Thursday, March 27, 2014

Barcelona: Second Day

Our hostel was in a large stone building in the center of downtown Barcelona.   This is where our building and the next one came together.  Our building must have existed before the other building, which would explain why our hostel had windows opening up to walls.

Luckily our room had a balcony and a view of the street.  Above is our balcony from the street.

Today we were determined to exert ourselves only as much as it took us to walk to the beach.  On the way, we stopped at a small shop.  The owner, an Indian, immediately approached us and spoke to us in German then French before trying English. Hitting upon the correct language, he began describing, in flawless English tinged only with a slight eastern accent, his wares.  I noticed he did this with anyone who walked in.  I was impressed with his fluency in multiple languages.  I'm sure it helped his sales.

I'm also sure his aggressive, "I will sell you something even if I have to promise my firstborn to you" sales strategy helped as well.  I saw a pair of salt and pepper shakers made out of porcelan covered in a Gaudi mosaic design.  They were shaped like two people embracing each other.  They were so charming that I was determined to buy them.  After I returned from the beach.

The man was equally determined that I buy them before I left his shop.  "Those are fifteen euros."

Fifteen euros?  That was fair.  I was definitely going to buy them, but I was not going to lug them to the beach. 

I said, "Thank you.  I will come back later and buy them."

"Twelve euros!" The man said.

"Yes.  I want them.  I will come back and get them."

"Ten euros.  Here, you take them now."

"I will return this afternoon and get them. I'm going to the beach and I don't want to bring them there."

I held up my towel and bag as proof.

"You may have these for eight euros.  Take them now!"  He put them in my hand.

Hmmm...."I'll take them now for five euros."

"You may have them for six euros."

Lisa and I soon left the store and made our way to the beach.  Me holding not only my towel and bag but some carefully wrapped porcelain figures.

These are scenes of our walk to the beach through the Parc de la Ciutadella

Barcelona has its own Arc de Triomf.  Not as big as Paris's Arc de Triomphe, but still impressive. Barcelona's Arc de Triomf (Catalonion spelling) was built as the main access to the World Fair in 1888.
Detail of the Arc de Triomf.  I don't know what the bat signifies.

Man performing on his self made cello at the foot of the Arc de Triomf

I had to print this  photo in its original size so you could see the joy in this little boy's face.  I know it's not centered but it's worth it.
Ethan wasn't much for photographs
This is where we spent our second day in Barcelona.  Derek and Ethan disappeared down to a deserted part of the beach while Lisa and I vegetated in this spot.  

The fair city of Barcelona is glad to provide facilities for all, including the less modest.  Hence the "open air" urinals.

At night we went to the Catalan National Palace which is now the Museum of National Art.  I really wanted to go into the museum, but it was closed.  So instead we watched the water show below.

Thus endeth our second day in Barcelona.  The next we had recovered our energy and were ready to see the town.

 My hard won salt and pepper shakers.  The design is taken from Gaudi park which I'll show next time.

Arc de Triomf


  1. That is a great story about the salt and pepper shakers. I guess folks actually use the 'I will come later later" strategy in order to haggle process down.

    1. Brian: In my case it was unintentional but I'm glad it worked out!


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