There are two things about a double-decker bus:
1. They are way more awesome when you are in them than when you watch them go by on the street.
2. If you are in the top portion, going under a tunnel is freaky.
I was more of a stay-on passenger rather than a hop-on, hop-off. Except when the tour came to the beach. What an impressive beach with an amazing number of people. You see, I was told, it is still summer in Spain. When I look in the mirror at my hair that is unruly in the humidity, that is summer. According to the tour spiel, there are 7 beaches in Barcelona.
As you can imagine in such a cosmopolitan city, the shores of the Mediterranean Sea are lined with promenades, restaurants, bars and boats.
View from Casa Mexicana - my dinner choice - the Mediterranean Sea
So here's the deal with the Barcelona City Tour. For 27 Euros, you get a ticket that allows you to get on and off the bus all day. The bonus is that there are two tours in the city, one in one direction and one in the other. Don't lose that ticket though. At the beginning of the tour, passengers are given headsets with a commentary in the language of your choice.
Lots about this city is architecture.
But the man of the hour is Antoni Gaudi who lived from 1852 to 1926. This architect was quite influenced by nature as shown in his designs. His most famous work which he worked on for 40 years and was incomplete at his death is the Sagrada Familia. Here is a part of it:
The queue to go inside this wonderment is 2 hours.
What I learnt on the bus tour is that Antoni Gaudi was run over by a tram and died 3 days later. This was repeated 3 times on the commentary. Perhaps it is more significant than I know.
The tour was perfect! Actually I went on both tours. I got to see a lot of Barcelona in its splendour. The 2-dimensional map just doesn't do the trick.
My second highlight of the day actually happened before I got on the tour. I was sitting in the Placa de Catalunya, having a conversation in English with a woman from Maine. This is significant because I don't get a lot of speaking English. There was a spot between us; a woman sat down. My English companion went to take pictures.
And I said hello to the woman now sitting beside me. Actually, I believe I said, "Hola." I could have said "Buenas dias," but it was not morning. I would say the chances were 99% that I said, "Hola." I believe she said, "Hello." And then we proceeded to have a conversation for an hour. Which is a big deal. Because her English was not as good as my Spanish. She was impressively persistent. Which is probably what she thinks of me.
She was a delight! The kind of person that would be my friend forever and ever. Except we don't know how to exchange phone numbers or emails.
We talked about our children. Except I said children as in very young. I figured telling her their ages would clarify the whole matter. Eventually she did get the point that I have one of each - hombre y mujere.
But when she asked me about the type of work that I did, I pulled out the iphone translator app. I told her that my work was helping people find work. If there was a translator close by, this is probably what she heard, "Me work help people find work." She looked a little puzzled, probably wondering how one even gets paid to do that. But she smiled, eyes sparkling.
She told me about restaurants that were close. She may have even invited me to lunch. I will never know.