Remember that song called, "Barcelona" by Jewel? I won't be held back. I won't be held down. I will lead with my faith. Hold me, release me, show me the meaning of mercy let me loose. Fly, fly, let me fly.
That's one of my favorite songs by Jewel because it's seems I'm always wanting to fly to different places. Today has been a great day in Barcelona. I was sad to leave my new friends in Mallorca but hopefully one day we can meet again. I woke up ready to shop today. I literally have shopped all day. Funny story...in Zara In the dressing room, this young American girl (I could tell she was American by Her horrible Spanish accent) asked me in Spanish if I liked her shoes. When I didn't answer within the first second (I was still processing the horrid accent), she repeats the question loudly and slowly as Americans often do to foreigners. I said, "Just speak English." She said, OMG! You look so foreign!" I was thinking, "Oh! Thank you! But...you sound like a valley girl. It's now 8:30 pm, and I'm sitting out on the terrace watching people on La Rambla--the main street in barcelona where all the people are. It has a very pedestrian feel since cars can't drive down the center. People are showing their talents on the side of the sidewalk wanting you to give them money. Thieves are at work trying to steal people's stuff. You know, today I almost got pick-pocketed. I say almost only because I had nothing in my pocket for her to steal. But her scrawny hand definitely reached into my skirt pocket to check. What a poor, pathetic mousy girl. I gave her a look of death, and I might add I was a head taller than she was. I also saw an old man going around to every pay phone check to see if there was money. Ahhhhh! The joys of people watching!
I did some damage at zara, mango and bershka. Let's hope I can fit it all in my backpack :). I ate breakfast at the hotel. A hardboiled egg, two pieces of ciabatta bread smothered in butter (of course), and mounds of fruit. I will talk more about the awesomeness of my hotel later. I shopped then took a break for lunch around 2:00. I took Rick Steves' suggestion and tried Restaurant Elisabets. It took me a while to find it. It wasn't on a main road, so when that happens I just go with God and hope He leads me in the right direction. He never fails. They have a lunch special for €11 (around $16) that includes an appetizer, main dish, dessert, bread, and drink. I thought that was pretty dandy. I got canalones with beef, grilled beef with French fries, cut up strawberries for dessert, and water. The beef was extremely fatty. My dad would have loved it. What little I could eat of it had a wonderful flavor.
I then walked down unknown territory to discover new things. I walked down one street then up another until WHOA! There is the cathedral of Barcelona. It was beautiful in it's gothic architectural style. I'd never seen a true gothic style before so this was fascinating. What a nice, large find on my walk! I knew then that I was in the Barri Gothic or gothic neighborhood of Barcelona. This is where the cool old buildings are. This is my kind of stuff right here: cool and old. I could've walked through there all day, but my feet and back were killing me.
I came back to the hotel to rest. Now let me tell you about Hotel Continental. I highly recommend this place to anyone traveling here. I know they have other locations as well. The rooms are great, completely pink I might add, and it's in a great location right on La Rambla close to Plaça de Catalunya. The greatest thing though is the 24 hour food bar. It's got all kinds of fresh bread, butter, and cereals. Their cooks make ravioli, yummy potatoes, rice with veggies...and fruit! Fresh oranges, kiwi, watermelon, honeydew, and pineapple. Drinks include pepsi products (ugh!), water, orange juice, milk, beer, and wine. There is also soft serve ice cream with toppings. All of this is available 24 hours a day and is pretty good. It helps save money!
After resting, I took another Rick Steves' suggestion and went to Fargas--the most famous chocolatier in Barcelona. You walk in and it smells like cocoa. I could sleep in there. I imagine this is how the chocolate factory smelt like for Charlie. I got four pieces for €3.47 ($5.20). Pretty expensive but who cares. Vacay!! I got a cream filled, hazelnut, caramel and toffee, and almond. So rich! My favorite was caramel and toffee. Then I had dinner at the hotel. I'm in for the night. It's sad I can't go out when it's dark; it's not that safe in the daytime.
I failed to mention the highlight of my last night in Mallorca. The band at the one star (that should give you some hint as to how awful they were) sang "Achy Breaky Heart" belting it in their strong Spanish accents and using a tambourin. It was quite lovely and very memorable!
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