We planned to stay in Barcelona for a week or so to resupply and visit some of the places we’d missed in our previous visits, also to enjoy Valeria’s favourite Tapas restaurant. It was fortuitous that Roger and Jo, to whom we’d promised a day out on the boat as a wedding present back in May, could get time off to coincide with our time here.
We booked a berth in the Real Club Maritim which is at the bottom of Las Ramblas which is as central as you can get. We had shopping to do, the obligatory visit to the chandler to buy shiny things (it is a shoes and handbag situation – Need v Want). I arranged the first service for our generator, and also bought some more Pilot Books from Amazon to cover France, Corsica and Italy to be delivered here to the marina. Pilot Books are basically maritime guide books to ports, anchorages and coastal features. We also spent vast amounts of time washing clothes and bedding – 3 sets of visitors in just over a week, and no shore electricity for 2 and the washing just piles up – seriously may sound extravagant but the washing machine is essential!
But it wasn’t all work …….. I persuaded Valeria she wanted to see the Maritime Museum and she persuaded me I wanted to see La Pedrera – a Gaudi creation. I love seeing old, traditional sailing boats and the museum had a few, even a real Brazilian Jangada which is a simple raft with a lateen sail. Had a quick tourist trip on one in Brasil and was gobsmacked at how such a seemingly rickety thing managed to move!
La Pedrera was one of Gaudi’s last civil engineering projects and is very impressive. It was nickname the Quarry for the stone façade. I reckon the guy had a phobia about straight lines because the only ones we found were the floors. It was built as a private home with a series of apartments for rent on the upper floors and was a very futuristic design 100 years ago featuring and under ground car park and ensuite bathrooms.
We also visited a couple of Tapas Bars / Restaurants. One, Quimet i Quimet was little more than a small room fronting onto the street, the walls lined with bottles and serving fantastic tapas and a really nice beer, a proper bitter! Valeria’s favourite restaurant, Cerveceria Catalana, was amazing and we made two visits. It is so popular you can’t make reservations, you just arrive and wait your turn and it is always crowded!
All in all a very pleasant interlude but tomorrow we are setting off towards Marseille and the south of France, now racing to catch a weather window to cross the Gulf of Lyon.