiest people on earth ~ their mountain village was as picturesque as any spanish town romanticized in novels (err... if I'd read those novels, I'd imagine they were like that. heh) and movies.
Lunch was superb. If you weren't full on the entrees, the mains could send you over, but try Try TRY and make room for dessert. I had OJ and Ice Cream (mixed together), and it was wicked!
I tried some table wine and it too, was great, though a bit of it ended up on me! Those of you who know my indifference to alcohol will know that if I say it was good, it must be quite good :D Definitely, the lunch here was the best meal we've had in Spain thus far.
We took a tour around the village which was so nice (can I say it enough??), and it felt like a dream. I noticed there weren't any convenience stores around, or even a supermarket. The tourists easily outnumbered the locals, but there weren't that many of either. We were by far the largest group (8) with most other people being couples, or small families from surrounding towns (or so Charles pointed out).
We then went for a hike through the surrounding mountains. It was sweeeet, and not too many protective barriers like in the blue mountains. People take their lives into their own hands ~ cool :) After a few water crossings, we ended up at a disused monastery on a hilltop. The sun had fallen below the horizon and offered us barely enough light to make our way back to the carpark. There, the remaining visitors were also returning to their cars for the journey down the mountain.
I got carsick on the ride back, so forced myself to sleep. The driving through the countryside at night reminded me of home ~ night drives home from Jindabyne to Queenbeyan after a ski weekend, or Cairns to Townsville at dusk.
After arriving home, got changed quickly, and only went out with my camera and some coins. The mugging incident got me a bit skeptical about carrying more than I needed. We caught the train out to Les Corts metro station and followed the crowd to Nou Camp (FC Barcelona stadium). We had some pretty nasty seats, like the very back row! BUT the view was fantastic! Better than watching events at Telstra stadium I reckon.
The game was excellent, the crowd were awesome, and yes, the 3 goals by the home team were brilliant! I had a really good time at the game. You could tell who the tourists were too - we were the ones wearing FC Barcelona colour shirts with Ronaldinho written on the back. haha.
The rush to the Metro was also cool. There were guards that made us enter the station in a tidal flow manner, and myself and Wayne got seperated at the gates. We didn't miss the train though. Getting on was an experience. I had the doors straight in front of me, but got pushed out to the left as people surged into the carriage. Wayne got pushed into the train, so I pushed hard back to force myself onto the carriage. Someone inside was calling us to get out coz it was full, but hell, I had both feet in the door, and just kept pushing till my whole body got in. The doors closed behind me so yeh, close call :) There was hardly any room to move at all, and reminded me of Tokyo, though if Tokyo was a 10 out of 10, this was an 8.5 (scale based on space between bodies)
Cool fun and basically, an all round awesome day. Last 2 days in Barcelona were just tops and this would now be up there with Venice as one of my favourite cities :) Fiona was helping me with this diary entry, recalling events. Mars was whinging about her scratch and dropping coins on my toe, followed by dropping a Harry Potter hardcover book on it. Thanks :P
Mandy skulled 3 or so Sangrias and lies passed out on the sofa.