This morning’s jog was quite refreshing. It gave me a chance to stretch my legs (even though we have been doing a lot of walking already) and it allowed me to see our neighborhood of Barcelona above ground (as we have been mostly traveling my underground metro). The first thing I noticed was that there were plenty of people out and walking around, but there weren’t that many people out for jogs, at least in our immediate neighborhood. They do have a nice tree covered median between the different directions of traffic along the major streets outfitted with paved paths for walkers, joggers, and bikers. Another thing that made the jog a little different is that a good portion of the neighborhood streets in Barcelona (with exception of the main ones) are narrow, one way, streets…and I thought New York had building on top of building. It does give the neighborhood a somewhat cozy feel. And, oh yeah, I found that the golden arches are never far as there is a McDonald’s almost 4 blocks from our flat.
Some interesting tidbits that I have noticed a bout Barcelona so far:
- The Simpsons are relatively big in Barcelona. At the street festival today, they had an inflatable jumping pin for children complete with the whole gang of cast members. Also, on the first day before our TV gave out, I turned it on to see the Simpsons in Spanish. However, I know that the characters have Spanish accents, but they sound nothing like their American counterparts!
- I have been told that the tap water here in Barcelona is perfectly safe to drink, but that it has a somewhat funny taste. I second that statement. I have never been able to tell such a difference between tap water and bottled. I guess there is something good to be said about good ole’ Rocky Top (that’s Tennessee where I am from).
This afternoon we headed out for our first full day of exploration on Barcelona. We began in our own neighborhood at the festival I had discovered while taking a run. We couldn’t determine whether it was a special festival or just what Barcelonans did on Saturday. The highlight of that trip for me was the free chocolate bar that they were handing out which was larger than any chocolate bar I have ever had and oh was it good! From there we did some more exploring, taking a different route to another nearby subway line. Walking along that way allowed me to take in the fact that there is a bakery on nearly every block. Spaniards love their fresh baked bread, and the aroma is very pleasing to the nose. Our next stop was downtown where we took the chance to take in the sites of Port Vell and La Aquarium, Barcelona’s Aquarium. The odd thing about Port Vell on this evening was the fact that there was a British battleship docked alongside with armed soldiers pacing its decks and a Spanish Flag flying over it (we knew it was a British vessel by a flag on the front of the ship and the accent of the soldiers). Other stops on the days were la Playa de Barconaleta (Barconaleta Beach) and Port Olimpic, a beautiful area on the waterfront of what was the Olympic Village of 1992. There was a festival taking place there celebrating Castilla and Leon, two small villages north of Barcelona near the Spanish border with France. There were native dancing performances and displays of local customs which our pictures reflect.
Tonight I am starting on a backlog of laundry that has accumulated since before I left the United States. The good thing about this flat is that there is a washing machine on our balcony which prevents us from having to spend time in a laundry mat. The bad thing is that there is no dryer. Apparently the custom for this neighborhood is to dry clothes the old fashioned way, via clothesline, so every balcony is outfitted with clothes lines that hang off of the balconies. The part about this that makes me nervous is that my wet clothes are hanging off of a balcony about five stories up…this may be one way to guarantee that my luggage on the return trip is not overweight.