The plan today was to go to Montserrat – the black virgin, monastery and such. We made our plans better, got up earlier and on the Metro for the ride to the Espanya stop to catch the train to Montserrat. Unlike what some of the travel books indicated, we had no trouble finding the train for Monserrat.
HOWEVER, when we arrived at the station and the place to buy tickets, we found that the train employees were on strike and that the queue would be a 3-4 hour wait. A friend had recommended going to Portbou, which I had on my mind constantly, but to be honest, Barcelona has been so wonderful that we had no desire to leave it. We tried to buy tickets for Portbou, but out of several credit cards, none would be taken. Was it because the train left in 10 minutes? Maybe — we were never sure, but it was a sign that we may not have been meant to go. A little disappointing for awhile, but we decided to have lunch early and discuss what to do. It was nearly noon anyway. We had a HUGE lunch about 1/2 mile away from the train station that was pretty good. We had Bloody Marys that were good and decided to do the futball stadium – Camp Nou – that was highly rated on things to do in Barcelona.
I must say that I am not a huge American football fan and certainly not a soccer fan, but it was wonderful!!!! I am a pretty emotional person and seeing the films of the Barca team winning the World Cup (3 times no less) was pretty stupendous. The tears just streamed. We saw the locker rooms, the original stone of the stadium, the press box and although we didn’t walk on the field grass, we were right next to it at the same level. The grass was beautiful and it was pretty darn emotional to be there. I will never ever feel the same about “futball” again. I can’t wait to cheer for Barcelona during the next season!!! MES QUE UN CLUB!!!!!
After the tour, we went to a cute bar called the “Futball Bar”. We had beer, Sangria, and Palinka shots that were on the house. We had another shot of something else called Unicum, so we were feeling no pain at all, even after the miles of walking. It was actually a Hungarian bar, so it was sort of funny that it was known as the “futball bar”. We got back on the Metro back to Espanya to decide what to do next. It was around 4:00, so we decided to find a good restaurant.
Believe it or not, we went to a cute little Mexican restuarant just off the square (maybe 1/2 mile) and had about 2 margaritas and some beer. We ordered chips, which were out of this world and then ordered some food. We each ordered something different and I think everyone was happy with their food. As always, we shared everything. We then walked over to the mall, which used to be a bull fighting arena before it was outlawed in Catalan, and got some gelato. I got a combination of a caramel ice cream and Catalan crema, which was very good.
It was about 9:30PM, so we walked to the magic fountain (which was part of the original plan) and what a way to end the trip!!!!! We arrived shortly after 9:30PM, which was when the show started and we had to pull ourselves away at 11:00PM. There were times that the fountain had such a fine spray that it looked like ballerinas were dancing on the fountain. We arrived to American music, later recognized Russian music and then some classical music. Strangely, everyone seemed to enjoy the classical music the most. And by everyone, I mean the hundreds and hundreds of people that came out to see the fountain. It was like being at a music festival. I had been carrying around a bottle of red wine all day long because we thought we were going to Montserrat, so we poured out the entire bottle between us and toasted the fountain. Sadly, we knew we had to leave to finish packing for home, but what a way to end a vacation.
We have used Hailo during our stay a couple of times and we will use them again to get back to the airport. With 6 of us traveling, it will cost us the same as it would if we took the bus from the Metro to the airport, so we will just take a cab. Tomorrow I will write about my general thoughts about Barcelona and traveling with family. Until then, buenos noches.