We spent a weekend visiting my sister Marie in Barcelona. The purpose of the stopover was to spend time with Marie, so we didn't plan many tourist activities. Luckily within our first hour in the city we experienced two of Barcelona's tourist activities: (1) Yann got pick-pocketed in the metro, within five minutes of our arrival and (2) we spotted an exhibitionist with a strategic elephant tattoo highlighting an impressively large but totally gross "trunk", apparently a regular Barcelona sighting (yet one that Marie has not yet had the pleasure of viewing). Yann only lost 50 euros and his recently purchased metro pass, so we were able to happily laugh at him. His chain was apparently a thief magnet and built-in fishing rod once cut. I will point out that there are no photos of "elephant man", because Yann was too prudish to let me pose with him.
While Marie was at school, Yann and I tried to stave off the effects of jet lag, a red eye flight from Montreal with seats among five babies and a connection flight from Amsterdam among three highly intoxicated Norwegian tourists. We weren't too successful we spent most of the afternoon sleeping in a park, with Yann now completely paranoid, guarding our bags with our life.
It was Yann's first time in the city, but I had visited in January. The number of tourists in the city compared to my winter visit was overwhelming. It made me grateful for the time I had spent visiting Barcelona's famous sights in the low season. Yann and I spent only one afternoon touristing. We couldn't get Marie to join us, and we could barely muster up enough energy to drag ourselves around. I wanted to visit Sagrada Familia again, Barcelona's iconic basilica and we strolled around Parc Guell (both sites creations of famed Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi). But most importantly we had to pay homage to our favourite writer by visiting at Placa de George Orwell. On Saturday night Marie was deejaying at an art gallery where two of her friends had an art installation entitled "Urban Collage" on display. Yann and I awkwardly mingled in our totally cool travel outfits. The evening culminated with drinking in a public square. Despite the late hour the square was packed with people, of all ages, socializing over beers sold for a euro each and cooled in the sewer drains - we drank until early morning in the perfect summer weather. Marie treated us to cava (Catalan sparkling wine), curado (cheese) and jamon serrano (dry-cured Spanish ham) on her sunny balcony and we wished we had a few more days to enjoy the long, hot and slow summer days that we were getting used to. We were heading to Perugia Italy next to visit Yann's parents and then to Mongolia and we were sure that our travel pace was going to pick up.
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