So far today I have spent my time travelling on the train, booking into my room, finding a hotel in Singapore, booking a visit to the Basilica Sagrada Familia and catching up on emails.
On my way to the metro this morning I stopped for a coffee at a place where I stopped yesterday. As soon as I stepped in the fellow greeted me with a cheery Buen Dias, and picked up a 'grande' cup for my coffee. My goodness a cheery greeting and he remembered what I had yesterday.
My room is more like a boarding house from the fifties!
Shared with five others.
My foot to show how small the bath is.
But. The balcony is wide enough for a chair!
And I can people watch all day!
I actually like it here. The fellow at the desk is the most helpful person, with a really lovely disposition. He has printed out my email tickets for me, carried up my bag, and let me book in early. I shall just have to forget the exorbitant price, as even getting a room in Catalona is impossible at this time. Plus there is a little sink in the room, so I can do teeth and wash little things in privacy.
Hmmm. Looks like someone is getting a mattress on the floor.
No blog yesterday as by the time I got in last night I was too tired to download photos and finish writing. Though I suppose by now it's all becoming a bit boring reading my daily page.
Yesterday I booked a hotel room in Singapore as I just could not stand the idea of living in someone else's home again. I had booked a room through airbnb but decided not to go there. The owner had told me there is hotel shuttle bus which stops just near his house, but after several emails asking him the name of the hotel there has been no reply. I have not yet let him know I am not coming but will do so later.
Meanwhile Naz, my friend Chris's daughter in law, emailed to say she and Matt would pick me up at the airport. That was great news as it will be lovely to not worry about getting on the right train or bus. Not long after I gave Naz the flight times the horrible realisation that I had booked the wrong day dawned on me. Yes, in my haste to get a room booked, I booked for the first instead of the second. I then spent a fruitless hour trying to contact the hotel but it was late over there so they said to ring back. There is a no cancellation policy on the hotel so if I try to change it, I will lose the price of the room. Naz and Matt have said I can stay with them if I can't change it. I really don't want to do that as I feel it's a bit of an imposition at such short notice. Matt, however, emailed me himself and said they want me to stay, so at least I will have a bed.
I woke up early this morning so I could get hold of someone on the reservations desk in Singapore, and I was told I needed to get in touch with Booking.com about not being charged the rebooking fee. I found a number for UK and spoke to a lovely girl who said she would check if the hotel had a room for the second and B.com would get me in. Some time later she emailed to say there was a room but the hotel needed $58 more as the room rate had gone up. I then gave up in dispair and said I would have to pass as it would now be too much. The lovely Tiffany said she would email them again and see if she could talk them into not charging me the extra amount. Due to the time difference I will not hear until tomorrow.
Meanwhile back to what was left of yesterday. It is very different here to Santiago. The people are so much friendlier, and speak English which makes it so much more enjoyable. Unfortunately it is very expensive. There is so much to see here, but very expensive. I just had a coffee with Nancy, from Fremantle and she agreed, and that's not converting to aus. I thought I would go to the zoo, which is not huge, but it's 27€ to get in. Nancy went to Gaudy's apartment yesterday, which she said was wonderful, but over 30€ to get in and so crowded they could hardly move.
I wandered around a bit, and had lunch at the markets, which is also jammed packed with people. It was about three thirty by now, and I decided to just keep walking.
I think she was advertising an erotic shop.
So sad to see people rummaging in bins.
They sure do love this Spanish ham here.
A square tucked away down a street I meandered down.
I kept walking until I reached the harbour area and it was so modern and clean it was like a different world. On the way down people were dressed as various characters in order to get money. Much like we see all over the world. I'm always impressed by their fortitude.
I had a split second to get the shot as there is a child about to run in front of me.
Street artists everywhere on this section.
The harbour area.
A funny thing happened as I was walking. A young couple with a toddler were asking police for directions. Unfortunately neither had a common language. The couple were obviously very lost and the police were just unable to understand where they wanted to go. Quick as a flash I produced my map and handed it over. The couple found their locale and the police recognised it, and all was solved. I think the young couple wanted to hug me, and one of the police actually shook my hand and thanked me. In English. I wonder if they will carry maps from now on?
This lovely schooner is actually open to the public for ONE EURO!
It is the Santa Eulalia, and one of the oldest sailboats “still to be seen in the Mediterranean and is part of our country's floating maritime heritage.” It was once used to smuggle flour from Barcelona to the Balearics Islands. I paid my euro, and went for a look around. Me and two others. Yay! Lots of people were taking photos and looking at it, but I don't think they read the tiny sign stating the entry fee.
I then continued to walk,and walk. I stopped for a hot dog a few ks further on, and ate that while looking back to the harbour. There was a lovely grassed area where I sat, and mainly just locals and a handful of tourists wandered about. There was even some girls doing boot camp workout, and I'm sure the instructer was Australian.
These are the bikes I photographed the other day. A great idea to hire them to get around.
The only problem with walking aimlessly is not noticing the time due to the daylight. It was about ten pm when I decided to turn back and head for 'home.' It took me about an hour and a half, walking fairly fast to get back. There was no problem walking that late as most places are still open and once in the main area the street was pretty busy.
It is now 4.00pm and the weather is not conducive to meandering anywhere, as it has been drizzling, then pouring for most of the day. I was thinking of jumping on the metro and going back to Parc Guell to buy some scarves after all. I have about nine trips left on my metro ticket. The scarves are about seven euros each here, and three for 10€ up there. Due to the rain, I doubt they will be displaying their wares today.
I was also hoping to find a cheapish jacket to wear tonight, as I don't want to go to the theatre looking like a bag lady! I actually just feel like a siesta, but I shall go for a paddle around this locale instead.
Well that's it for now. Hopefully I shall have an update on the Singapore drama tomorrow.