Wednesday, June 17, 2009

spain: day two (la rambla to the port)

apparently, we needed lots of slumber, because we slept till 11 a.m. on day two of our anniversary-moon (oops!).

once we got up and running, we walked down towards placa catalunya for a breakfast (brunch?) of coffee and pastries. we stepped into el corte ingles (a popular department store chain with everything you could possibly imagine) and were immediately overwhelmed and overstimulated. the number of people and the number of things to look at was staggering. we made a mental note for later of where the grocery store was, and then we made a hasty retreat.

from the corte ingles we wandered down to la rambla, which is a completely different scene during the day than it is at night. one entire section of the rambla is lined with vendors selling the most beautiful and colorful flowers, of every imaginable variety, big and small. the colors and smells were so powerful and just absolutely enchanting. the next section of the rambla was filled with vendors selling all sorts of apartment-sized pets: birds, ferrets, bunnies, turtles, ducks, hamsters, etc. lots of them were babies, and they were so adorable and so much fun to watch.

a little farther down, we came to the mercat de sant josep de la boqueria, an open-air market with endless aisles of booths where you could buy just about any type of food you could ever even think of - fresh fruits and veggies, fresh fish and meats, nuts and candies and chocolates - and they were all arranged so artfully and thoughtfully. i could see why this place was packed with people - it was such a treat to just admire the displays, and to be surrounded by all of the different colors and smells. we paid a euro for a cup of fresh blended fruit juice (strawberry and some other fruit we'd never heard of) and it was delicious, of course.

we continued down the rambla, past our friend christopher columbus, to the port. we crossed the rambla del mar (a fancy pedestrian bridge that looks like waves) to get to the maremagnum mall. lunch was fish and chips (and cava and cerveza) out on the boardwalk, where we could sit in the sun and watch the boats out in the harbor for a little while. after we did a little shopping in the mall, we went to the aquarium, because we can never resist an aquarium. i have to say that the aquarium was a little...disappointing. there was not even one otter there! we did see a fish that we'd never seen or heard of before, but aside from that, i wasn't impressed (plus, the photo booth ate our euros!).

as we were leaving the aquarium, we saw a poster for an imax film that we had seen on our very first trip together (to new orleans)! guess they don't make new movies too often. we indulged in a little chocolate waffle action before heading back up the rambla towards placa catalunya. on the way, i stopped to take a drink from the fontana de canaletes - the legend says that he who drinks from this fountain will fall in love with the city and will one day return (i think it worked...).

once we'd made it back to placa catalunya, we braved the pandemonium that was el corte ingles. we needed groceries. snacks. provisions. it was beyond crowded in the supermarket, seeing as it was an hour to closing on a saturday night and the store was closed on sundays. and it was impossible to find anything. by the end of it i was sure we were going to kill somebody (or each other), but somehow we made it out alive, and with our groceries no less!
after that little adventure (and all of the day's adventures), we had no energy to speak of. we stopped at a tapas place close to our hotel and ordered some yummies to go. we spent a quiet evening in the hotel room - a delicious tapas dinner in bed, accompanied by some delightful bbc programming - and then we drifted off to dreamland...


Tanja said...

I could read about your trip forever and a day....:o)

olivia said...

well that's good because i have 7 more entries to write! ;)