Saturday, October 24, 2009

Two Parts Rye's Barcelona Adventure Part 1: What you need to know.

In the intro, I teased about bandits trying to steal our luggage.  We took the train from the airport and switched to the metro in town to get to our hotel.  With the exception of this event, I have to say that their metro system is excellent.  A couple of jackasses tried to pull the "walk in before you, and then turn around and rush you" trick.  Mrs. Rye entered first and they had her pinned pretty good in the train doorway.  I pushed my way through one of them and he made a move for my suitcase, couldn't get it and kept going.  His buddy followed him out.  In the train, we looked at each other and said, "Those assholes just tried to rob us."  So unless you are travelling light, splurge for the cab fair.

Language: They speak Catalan, not Spanish.  From a writing standpoint, Catalan looks a lot like Spanish, except they replace random consonants with the letter "X".  The only words that you really need are "bocadillo" (sandwich) and "cervesa" (beer).  With these two words, and the ability to point at what you want, you can not only survive, you can thrive.

If you are young and in love:  You must make out like there is no tomorrow in the metro.  This is a federal law.  Break it at your own risk.

Most cerveseria's have mulitple size drafts for their beers:  This in and of itself is not unusual.  I just don't understand why some places gave me the big glass, and others, the kiddie size.  If anyone knows the etiquette behind this, please post a comment.

Do you remember those old Visa Olympic commercials?  They're still true, most businesses don't take mastercard.  The vast majority of businesses don't even take credit at all.  My American Airlines Mastercard got me a "free" round trip flight, but damn, I only got to use it 3 times in a week.  Bring Euro's.  Lots of them.

There are asian girls available for a massage if you are sunbathing:  I was just passing by.  Pretty sure that there are no "happy endings".

Turn signals do not mean what you think that they mean:  They either mean "I have made a turn in the past and would like to share the joy of it with you." or "I am planning on turning sometime before I die, but not right now."

Some dude named Gaudi was pretty important:  I have never seen a large city that was so indebted to one architect.  His work is everywhere.  The most famous of which is La Sangrada Familia which is still under construction 80 or so years after his death.  Supposedly, it will be done in 20 years.  By the sounds of things, the tallest point will be about twice as tall as the current structure.  Gaudi is a bit gaudy.

Parts of the city plain old stink:  Lot's of dogs.  Most people pick up after them, but the smell lingers.  We did see an old man pissing on a bush, and this was on a major road.

Kids have no respect for history: Graffiti is everywhere and it's heartbreaking.

Beautiful, right?


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