I was greeted to the faint sounds of cat paws at my door so I played with kitty for a bit to start my day. I do like playful cats that bat at anything you dangle in front of them and this kitty seemed to never tire.
I decided on Bfest at the little French bakery, the one with the pretty waitress.
Sure enough she was there smiling away whilst she made coffee. But since she made the coffee I had to talk to an older lady with a morning scowl on her face.
It took pointing at several items before she selected the sugar-coated croissant I wanted. I knew I said croissant correctly so I do not know why she indicated at a scone like item, then a kolache like pastry before she started pointing at croissants.
This occurred at several places and the servers seemed put out by it even though I know I ordered correctly, they seemed to create this narrative that I was being difficult, but I felt they were deliberately misunderstanding.
Just because we don’t speak the same language doesn’t mean we cannot communicate or figure out what each other needs.
I watched as the fair lady made my coffee and smiled at me when the waitress picked it up.
‘Laut?’ She asked me. I said Si, and nodded. The waitress then poured in about 1 second worth of milk and delivered it to me.
I’m used to having control of milk pouring but I was soon to learn that was a luxury in Europe. No self pour, milk is a premium.
I watched the busy cafe fill up and empty with ladies having tea, couples talking over coffee and a large family with kids, coffee for all.
Occasionally I snuck a glance at my favorite lady, she was smiling. She wouldn’t be a 10 in anyone’s book I don’t feel, but sometimes you see someone who has that magnetism, that look of familiarity, that rare combo of features that flip your switch, that’s what she had.
I got another coffee, I didn’t have anywhere to go for another couple of hours so why not.
As I was leaving I glanced back at the lady I fancied and noted she was still smiling.
I walked around the block a couple of times, took the long way back to the apt.
I was only a 5 min walk to the bus station and had a bit over an hour before my bus was scheduled to leave so I played with the cat for a bit.
I usually am not a cat fan, I get ignored by people all the time so getting a pet who pretty much ignores you until you want to be left alone isn’t my dream, but I liked playful cats.
I gave this cat one last cheek rub and was out the door.
I’d learned the stressful way that the bus I was on took physical tickets vs scanning an app. They even counted via number card that you received with your ticket.
Again with the confusion by ticket lady, I stated I had a ticket to Barcelona and was ready to give her my confirmation # so she quoted me a price.
I showed her my phone and read the confirmation numbers. Finally she understood and duly printed off a ticket.
I moved over to the side with the river once the bus took off as there were maybe 10 people riding vs full bus on the way in.
Andorra is gorgeous, nestled near a river flowing between two mountains.
It is very spread out chain of small towns, it seemed, as we drove by a long cluster of houses, apartments, then green space, soon followed more buildings. This stretched for miles before it became large farmhouses.
Some farms even had a small brick structure, sort of like churches on them that are now derelict. I presumed a big farm family or two gathered to worship or hold small gatherings, parties.
Driving into Barcelona is an interesting experience. Seeing the city creep up with manufacturing plants warehouses and then suddenly you’re sitting in traffic in a neighborhood.
We note the source of the traffic as we soon pass by a wreck on the opposite side of the road which was very fortunate for many reasons.
The pile up behind the wreck stretched for miles, it took several minutes driving at highway speed before I saw the end of the line of cars.
We pulled into the bus station, conveniently connected to the train station where I procured a ticket to El Clot station.
Quite a packed station so of course it’s impossible to navigate. Spread out a bit people, that’s all I ask. Large groups of people standing in a circle block the way through so one platform is super crowded while there is plenty of room next to it.
I’ve adopted the tap on shoulder as I pass through, taking my backpack off too so I can get through narrow spaces of people.
I get on the wrong train as a result of my haste to get away from the crowd as I see the train is heading towards the port or west but I need to head east.
A simple fix, just get out at next station and find the right train. Easy and there’s one coming in the next 5 min.
This gives me enough time to give a guy directions to downtown station and how to find a landmark.
I think he was Belgian. I’d finally become that guy who knew his way around more than 1 city in another country. A good moment.
I knew my way round the El Clot area, a bit north-east of town, I stayed at the previous hostel since it was near the bank where my ATM card was held.
This part of the trip was a bit unplanned as I had about 10 days to kill before some friends would be in town, but I couldn’t do anything until I retrieved my cash card.
It was quite fortunate to come back to Barcelona as it’s a major airport hub so I could fly most anywhere in Europe pretty cheap.
I showered and headed out for food and to catch another soccer match. Fast stir fry noodles were all over the city and most are quite affordable.
I hit up the old standby, Irish pub for an after dinner pint.
Place wasn’t too crowded but felt like it as the back bar was closed for a private party so I fit myself into a small spot near the bar for the first half.
Most places in Europe don’t have AC and mid July in a packed bar you need one or at least fans, I was sweating!
I don’t think I bothered to finish the half, I had it with the stuffy heat and was greeted by the much-needed ocean breeze as I hit the street.
I figured the craft bar spot would be better and I was right on: AC and an empty chair at the bar. Score!
I finished the game and had a couple pints before calling it an early night, had to be at the bank as early as I could.
I walked to the hostel, it was only 20 min walk down a well-lit thoroughfare so I felt safe.
Beer: San Miguel Fresca
Song: DNCE Cake by the Ocean (the metro had screens playing a clip of this song. Over and over and over)