View from our balcony at Hostel Ferdinand
After an 11-hour bus ride from Santander
with a half an hour break to munch on teeny sandwiches of meat and cheese and
green popsicles that turned our mouths the same color, my sister and I finally
arrived in Barcelona.
Studying our map in order to find our hostel near Las Ramblas, our sore bums
screamed at us to walk, but our hostel was just too far away. So, swinging our
packs onto our backs, we made for the taxi queue and got in. Alysaa, being the
master at Spanish and me not knowing any, took it upon herself to be translator
and communicator with the nice taxi driver. Laughing and joking, she carried on
magnificently, as I resigned myself to the task to smiling stupidly and
occasionally glancing out the window.
Getting to the street on which was our hostel, we hopped out
of the taxi and onto the cobblestones.
Inside our room (there were 8 beds!)
After thanking the taxi driver
profusely, we went to the back to get our packs. Hauling the packs up again, my
sister turned as someone tapped her on the shoulder. Holding her purse, in
which she kept her passport and money, was an attractive Austrailian man.
Responding to the confusion which flashed over her face, he retourted,
"You should really watch your stuff, it will be gone in a second if you're
not careful." Standing just behind him was a gorgeous blond woman, who
nodded and added, "Yeah, my first day here, I got pick-pocketed and lost
nearly sixty dollars!" Awe-struck by the possibility of what might have
just happened and a bit embarrassed at our stupidity, we mumbled a thank you
and stumbled along to the door of our hostel.
Hostel Ferdinand, not exactly a five-star place, but it had
beds and a place to lock up our stuff, so it was perfect as a home base.
People hiding from the rain
Exhausted, we resolved ourselves to sleep and agreed to head out the next day
when we had more energy for exploring.
We woke up sometime before the night was completely present,
to the sound of our tummies grumbling and decided to find some chow. Stumbling
along the narrow streets, lined with balconies full of peering people, we somehow
came upon Las Ramblas. Passing first by a Micky D’s, we looked at one another,
tempted, but we were in Spain!
So, we went to a Chinese food place instead.
day, we went out for breakfast on Las Ramblas, such a treat!! It was raining,
but we wanted to be romantic travelers and eat at one of those outdoor cafes.
A GIANT penis in the Erotica Museum
So, we just picked one with super large umbrellas and sat down to plan out our
day. (The story of what else happened at this café, is an entirely a story for
another time…) As it was raining, our options were limited. Alyssa was thumbing
through her Let’s Go! Spain
book, searching for indoor things to do. At the end of it all, we only came
upon the fantastic idea of going to an iMax show down by the pier, but
unfortunately when we got there it looked like everyone else had the same idea.
So, walking slowly because of our heavy, wet clothes, watching everyone else
scamper for the umbrellas, we started to make our way back to the hostel.
On the way,
we got a few sandwiches, those same long, thin sandwiches we had at the weird
bus stop in the middle of Don Quixote country, and noticed a red sign across
Good ol' French artwork
Nearing it, we realized it was a sign for the Musee de la Erotica. Yes
please! Heading upstairs, we were greeted with an enormous, 8-foot tall penis
with writing down the shaft. In fact, penises were all over the place here. The
museum was divided into sections; an Indian section which included the Kama
Sutra, ancient Chinese which was actually quite striking, French satirists, a
dominatrix section, sex toys, and modern art. All in all, it was well worth the
6 euros. Floating around us were couples quietly commenting on the artwork
while my sister and I twittered at the penis-wielding duelers in the hand-drawn
pictures. The formality of it all was enough to keep the ambience from becoming
nervous or uncomfortable. It was like entering into a couple’s house who
promote sexuality and because they’re comfortable with it, it makes you
comfortable with it too.
Being dominated in the Erotica Museum
It was like seeing a sex therapist without the
lectures. Actually, maybe like a sex therapy picture book with an interactive
with a new found self-confidence, my sister and I returned to the hostel to nap
for a while before dinner, and thus closed our first day in Barcelona. Not before, however, we mapped out
the best night clubs for adventures when we weren’t so travel-weary.