After walking almost an hour to La Ramblas - we decided that we'll figure out the metro - trip home was 15 minutes :). After first getting lost on our supposed to be 30 min run, we went for breakfast, bought some Happy Pills and then went to explore La Ramblas and Gothica. Europeans don't seem to be big on breakfast, as here you get mostly pastries in cafe shops. Something unique to Spain is a sandwich that is made on about a 6 inch loaf that looks similar to a garlic loaf, but about 2/3s the width, which is then toasted with toppings.
La Ramblas is a very popular street filled with stalls and a huge fresh produce market, my favorite! We didn't buy anything fresh, since we wanted to explore Gothica first and then come back on our way home to buy food. Needless to say, by the time we got back market was already packed up, so we'll return tomorrow. Gothica is also known as Old Barcelona - this is where the old buildings that were built centuries ago still reside. We went into the Barcelona cathedral, a stunning building from both inside and out. The old part of Barceloana has many high buildings - all of them are apartments for about three or four stories with shops, restaurants, bars etc. on the ground floor. The streets are made of slate stone and have no side walks, the doors open straight onto the streets. The streets are also narrow and fit maximum one car in it, with space for a person to walk through on either side. At one shop a car was idling and blocking the way for a cyclist who stood shouting at the owner. Unlike Italy where most of the strets are still like this, modern Barcelona have huge sidewalks similar to what we're used to in SA. The buildings in old Barcelona are beautiful though - with many photo opportunities.
On our way to La Ramblas a bag pipe band gathered on a side walk and played - probably 25 big from very young to about our age. The band consisted of the bag pipers, drummers, symbols, some other funny instrument that looks like shells. Interstingly, a certain drum as part of the drumming they spin the drum stick which is attached with a band to their arm every time before she bangs it on the drum. Talking of drums - we saw a set of Mapex drums (which from my knowledge are pretty good) in the window display of a hair salon - pretty random!
Today was once again filled with some very arty people, pushing the fashion limits, love it! There seems to be a trend amongst some people (probably hippies) where they have a short fringe from about half way of their head, and then a disgustingly dirty dreadlock mullet. We're surprised by the number of restaurants here,and the cost of eating out is surprisingly reasonable. StarBucks is expensive though - R26 for a tall cappuccino. There were many people walking dogs on this street, both big and small - some of them so well trained that in the busy streets they don't need a leash and stick to the owner's side. There are also many interesting shops with jewelery, sweets, chocolate, electronics, photographic stuff, lots of spa type places, perfume shops, cosmetic shops, swords and knives, clothing, shoes, some sport shops and more. There is an erotica museum which we might brave while we're here... I bought some clothes, got my first pair of shoes (yes, first, last time I left with 5 pairs), got perfume - our normal brand but much cheaper here, and nougat. Nougat is cheap, but different from ours in that it is rock hard.
We saw real mistletoe for the first time in our life - it has a very strong but nice smell to it. We also saw something I'll definitely do for next Christmas - the plant called peace in home with a little snowman in the middle, and the plant is sprinkled with white or silver glitter - then it looks like snow, very creative. The people here are in general creative and there's a lot of things here that you can see it in.
Just before we left La Ramblas there was a group of guys who did street dancing - they're very good, one or two hot ones as well! Their final trick was summersaulting over 4 girls.
Tonight we're resting Leon's 48 minute not used to it probably only stiff but incredibly sore knees, thankfully, 'cos my calves and hips are just as sore!