Ok- worst sleep ever!The Soho Hotel seems to now have some long term guests, families with lots of men. I have made assumptions as to what kind of long term guest these are, but don’t want to put it on print.
All well and good except that they were the loudest, most inconsiderate people ever and we have stayed at youth hostels with party animals. These people were tromping up and down stairs, talking and shouting ti well past 2 am. Doors opening, slamming. Maybe it was because it is Ramadan.
Then some truck parked just outside doing something that sounded very loud and very doomsday for about a half hour, I at first thought it was a street cleaning truck, then a garbage collection truck. But it hung around way to long got that. And when we walked in the street the next morning to all the rubbish strewn in the street we knew it was nether of those.
We grabbed up our belongings, took the remotes and the keys to the reception desk and walked down the street. It was 5 am and nary a soul on our street. 2 blocks down though and nightlife was still going strong.
Our train had quite a few patriots going home. We felt extremely safe though.
After all that amazing free transport, we got to the checkin counter and were able to check in all our hand baggage into the hold for free too. Yes, please!
A cappuccino freddo at the airport was €4.10 so I contented myself with imagining yesterday’s.
I was disappointed not to gave entertainment on board the flight, besides a silent generic showing of things to see in Greece. But we got breakfast! Great coffee, an olive and meat pastry , buns and Greek yoghurt with honey ( so good)
We were 20 minutes ahead of schedule and getting ready to land when the pilot announced that air traffic control wanted us to stay airborne for another 10 minutes.
It took a while to claim our luggage, and then we were out to the taxi rank as I had worked out that a taxi would be about half our train fares in to our location.
The taxi system looks like chaos but is a well organized machine. 3 official people were matching groups of travelers to taxis. The first one I asked told me that a 6 person taxi was ‘impossible at this time’. So we moved to the next official person, who was on it! 10 minutes later we were zipping our way in to Barcelona. The huge cemetery set into a massive rock formation was the first thing we saw.
We drive past amazing statues in to the heart of the city itself. We bid our taxi driver farewell at La Rambla. We were a little early for check in so while some waited with the bag, I went looking, using the directions given me by the host. It took me ages and a couple phone calls to the host, who told me to find to look for the bike rental- and then climb the first floor to 1.1A.
I kind of hoped he had said he would climb down his one flight of stars and wave so I could see him easily and quickly, but no bother.
I found the set of apartments in front of the bicycle hire rack and it had the number 1.1A on it. Bingo! Go me!
I went back optimistically- we hoisted up all our heavy bags and trudged off to our new home.
The heat was invasive and stifling. We got to the unit, and pressed the number. A lady called down from the window. We looked up to see her pointing at the unit opposite. No bother. We hadn’t climbed any steps yet. We went across and pressed 1.1 A there and the door opened. We climbed up to the first floor. We knocked at that door. A lady opened it and without any expression of surprise, pointed up. We did the ‘gracias’ and climbed up the next flight. And the next. We knocked at doors. Nothing and no-one.
I left everyone there and went back out to re-walk the directions.
This time I turned left and there, in a little lane was a bike rental shop, dear reader. Not a rental rack, a rental shop.
After collecting my fellow intrepids, we struggled over to the new location. We climbed the first few steps to our host. It turns out that he rents all the apartment in the building and had kindly put us in the attic apartment. 126 narrow, winding steps up lugging all our luggage behind us.
It was a small but clean apartment with its own balcony, being that it was in the attic. The best thing was the air conditioning. So cold and refreshing.
We spent the afternoon recovering with lots of cold drinks. I felt we probably needed a positive dining experience. We went to Colom Restaurant, only 2 minutes walk away.
They had a tapas and paella deal and our host had recommended them. No one else was there. Apparently the local swim till about 9 and then fill the restaurants till about 1am.
Eating out in Barcelona is expensive, especially if you have just come from Greece.
We let the maitre de order our tapas for us and then we got a seafood paella and a paella negras which has been colored with squid ink.
The tapas were brilliant and spot on. The garlic mayo for the patatas gravas was soooo amazing.
No one else wanted the mushroom ( surprise, surprise, mwahaha) so i had them and smothered them with the mayo. Probably too many seafood tapas for Kara.
To be honest, I was underwhelmed by both the paella we ordered. I probably should have ordered a sausage paella, if there was one.
Our waiter was fantastic though and showed us how to get to the big mall on the beach.
I finished the evening with a stroll around the bay and we relaxed in our air conditioned house.