So far, the entries on this blog have been a genuine attempt to inform visitors to the city about some stuff, preferably cheap, to see, to do and eat when you visit Barcelona. (Working in boaby jokes along the way obviously.) This week I am on holiday so the next couple of entries will be more “dear diary” in nature or, to paraphrase Danny Baker, “self-regarding nonsense”.
My current financial position, well, if current means every day for last three years, is somewhat “delicate”, meaning that the only sensible option was to stay at home. I realise that there is unlikely to be any sympathy for this problem bearing in mind the weather etc. here in Barcelona.
It was a bank holiday here yesterday so beaches etc. would be busier than normal so we decided to keep it nice and simple and head up to Montjuic, taking a picnic with us. A simple plan and indeed, one I suggested in an earlier entry.
Beer was purchased, I made some very impressive sangers, chicken, salady stuff with the last of my home-made chilli oil drizzled over them and finally, disturbingly, some fruit and we set off up Montjuic.
This was the first problem it is “up” Montjuic, i.e. it requires walking, uphill in the 30 degree mid day heat. It was quickly agreed that we should take our time, stopping to enjoy the surroundings.
First stop was the big car park behind the Olympic Stadium where we could sit on the grass under a tree, let the dog off the leash while we enjoyed the first beer of the day.
After we’d been sitting for five minutes or so the dog decided to have an explore of the surroundings, bad planning on my part meant that I had completely failed to notice the presence of a huge Christian Youth Jamboree which was happening at Palau San Jordi just over the hill, our walk was timed perfectly to coincide with their lunchtime so the presence of thousands of young christians, all enjoying their Holy Paellla was just too tempting for the dug. A few of them managed to dodge him but finally one group of young French God lovers were treated to the “Tommy Hello”, I arrived just in time to avoid any real unpleasantness but if my O’ Level french is correct there was at least a couple of the flock who had something to confess. Was there not summat in the Bible about “be good to dugs or your hands will get hairy, your balls will drop off and it’s straight to the big fire, bawbag”? If there isn’t, there should be.
In the spirit of the late News Of The World, we made our excuses and left.
The next stop was a picnic table in a clearing half way along the route up to Montjuic Castle. Now, a little bit of local culture here, the Catalans and especially the South Americans love a picnic. And they are really bloody good at it. We took our seat, and as we sat down a South American family arrived and began unpacking at the table behind us.
What I am about to reveal shows, in many ways the difference between Scottish and South American cultures. We unpacked the following, 2 cans of Estrella Damm, one pack of Marlboro Lights, one tub of Pringles. They unpacked various types of rice and pasta salad,in huge quantities, 2 whole chickens, another salad bowl, a dazzling array of different swally, selection of fruit, proper plates plus a selection of games an that to be played after lunch.
I have to say I discovered a new male condition yesterday, “Picnic Envy”. We had no option but to put the lid back on the Pringles, neck the beer in “That’s yer time Gentlemen” speed and slope off.
We finally made it to the top of the hill and settled down to eat what had now been reduced to our pathetic fare. To get back on a more familiar tone, at the top of Montjuic, mebbes, 5 minutes walk from the Castle there is a very groovy open air bar. It’s open at weekends during the summer. Has a load of tables, a barbeque and a DJ who plays what I believe the young team call “chill out” type music. Deffo worth a visit if you are looking for something relaxing of an evening.
We packed up, wandered along to the castle, had a mooch around and headed down the hill towards Parallel. I’ve written about this before and I can recommend it. There are some stunning views of the city and a couple of watering holes en route to take in as you head down. At the first of these watering holes we almost had another incident, Tommy spotted his new nemesis, the French Christians, and the leash had to be applied to maintain Athiest/Animal/Bead Rattler relations.
It all passed off peacefully I am pleased to report and it was with a sense of relief that we ended of the day in the park with a visit to Bar Miramar. Again I have mentioned this place before. It’s next to the entrance to the cable car that goes from Montjuic to Barceloneta and for a “special drink” a good place to visit. The reason I say special drink is that it is fucking expensive, two glasses of San Miguel set us back 7.20€ and for a man who is used to paying a euro for a bottle for the stuff it was a sore one. Mind you, yer on holiday, you are not going have a session here and for the money you get to drink with this as a backdrop…
One other thing of note from yesterday, there are common sights from my youth that you never see these days, for example, people with club feet and them massive shoes are a thing of the past thanks to the miracle of modern medicine. Another thing I thought was in the same category was “skelly weans”. I saw a young lassie yesterday who could sit in the umpires chair at Wimbledon and wouldn’t need to move her head to follow that match. I think she might have been French