If It’s Monday, This Must Be Barcelona

Monday, June 20, 2016

Last day on the Askrigg.  That makes us all a little melancholy.  It is only fitting that we end up with rain. We rise early, grab a quick coffee and head back to our Trevor beginnings. I take the beginning shift at the helm and have some tight squeezes passing boats and going through bridges.  Gonna miss it.

We pass a moored boat that has a tent set up beside the towpath.  One of the group of canal friends we talked to yesterday was having a “snoring” problem on their boat.  They ended up purchasing a tent after their first night on board and made the perpetrator move out!

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Sorry dude.  You are outta here!

Rich takes over for the last bit into base where the squeezes get really tight and a turn-around is forthcoming.  Don and I get a kick out of seeing livestock on one of the bridges:

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“Cows on the Bridge” (to be sung to the tune of “Smoke on the Water”)

Rich expertly pulls the Askrigg into the Anglo-Welsh marina.  We grab all our things and wait under the awning for our taxi to the Manchester airport.  One of the groups of canal buddies we me has also pulled in and are leaving today.  They parked their car at the base and now have quite the problem.  Their car won’t unlock!  The auto-key doesn’t work and it won’t even unlock manually.  They have sent for a mechanic to help.  Sounds like a terrible way to end a great trip. We hope they get it resolved soon.

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Stupid  Ford product

Our taxi arrives on time and zips the four of us to the Manchester airport.  Katie and Don get dropped off at Terminal 1 for their Aer Lingus flight to Dublin.  We have made a great foursome and it is sad to be parting ways.

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We are flying to Barcelona and get dropped off at Terminal 2 for our Vueling flight.  It is only 10:30am now and our flight isn’t until 3:50pm.  We figure we will check in, dump our bags and head to the lounge to relax and eat brunch.  Vueling has other ideas.  Check in isn’t available this early.  In fact, there are no Vueling agents in sight.  We have to sit and wait until 12:30.

When we finally get to check in and pass security we are really ready to ditch the airport crowd and get into a quiet lounge.  However, the “Evil Airlines” are making it difficult today.

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“Are you kidding me?”

By now we are truly starving and tired of this mess.  We drag ourselves back into the maddening crowd and make the best of it.

This was part of our entertainment:

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Bonnie and Clyde slot game on my phone

The lounge finally opens up so we relax a bit and grab a munch before getting on the plane for the 2 hour trip to Barcelona.  The flight is ok (Rich will say the seats on Vueling are made for small children).

Janel is arriving from a work trip to London and will be in very late – we won’t see her tonight.  We taxied to our AirBnb and had an easy check in.  It is a nice apartment and is a 1 minute walk from Janel’s house.

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We will use one of the 2 bedrooms as a walk-in closet (need it for my shoes…)

It is getting late and we are hungry (it is not late for Barcelona dinner – 9:30).  We figure we will just stroll around until something catches our eye.  As we walk along, Rich notices a sign for “JapThai” and remembers that we were here before.  Last time he was here was a couple years ago.  He tells me that he thinks one of our favorite haunts – Bar Quimet – is right around the corner.  He is absolutely correct!

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We end up taking the barrel right up front as our table.  The server was awesome and helped us decide  dinner.  We ordered the Pulpo (grilled octopus) that we remembered from before, the Torrada con Fuet (toast with Spanish sausages), the mixed olives and a “conserva” (can – Spain is well known for its brilliant canned seafoods) of Squid in its Ink. A glass of cava for me, a vermut for Rich and we are very , very happy.

The olives almost stole the show.  Why can’t we get olives like these back home?  One kind tasted like butter, another like meat!  They were fantastic.  The Pulpo was as good as we remembered and the squids were tasty as well as the Fuet.  A Feast!

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Rich ended up getting a glass of the house white wine which I promptly spilled for him.  I managed to tell the server in Spanish that the wine “se cayo” and he suggested a different wine for Rich.  He brought him a sort of rose that he said was a puzzle – a “rompe cabeza”  (head breaker in Spanish).  It is a puzzle because it is made from red grapes, but tastes like a white.  Rich loved it.

As the evening wore on, we started to feel like we were the “Stars” of Quimet.  A couple came over and started talking to us.  He is a chef and wants to start a restaurant in Barcelona.  They wanted our opinion! We talked for a while and they bought us a “chupito” – little digestif shot.

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Our newest friends

Then another couple sat down next to us and started talking to us.  We were drawing in people off the street!  (well, at least it felt that way).  We had an awesome first night in Barcelona and can’t wait to see Janel tomorrow!

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