Okay so Maree tells me it’s October, not September like I’ve been posting. On some level I knew that even tho I kept writing September. With all this technology you think I could check a calendar?
We headed off after another late breakfast. We have eaten almost all our food from our initial supermarket shop with a vegetarian pasta dish laced with blue cheese and some salad bits last night. The last of the eggs scrambled with last bit of onion and cut up tomato on last two pieces of toast and last milk and last coffee….I take the pasta and salad leftovers and baguette which does nicely for late lunch early dinner at 3.30pm.
We are able to live quite well on less if we are sensible, and in no way are we going hungry. For example we stopped at a bar a few doors down and paid 18 euro for two drinks each. Since then we have been drinking each night at the bar right outside our door which is not as ‘nice’ and where I have to go to the bar and carry our drinks back. Here we get two drinks each for a total of 6 euro. I did a tally up and am pleased to say we are still on target with our budgeted costs when leaving. Our accommodation has worked out slightly less but our living, food and train has worked out a little more. So all in all I’m pretty happy.
We wanted an easy day today so chose a park that was close to us and while the Park areas are a little more ‘relaxed’ shall we say, we come across this beautiful water feature in Park de la Ciutadella and this is where we stop for coffee. La Cascada. This beautiful spot was part designed by a young Guadi so it seems there is little he hasn’t had a hand in. I have Baklava and chocolate croissant in my bag from a lovely tiny bakery across the road from us who is quarter the price of everywhere else and this makes a nice late afternoon tea spot.
We look for a place to sit and have coffee when Gilbert says “look at that ladies bum…I mean there’s a table” he starts to laugh as I look at him a bit confused. I beg your pardon? I ask and we both burst out laughing. I see the bum in question and it’s huge with trousers so tight she must have to have them cut off at night. “I was going to point out the table but got side tracked” he’s telling me. Oh well we all know men have trouble doing two things at once! We watch the children feeding ducks in the nearby pond and people who have never rowed a boat before striking out with confidence and doing a few circles before getting the hang of it and it’s time to return.
The park is the biggest and oldest park in Barcelona and was originally set up for the World Exhibition in 1888 and now contains a Zoo which has no interest for me. We took the kids to a zoo in China when there, which was possibly one of the worst examples of Zoos and left us almost as traumatised as the poor animals. It was horrible.
No, I’m looking for a cat because Maree sent me this note in an email from their trip in about 1993…”If you come across a park, Cuitadella I think is its name,and it has a giant black cat in the grounds (Mum said to me, “Jump up on its back and I’ll take a photo for Eileen” – the thing was about 8 foot off the ground!) and a zoo, we were staying in the Youth Hostel opposite. I remember walking around in the vicinity and seeing old men playing boules or something similar. I loved Gaudi’s buildings, and bought a heap of postcards which we put into the parcel and sent home from Athens which never arrived. As we walked around I kept thinking of your’s and Lindy’s kids, I just wished they could be with us to enjoy the quirkiness. We met up with an Aussie girl and had a beer in the sun.”I laughed like anything imagining Mum telling Maree to jump on its back.
This is part of a 4th century Roman wall we passed which made me think of Adrianna whom we met on the beach yesterday. She asked me if New Zealand had big cities like Barcelona. I said not so big and not so old. She was confused about the ‘not so old.’ I told her we don’t really have buildings even as old as 18th century. She asks me why someone would go to NZ if it’s sssoooo far and the cities are not so big and it’s not old.
“Weellll, most people come to see the big beautiful green spaces, to walk in quiet bush and smell the earth and clean fresh air. To see the water come down the rivers, or kayak in pristine waters and watch Dolphins play in the sea. They come for the beaches and boats, and some come to enjoy the winter skiing… ” Ummmm. What else shall I say?
She doesn’t seem convinced and tells me she heard about a Romanian who was staying in NZ about three or four years ago and had to leave suddenly. I asked her did she mean there was a problem with visas or something and she said no, something happened but she didn’t know what. Something happened there. We are both silent as she was trying to remember what she had been told and then I said “was it the earthquake?” We had a big earthquake about then in Christchurch. She wasn’t sure but then her face brightened and said she’s heard Australia was the best place to visit and do we go there a lot? “Sometimes”, I nod. I can see she thinks Australia is the place to go and I’m not going to argue with her.