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l’auberge espagnole

My birthday, for lack of a more articulate word, sucked. The draconian imposition of siesta hours is cute at first but when one has a night train to catch when restaurants are opening and cannot get a decent meal… rrgh. Oh yeah, that and the ketchup. The Alhambra was nice again, of course. We did make it in after maybe an hour queue.

We have been shifted from a decently-located hostel kind of near the center of the city (Barcelona, that is) to a couple beds in a nice flat near the Sagrada Familia (and therefore not close to much of anything else, if you have ever been here). We are getting the most out of our transport 10-packs and shoe leather.

The unexpected wonder of the apartment is that it has a grocery across the street and a washing machine within. This is good news, and I am now mercifully ketchup-free. I forgot to try washing the pair of pants that got chocolate on it in Brussels, but there is always tonight.

Barcelona is fantastic, as always. I finally made it to Park Guell and got my obligatory lizard picture. We have done all the typical stuff (Ramblas etc.) but today we wandered around Montjuïc and stumbled into the 1992 Olympic campus, which was pretty neat. The stadium was open, making it about 5000x cooler than Berlin’s.

My travelmate has gotten to the beach a couple times which she has enjoyed, although this last visit left me in a mood similar to hers after an art museum… for various reasons I am a bit of an anti-beach character. Hopefully nothing was taken too personally and we will get over it over dinner (and a Brazilian victory over France would be nice too).

It would also make me incurably smug in Paris tomorrow afternoon. I can’t wait.

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