Back to Barcelona on an early and empty train, this time not in the ‘preferante’ class but there wasn’t really much difference. No one brought us food and champagne but the seats were just the same. We slept most of the way.
From the train station we took a cab, still sore from taking our luggage on the metro last time, and arrived at our hotel fairly quickly. Because we were only staying one night we had decided to get a cheap generic place but it turned out to be pretty nice.
When we got our apartment in Barcelona for the first week of the trip we had asked for a cot. In Spanish this means a crib for a baby so when my Sister arrived and they asked her where the baby was she knew something was wrong. That’s why we had to sleep head to toe on the futon. So rather ironically when we came back to Barcelona for our last night in Spain we ended up having an extra bed in our room, a cot to us Americans.
We cooled off in the hotel but only for a few minutes because we wanted to spend time in Barcelona on our last day!
First we checked our email at a place nearby and I found out I would be living with an Italian woman in a single room near the school. I was very anxious to see and meet San Giovanni; during the travels in Spain I had met a few Italians and told them I was moving to Italy to learn Italian in San Giovanni and each one had the same reaction, “Why?! Don’t do it.” I tried to convince myself that this was just the ex-pat Italians but I was starting to have a bit of doubt about it all.
In any case I was enjoying Barcelona in the moment so on we went to Las Ramblas and the Market, which, were conveniently located about a block from our hotel. We bought some more corn nuts which we had become quite fond of on our trip (they had them in all the nut mixes and they aren’t nearly as salted as in the US) and some dried fruit. Then walked through the back of the market where we found some great graffiti and stumbled upon a wonderful little place for a bite to eat.
It was one of those places where everything aligns to create amazing pictures; the colors, light, and expressions. So of course I took advantage of the situation and took a lot of photos. Also we stayed at this cafe for quite a while playing cards and chatting with the waiters. Eventually they pulled up chairs, put down a couple handfuls of pennies, and we all played poker. Each of us won and then we were on our way.
Then it was off again to meander back towards our hotel, by way of some delicious gelato.
Along the way we decided to each purchase ‘the pants’ which I mentioned earlier (long in the crotch, popular in Spain). Then my Sister did a most fabulous MC Hammer impression and I tried my best but ended up laughing too hard instead.
Then we were off to Park Guelle, which had been on our to do list from the beginning. We ended up getting there at the perfect moment, just as the sun was setting we were looking over Barcelona. The Park was so very Gaudi and it seemed like the perfect way to say goodbye to Barcelona.
Then back to the center for a delicious last dinner. Sister had steak and I had duck (which fell off the bone) it was wonderful. We toasted to our magnificent and successful trip!
The next day we were off to the Barcelona Airport early where we said our traditional ‘Bye Tom!’ My Sister back to New York and me to Pisa for the train to San Giovanni Valdarno.