We arrived in Manresa, Spain after driving through the Pyranees mountains and catching our breath at the magnificent views. In typical Europe style, we travelled through several tunnels over 4 km long, one of them costing 12 Euro (I would expect a meal and a beer for that!) and arrived and walked the quiet Saturday afternoon streets for 4 hours.
Our legs were aching as we marvelled at the quietness of such an enormous city. The mix of ancient buildings, bridges and churches with ultra modern structures and higgiltey piggelty housing with washing hanging off the balconies was quite a sight.
At 8pm, with weary legs, we decided to look for a place for tea. You would think that was a reasonable time. When we stepped outside, we discovered THOUSANDS of people had emerged from siesta. Kids, dogs, teenagers and mature aged people walking, drinking and DANCING in the streets. Nobody was eating. When we asked for tea we were looked at very strangely. The restaurant opens at 9.30pm, we were told. It was impossible to find one open and we were exhausted, needing to get up early the next morning. We settled on Tapas (eventually) and ate with a room full of small children.
Ha ha Spaniards… you might party hard late at night but when we get up at 7am and drive to Barcelona on a Sunday morning we have the road to ourselves:) We arrived at the car hire place and sheepishly showed them our two crash sites on the car (neither of them our fault) and they shrugged and said ‘no problem, dont worry’. What? All that anticipation and you dont even care? Gee OK… lets get in the taxi and go before they change their mind!
Our freind, Paul Williams, suggested we rent out an appartment on Barcelona beach, which he has often used. After lugging out suitcases up 4 flights of stairs (no elevator!!!) and discovering a bed in the kitchen and a shower which is so small it is almost a part of the toilet, we soon forgave him. What a stunning spot!! It’s quite cozy really and compared to the many many hotel rooms we’ve stayed with we will be more than comfortable. Colin is taking his snoring self into the 2nd bedroom to rattle another chamber for a break. Whee! The vibrant bustle of Barcelona restaurants, beach, shops etc is out the window. The Imax, aquarium, museums, skylift etc are 1 minute away. *sigh*. A week here will be easy to take.
Note to self: Remember to take what you need when you leave the appartment, 4 flights of stairs several times a day can be tiring on already weary legs.