Barcelona - Spain Trip Part 1 of 2
lim peh ka li kong
lim peh was in Spain during the 2008 Chinese New Year period. Actually, for the first 13 days of CNY, to be precise.
After a long flight of 13 hours, lim peh landed in Paris airport with a change of temperature from Singapore's hot and humid 30 deg C to a mere 1 deg C.
When lim peh finally reached my destination, Spain, after a transit from Paris, the temperature was in the range of 6 to 8 deg C.
Hmmm, not too cold la, you may say, but the 6 deg C in Spain felt much colder than the 1 deg C in Paris especially the constant blowing wind onto the 2 Chinese Singaporeans walking in the streets of Barcelona and Madrid.
Anyway, lim peh just love cold weather, so although lim peh 一边 complained to my cha-bo-lang about the super cold weather freezing my ass 一边 secretly enjoying myself to the fullest. Winter - lim peh's favourite season.
When we reached Barcelona, we first explored the streets around the hotel we were staying and after walking up and down the streets, we finally had our first meal in a local cafe - Inopia Cafe.
With the recommendation of the waiter (an English speaking hunk), we tried a few dishes of their specialties and yes his recommendation was not bad. My cha-bo-lang especially loved the design of the Cafe business-card
After our dinner, on our way back to our hotel, we saw this interesting "clock" on the pavement. As lim peh just walked onto it without even noticing it until my cha-bo-lang started to take photo. I was thinking then why my cha-bo-lang taking photo of the ground we were walking and only until she told me that it was actually a clock with the lightings indicating the time.
In Barcelona, there are many many interesting places one has to visit. 2 must visit places are none other than La Rambla and Temple Expiatoria de la Sagrada Familia - Antoni Gaudi's unfinished masterpiece.
Although we had visited La Rambla during our last visit, we had planned to visit it again.
There were some street performers who dressed up in different outfits trying their best to attract attention of the tourists thus hoping that they would want to take photo with them and give some money in return
Though we did not openly discuss between ourselves, we had the same thoughts of re-visiting the same "Tapas" Cafe which we visited the last time we were there. We were just trying our luck to re-locate the place again and man, it wasn't easy at all cos there are many small lanes that look alike intersecting within the area of La Rambla.
And you know what? Yeah, we found the same "Tapas" Cafe - Taverna Basca IratiTaverna Basca Irati stands in a small lane but the crowd is good and the range of Tapas served, though not of a lot of variety (about 15 types), is rather tasty especially for Tourists like us who wish to taste more of the different types of Tapas.=====
In Spain, there are many beautiful buildings and fountains especially when the lightings are fully switched on in the night.
Strolling hand in hand with your loved one in such beautiful places is really 无得顶, me like.
Along one of the underpasses of the Metro (Spain's MRT), we saw a hyper big venting machine which had lots of things, drinks, sandwiches, sweets etc.
Walking along La Rambla again brought back lots of memories to me but somehow, the excitement, the thrill and the feeling were not the same again......
One early morning, we went to visit the amazing Temple Expiatoria de la Sagrada Familia - Antoni Gaudi's unfinished masterpiece (church construction started in 1882, expected to continue at least untill 2020)
The last time we visited the place, we did not go in but just admired the magnificent building from the outside. This time, we paid and visited the inside of the wonderful building.
The coloured glasses with the morning sun shining through them resulting a fantastic view. We took the lift up to the highest point whereby we could see Barcelona around us.
After staying up for a while, we did not take the lift down but decided to take the stairs and walked down slowly.
The spiral stairways leading down was very narrow with no hand railings and seemed to be endless and people with height phobia should not take the route down.
lim peh was ok with the route but someone was a little anxious during the route down. To be safe, lim peh will not tell you who the other person is.
When we finally finished seeing the magnificent building of all time (still under construction), we went to search for the Cafe which my cha-bo-lang had a very good and strong coffee the last time we went there.
Again, we did not really remember the exact venue but tried our luck walking around searching for it. Who knows, maybe after 2 years, the cafe might have close-down.
Once again, luck was with us and we found the cafe Aguari Bar Gerveseri and had our late breakfast there.Don't know why but the food of the "Tapas" cafe and the Aguari Bar Gerveseri were not as tasty as we remembered. Was it the taste that had changed or things in our memory are always better than reality?!
There is a landmark in Barcelona, the Torre Agbar but lim peh prefer to call it the Dick of Barcelona. It looks very normal in the day but at night it does look better with its colourful lighting.
Just a short distance around the corner of the building, there is a weekend day market selling cheap stuff, from CDs to Trousers, curtains to Sunglasses, old antiques to modern ornaments known as Mercat Fira de Bellcaire - Encants Vells
We had a very good and strong coffee there and lim peh really love the area, not too big and things sold are of many different varieties. It was quite crowded and my cha-bo-lang kept reminding lim peh to be careful of my wallet, money and belongings.
My cha-bo-lang We bought quite a few items before leaving that area. We went back there again on Sunday morning but to our disappointment, the market was closed. It only opens from Thursday to Saturday.
My cha-bo-lang had planned to visit the hilltop in Barcelona and we took a long journey via Metro-train before reaching one of the outskirts small town - Tibidabo.
At the foot of the hill, we had to take another tram all the way up to the hilltop and there we saw a beautiful church.
There was an unforgivable regret when we were in Barcelona. We knew that there is a Musical Fountain performance on weekend night (The Montjuic Fountain) and we were told by the information counter staff at La Rambla that the performing hours are from 7 pm to 9:30 pm.
We reached there around 9:05 pm and the performance had just ended. Thinking that the next show would start real soon and would end before 9:30 pm as there were still many people sitting around the fountain like us, all waiting for the next show.
BUT, 天啊!!! The show never started again that night and the lightings around the fountain were all switched off at about 9:30 pm. What kind of information counter gave tourists the wrong information on the program of their places of interests? We felt really disappointed to have missed the performance as we would have to leave for Madrid the next day.
During our last visit, we had the best Paella (Spanish Rice) in one of the "high-class" restaurant (read expensive restaurant) and we decided to re-fresh our memories and taste buds again. We had the same "Squid Ink Lobster Paella", "Monk fish" and "Plum Ice-Cream" but again the only thing which was the same as the last time was the high price we paid at the end of the meal. The taste seemed to have changed less tastier.
A very tu-lan thing happened during our flight from Barcelona to Madrid.We have booked a flight with Spanair from Barcelona to Madrid as lim peh need to report to my Head Office the following morning. Our 6:30pm flight was delayed and delayed and delayed and delayed - a total of 4 flights being delayed and cancelled.
I was a little anxious not knowing whether I would be able to reach Madrid on time for my meetings. As the flights were cancelled and delayed, there were many passengers crowding around the Spanair counters and boy, some of the ang-mohs started to show their perturbness with hash words used and the more hot templed ones even started to bang table.Finally, we were told that a special arrangement was made and an aeroplane was flown in to Barcelona from Madrid to take all of the "off-loaded" passengers to Madrid.
By the time we finally landed in Madrid and reached the hotel, it was already 1:30am and no, lim peh could not sleep yet as lim peh still had to iron my trousers and suit for my meeting with my directors the next day...
lim peh kong buay wan
... to be continued.../
You can read my previous Barcelona trip here