Barcelona Day 2:
It's not every day you wake up by being bonked over the head with a red balloon. Yes Day 2 was April 12th my birthday. The day I had escaped to Barcelona to forget. And I would have possibly if Owen hadn't sneaked some presents over too. The hap'peth.
It was also Easter Sunday so we attempted a look into the Cathedral but it was packed to the gargoyles but a bit of local colour was going on outside as the old folks were doing the impenetrable Catalan dance the Sardana. Holding hands in various-sized circles, they do tiny steps left and right, back and forwards, hands up, hands down, while their band plays on the steps of the Cathedral. Fascinating and frustrating as I want to know how they know what comes next!After a quick stop at Cafe d'Estiu where I had the thickest hot chocolate ever - it was like a melted Cadburys! - we took a leisurely stroll up Laetana for more food. This restaurant was Mussol - part of the same group as Citrus and Attic - but not a patch on either. As it was Sunday lunch and we had not booked we had to sit in the smoking section - and soon the deserted no-smoking area started filling up with families - loud bawling kids 'n' t'ing. So what's a little smoke? My food was ok but the Catalan menu hardly gave Owen much to eat and the service was negligible so there is one to be crossed off the list.
Afterwards we came out to the rain and to cheer ourselves up we walked up to Gaudi's magnificent Casa Battlo aka the Dragon House. It was as busy as ever but it was lovely to walk around it again, revelling in the epic sweep and tiny details of Gaudi's genius. The warm, fluidity of the interiors giving way to the blue tiles on the stair well walls suggesting cascading water. Then up to the roof which despite the rain proved as photogenic as ever. Another joy is the attic room which you pass through on the way out... a room I could happily live in for ever. The walk back to the hotel were the death of my NY trainers which started leaking like buggery.
Wearing Owen's trainers it was time to cap off the day with a visit to our favourite restaurant Citrus which we have been visiting since discovering it in 2003. With a sweeping first floor view of Passeig de Gracia, Citrus is the perfect place to relax in a lovely three course meal and a reassuringly expensive bottle of Cava. It was a lovely way to forget my age.
And the evening ended on a high when I realised that we were transported up to our room by Schindler's Lift!