Getting my feet wet in Barcelona
Barcelona Travel Blog› entry 19 of 27 › view all entries
Today started slow. After the chaos of Thursday, we sleep in. Jeff's parents are arriving at the airport at noon or so, and he wants to wait for them.
I'm restless. I notice that the hotel has an outdoor pool. I learn I can see it from the hotel window. It's a beautiful pool. Unlike most hotel pools, it looks like you could actually, more or less, swim laps in it. It's sort of oval but long. And lovely. Clear blue water. Fountains on the side. In-pool chaise lounges.
Best of all, it's completely uninhabitated.
In 10 minutes, I'm stepping my toes cautiously in it. I've got it all to myself ... because it's cold! Quite cold. The weather in Spain has been mostly temperate during this trip -- 60s and 70s -- and this pool hasn't had a chance to heat up.
I will not be deterred. At least it's not as cold as the Cold Pool at the baths in Sevilla! Using the same technique, I jump in. Why, yes, I would call it invigorating.
I would also call it all mine and for the next 30 minutes I work out a lot of travel aches and frustrations doing laps back and forth. Laps really do clear my head (which makes me wonder why I don't do them more often). About the time I'm ready to get out, an American family shows up with kids and I climb out, listening to the youngest child try to convince his older sisters that the water is actually warm. I smile sweetly, inform him he's a bit fat liar, and return to the room.
I suggest to Jeff that we meet his parents at the airport. If they've got some energy after the trip, we'll all go into the city together.
His parents are delighted to be met at the airport (scoring major Parental Points!) and decide they would like to keep moving to counteract jetlag (it works for me too). We get them back to the hotel, checked in, and head downtown.
The first big attraction in Barcelona is La Ramblas. It's a 12-15 block long pedestrian way that goes down to the waterfront. Full of vendors, entertainers, surrounded by restaurants and cafes, and prime people-watching (or at least tourist watching!). We ramble down to the end and head to the Maritime Museum.
When you travel with a sailor, you get to see a lot of maritime museums.
The building is pretty cool and the exhibits focus on shipbuilding and the history of sailing in Spain, especially exploration in the New World. It was fun to wander. Jeff's parents made it out a good 15 minutes before Jeff and I did. :)
After a drink in the courtyard, we announced we were taking the 'rents out to dinner as a late Mothers Day / early Fathers Day. Jeff had a place in mind that was in the market, back up the Ramblas. It was literally at the back of the market. We found it by weaving past some industrial trash cans (bleech) and the veggie vendors getting ready to close up shop.
The food was, again, excellent. Tried some more sangria. Jeff's parents were being real troupers, doing their best to hang on to consciousness but as the sun set (over the industrial trash containers), it was clear that they were running out of steam.
We decided it made sense with four of us to take a cab back to the airport. We flagged one almost immediately. Jeff's dad was asleep before the back door was actually closed I think. His mom was falling asleep in the pauses between sentences.
They headed straight to bed and so did we.