Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bidding Barcelona goodbye

I spent my fourth and useful day in Barcelona to tie up my itinerary. I say useful because I left early the following morning bound for Pamplona (where I am now). First thing in the morning, I went to the bus station to confirm my place in a bus and trip to Pamplona. Afterwards, I went to the beach. The weather was overcast, though thankfully, it didn' rain. A group of Oriental-looking tourists (does that count Filipinos?) ran to the beach, and about three of them were in the water in no time despite the weather starting to cool down brought about by the blowing wind.

The beach on the east of Barcelona integrates a wide boulevard and a row of chic cafes and restaurants. Almost all of them were empty when I passed by. According to Ester, my Catalunyan classmate, this changes during summer when the brown sands of the beach is temporarily covered with people soaking under the sun, partying, merry-making, and simply living the life.
From the beach, I walked through Barceloneta and proceeded to Las Ramblas. It is perhaps one of my favorite spots in Barcelona. I wouldn't get tired walking to and fro the street lined with street performers, vendors, and visual artists. Or should I get tired, I could simply seat on one of the benches and watch the Barcelona life roll by.

I tried looking for the place where Juanot and I had our dinner the night before in Raval, although wasn't successful in doing so. At one point though, I saw a few young women hanging out along the street, waiting for my arrival perhaps? One of them said, ¨Bamos!¨ However, the call of my stomach was more potent than the call of my flesh. Afraid of getting lost inside its narrow alleys, I backtracked my way to Las Ramblas. I remembered reading in wikitravel a buffet cafeteria somewhere near Sagrada Familia (beside McDonald's). I took the Metro and, luckily, didn't have to get lost to find the place. I feasted on four types of salads, roasted chicken, two types of pizza. Because there is always room for dessert, I finished my meal with a small bowl of fruit cocktail topped with ice cream. The coffee was surprisingly good also. All of these I stuffed in my mouth for €8.95.

I called it a day by 3 p.m. The rest of the time I dedicated to packing my bag and chatting with the new-comers in my six-bed room. One is a New Yorker who has been traveling for the most part around Europe for the past two months, a Californian studying Spanish in Madrid, and a couple who just kept the world to themselves. Before the sun was up the next day, while they were still in dreamland, I sneaked out of our room and the hostel, and took the Metro to Sants bus station. I was first in line outside the ticketing office which opened at 7 a.m. By 8 a.m. the sun was already up, the bus was full, and I was on the road to Pamplona.

The view from my room in the hostel

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