I have a golden ticket!
My crazy 6th sense of “chocoholicism” kicked in and I soon stumbled upon the same churros place (churrería) that I distinctly remembered eating at three years ago. And so, my breakfast plans for this morning were set.
Upon leaving the hostel this morning, I wound my way up and down the anorexic streets like a bloodhound in search of my scrumptious salvation of chocolate and churros. And then I seemed to notice that I wasn’t passing a lot of churches that looked a lot alike, but I was passing the same exact landmark over and over. So I retreated to Las Ramblas to regroup and survey my options. Like a determined bull in the July excitement of Pamplona, my course became clear and I darted obstacles until the Holy Grail of La Palleresa appeared.
When my churros and chocolate were presented to me, I gazed upon perfection and allowed my other senses to catch up. I sat paralyzed with eyes as big as saucers and my mouth gaping open, feeling pure joy as the chocolate scent was wafting in the air, the air bubbles pierced the top layer of the dense chocolate-goodness only to be replaced by the steam that bellowed with each stir of the concoction that overflowed the porcelain teacup. Next, I turned my attention to the flawlessly shaped bows of churros that lay with crystals of sugar shining brightly, inviting me to merge the two entities of this Spanish indulgence. When my taste buds gleaned the first bite, I shouted (in my head), “I have a golden ticket!”
When I left La Palleresa, I felt like skipping to the metro but, being so full of liquid gold, I just strolled with a silly smile on my face. And then I stepped onto the train. That liquid gold quickly began to feel like tar clinging mercilessly to a helpless bird’s feathers. I was determined not to surrender, but as the color in my face drained, I remembered a scene from the movie “French Kiss.” Following her consumption of decadent French cheese, Meg Ryan’s character is on a train exhibiting signs of distress and describing the agony when, in an accusatory tone she calls out, “l a c t o s e i n t o l e r a n c e !”
I later arrived at the beach at Port Olimpic (The Olympic Port). Modern art and architecture are everywhere in Barcelona (along with breathtaking old buildings) and this is especially true at Port Olimpic, which was developed for the 1992 Olympic Games.
There’s a colossal bronzed fish (made by Frank Gehry) that sits atop a building with its mouth (along with its entire hollow frame) wide open.
Next to the beach there was a crowd gathered for a “Brazil Day” festival and a cacophony of “music” boomed from the speakers. Thank goodness for Jimmy Buffet, as he was able to hold those sounds at bay and lull me into a sweet coma of relaxation.
At 16:00 (4:00) though, I was due to move into the apartment where I will be living for the next five weeks. Sticking to my new, minimalist (cheaper) lifestyle, I was determined to take the metro and not succumb to the ease of transport via taxi. The metro that I would leave from and arrive at both had elevators so that wasn’t a real challenge. My Herculean effort actually began before I even left the hostel this morning when I had to cram my obese duffel bag into a storage locker along with my rolling carry on and overstuffed backpack. I am positive that the guys at the front counter must have been on the floor laughing as they watched the surveillance video showing my pathetic and incessant attempts to body slam myself into my duffel bag, hoping to persuade it to meld with the others. I ridiculed myself for not having played Tetris enough as a kid. More than anything though, I was grateful that I had a locker on the ground and not one in the two rows above as that would have necessitated a step ladder and, a lot of prayer.
My journey began smoothly enough, and then I exited the metro at Lesseps for a short walk to the apartment. And that was when my literal and figurative uphill battle began. I grew concerned that my shoulders might pop out of their sockets, but I powered through and was satisfied that in one fell swoop I had taken care of weight training for the rest of the month.