I’ll be the first to admit – I got cocky and paid the price. Feeling pretty good about my new found language abilities in the coffee ordering department, I confidently strode through the door of the local Cafe Diamanté and ordered “Tres cafes – dos cortados y un cafe con leche”, straight forward enough in Inglese, but in espanol – somewhat more confusing. You see, in my casual aloofness and attempts to appear tres cool, I forgot to factor in that tres cafes would translate as three short blacks. We were presented with our six coffees and a snigger from the barman once he realized what had happened. What? Of course we drank them.
As it turned out, 6 coffees put us in good stead the day ahead – a journey to the tippy top of Montjuic, where there is a Castello, and then part way down, where there is a Fundacion Joan Miro, a gallery that Pip and I visited on our last trip here in 1986. Our subway tickets were good for the funicular, which leaves from the estacion Parral-lel and is drawn up by cable to Mirador (it’s just like the subway, only built on an angle) and without a driver. At the top of the funicular, it’s new tickets for the cable car that takes you rest of the way to the Castello. We’re not usually high things tourists, but this cable car looked quite new and dare I say it, safe. The Castello at the top has spectacular views of the whole city and down the coast to the airport across the port. It also has a bloody history through world wars and civil wars and Catalan uprisings and it’s also very sparse. Locals seem to jog up the hill, or cycle – we were happy with the cable car.
The cable car delivered us back to the main road on Montjuic well within walking distance of the Fundacion’s queue. Being 14, number young son’s art appreciation has not developed beyond the ‘why does modern art looks like kid’s painting’ phase, but our dearest hope is that like Mrs Marsh’s chalk – it does get in! So we explain and expose and provide reading material and, I’d like to start flash cards, but maybe I’ll wait a year or two before I snap the chalk and see how much has been absorbed. I’m fairly confident the absorption method worked for number 1 son. The Miro museum is very special, right down to the architecture of Sert, but the Miro works and the historical information about each one is exceptional. We spent hours there.
Eventually we had to put the fun back in funicular and head down the hill and into the centre to search out a particular sandwich recommended by our host who advised that the New York Times had voted it the best sandwich in the world. We searched out a bar called Viena on La Rambla and trooped in to wait for a seat at the bar while we perused the menu for the flauta d’iberic. We got our seats; we got our sangha and we enjoyed them and the waiter show that those behind the counter put on. Fabulous bread and sliced Jamon are an ideal combination.
Once again, foot soriness struck it’s crippling blow (to me anyways) and home was calling. Feeling adventurous, Pip had determined that we were gonna woast a wabbit which would purchase from the supermarket, but instead we were sidetwacked into a beautiful gourmet shop called Casanova’s, which had the requisite bunny carcasses in the counter. We chose one and lady behind the counter set about it with a cleaver – cutting off the legs; the head – “do you want that?” , “No thank you”, in tiny voices – liver, “No?”, but we did keep the kidney, cause we’re international gourmets we are.
Pip woasted the wabbit to perfection and we gnawed the tiny bunny bones clean. All in all a successful day, but after those 6 coffes, we thought we might just stay up a little longer.