Polly’s and Tommy’s Visit

November 2, 2009

Their flight was delayed by about an hour so it getting on for midnight when the taxi dropped us off at the marina and we then sat chatting into the wee small hours. After a leisurely breakfast we wandered round the local market and chose things for lunch and supper. Later we took the metro to roughly the middle of the Ramblas in order to visit La Boqueria, the big market where Polly was much intrigued to discover “orgasmic” paella for sale!


Tommy & Polly with giant-size drinks on Las Ramblas

We then started to wander back down the Ramblas towards the harbour and decided to stop for a drink. As it turned out the drinks jolly nearly stopped us, well Polly and me at any rate. The men both had a beer but we decided to go for Sangrias which were absolutely enormous, took us some considerable time to consume and left us both feeling more than a little light-headed. They did however, help to soften the blow when we eventually called for the bill and found ourselves faced with a request for just on €32. Bearing in mind the £/€ exchange rate is now just on 1 for 1, we staggered off feeling punch drunk from both the booze and the bill! People had warned me not to eat on the Ramblas – I now know this applies to having a drink as well.

We cut back through the old town and found ourselves in the cathedral cloisters which were rather lovely and which the Ruins and I had failed to spot. From there we went into the main cathedral which Polly and Tommy both seemed to find quite impressive. We had a leisurely stroll back through the little narrow streets to the marina where Pol & I made the mistake of opening another bottle of wine. Duncan cooked a splendid curry but by the time it arrived, I regret, neither of us was really fit to appreciate it.


The formidable hill up to Parc Guell

Next day, (Thursday) we took the metro to Sagrada Familia and walked all round admiring the various facades. We did not, however, go in this time as the queue was considerable and besides we wanted to carry on to Parc Guell. Having been to both places last week with the Ruins, I knew that it would be too much to try and see the interior of the cathedral and the museum as well, fascinating though they are. Instead we got back on the metro and tackled the awesome hill up to the park.

It was a beautiful, sunny day and we had a lovely potter round the park but by 2.30ish we had had enough and Polly and Tommy were starting to talk about getting back to the beach. Once back at the marina they set off armed with a beach towel etc but returned an hour or so later saying the weather had cooled too much to go for a swim so they’d settled for a tapas instead!

We toyed with the idea of going for a bike ride but took so long to sort ourselves out that we decided it was getting a bit dark to cycle without any lights. Instead Polly, Tommy & I strolled down to the beach to admire the amazing sandcastle/constructions and to have cocktails at a little beach front bar. We returned an hour or so later to a very aggrieved Skipper saying he’d have come with us if he’d realised we were not off on bikes. Ah well, these misunderstandings happen in all households, I daresay. Anyway we all set off for a meal at a local restaurant that had been recommended to me. It is apparently run by four young guys who are just passionate about cooking. They have normal jobs through the week but open the restaurant in the evenings, though not at weekends. The food was delicious, particular the mixed tapas starter and the desserts and it was all most beautifully presented.

100_2223The original plan for Friday had been to take the boat out & up along the coast a little way. However it was so warm and sunny that Polly & Tommy thought they would prefer to relax in the sun and maybe go to the beach. Tommy was reading an un-put-down-able book so Pol & I took the bikes and went for a bit of a ride. I took her to the park leading up to the Arc de Triomf where we found a beautiful pavillion with fountains and a friendly lady kindly photographed us for the blog.

We returned to a latish lunch with the men aboard Rampage and then P & T went off for a ride together, parking their bikes in one of the central squares and having a good wander round the old town.


Off for a meal out!

By 6.45pm we were assembled at the marina gate to join a group of others all going to the Tango night sponsored by and held at Caixa Madrid, (the Madrid bank.) No not the fizzy drink but Spanish music which was really rather fun. We didn‘t understand much of the lyrics but the vocalist was very brooding and dramatic and you had the impression he must have been singing all about jealous lovers, betrayal and dastardly deeds. One of the guitar players was really very good indeed. As I write this, I have just returned from buying tickets for this coming Friday’s concert – a jazz night. At only €2.50 a ticket it’s worth the risk that occasionally an evening may not be up to much. We came out at about 9ish and then wandered down the top end of the Ramblas which was full of people strolling up and down and watched some of the street performers including several groups of gymnasts and some guys doing some very athletic-looking break dancing. Eventually we wound up in the square where P & T had parked their bikes earlier in the day (Placa Reial) and stopped for a beer and some particularly tasty tapas. We finished the evening in a little bar drinking cocktails and brandy before strolling back to the boat. There is a wide paved pedestrian walkway along the side of the harbour and just as we were crossing it a couple of people on roller blades came whizzing along. There is nothing particularly amazing about that as lots of people get about on roller blades here so we were not surprised when one or two more appeared but then we suddenly realised we needed to get out of the way as an army of about 100 bladers came zooming towards us, many in fancy dress. We have no idea what it was all about but it was very amusing and rounded off the evening splendidly. Unfortunately it was just too dark to get a good photo for you all.

Tommy enjoying a pintOn Saturday we had a pleasant, gentle morning as P & T were due to catch a bus for the airport at 1.15pm. I was watching in amusement as a very pleasant Scottish guy, whose boat is further up E Dock, attempted to use a skateboard. He wobbled for a few moments before falling backwards as the skateboard shot out from under him, hit a bollard, went over the side & sank like a stone in about 10 metres of water. Poor Neil was mortified as he had only been borrowing the board from a Spanish friend. I felt so sorry for him that I offered to get out our scuba gear and look for it after we’d seen Polly and Tommy off. He was very grateful and offered to drive us to the bus station which was great. We stayed to see them off & then walked back through the park. Once back on Rampage we dug out our dive gear – quite a business and the wet suits were well buried in a locker under our bed – and we then dropped down under the dock. The water was warm but it was almost impossible to see anything and the bottom, when we reached it, was revolting, soft goo which clouded the visibility still further when disturbed. I fairly quickly decided we were achieving nothing and had little chance of finding the skateboard, so after missing Duncan for a minute or so, headed back to the surface. There I discovered that had had come across the board, almost by chance and had recovered it, much to Neil’s delight. It turned out that it belonged not actually to his friend but to a friend of his friend so everyone was extremely relieved that it had been retrieved.

Later as I showered I paused to consider just what might have been in the water & felt somewhat nauseous, glad that the thought had not struck me while I was still in the water. We will not be doing any more underwater recovery work in marinas. Besides the marina authorities can get a bit funny about such activities. Still alls well that ends well and neither of us seems any the worse ‘though we do both now have rather nasty sore thoats but I blame Maggie for those!

100_2183 - copia

Me and my big girl

We have taken things very gently yesterday and today. We did go off for a bike ride all along the beach, (you can cycle for miles here up the coast,) trying to find the English language cinema that is apparently somewhere up near Port Olympic and a big new shopping mall. Having failed to find either we returned to Rampage & the Sunday papers.

NB Credit for the photos in this edition of the blog goes to Polly.



  1. Hooray, so glad you are staying in Barcelona for the winter. What a relief.
    I’ve enjoyed Polly’s photos, here and on FB – looks like the weather is still being kind to you in Spain. The Central Heating is back on in Northumberland!
    Enjoy getting stuck into the social life of the Marina.
    xxx K

    • Um, what’s central heating? Back in shorts again today! Crowing? Who’s crowing?

  2. Now that’s just mean…

  3. I’m not your big girl; I’m your little girl! 🙂

  4. What are you trying to say?!

    • About what?

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