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The saga, and the walking, continues.

SPAIN | Thursday, 5 March 2015 | Views [354]

I AM the selfie king.

I AM the selfie king.

Mesmerised by the Sagrada Familiar and up to my third eye in Gaudis incredible vision, I decided to double down on the crazy and see where it lead. Describing my visit to Park Quell was actually intended to be a part of the previous journal, but after thinking I would struggle to say anything at all out of awe, I succesfully managed to ramble on quite a lot. How uncharacteristic!

Even after ole Light-fingers McGee had a crack at stealing my empty bag, I was still feeling like I had just been somewhere other worldly. It must have been this bewilderment that helped me overlook the fact that the Park was fucking miles away. Or the fact that it was up one of the hills surrounding Barcelona. Yet the anticipation of more Gaudi helped time pass in a semi haze.

I wish I had bought a pedometer on this trip because these feet weren't made for walking anywhere near as much as this mouth was made for complaining about them. As previously stated, the fossilising left calcaneal talar joint has performed above and beyond it's usual standard of just locking up after a two degree drop in temperature or a walk over a few hundred metres.

Way to ruin a good photo mate! 

The Park was free to enter, but a ticket booth was set up at the gate that people were queuing up for. I wax enough cash on sites where payment is compulsory so I certainly wasn't about to do it voluntarily. Which soon become apparent as the mistake it was. If you want to wander around and look at trees while endless scores of people try and sell you trinkets and sunglasses from blankets laid out along the pathway, that shit is free all day long. If you want to see something that Gaudi designed, you had to pay for that so I guess it must have been in the park information fine print.

I wandered around hoping to find something inspiring, but that came in the form of a few more souvenirs for back home. By continuing to just walk upwards, I managed to find the top of the hill with some incredible panoramic views over the city. The weather had been warm enough on the walk up to strip down to a t-shirt, but the uncovered peak was being buffeted by winds strong enough to blow my moustache off.

The only free Gaudi you could see was over the fence. 

I caught a taxi back to the hostel because I am not masochistic, but I do love beer. So I coaxed another small effort out of my aching legs to get me to the Brewdog bar as a reward for a long days hard slog. Two of my all time faves in Punk IPA and 5am Saint Red Ale barely touched the sides. Dogma and Brixton Porter felt like they may have made an impact, and the incredible U-Bolt smoked porter put it beyond doubt at 8.4% ABV.

Feeling like my jelly legs had become octopus tentacles, I slivered out the door and began the long walk home. Because my subconscious IS a masochist, and thanks to my utter non-reliance on maps, I simply started walking without worrying about direction. 30 minutes later, I was wondering about the complete absence of anything recognisable.

Apparently drunk tourists wandering aimlessly down backroads are a high priority for muggers, but all the shady characters I walked passed must have simply taken pity on me, or admired my stupidity for how far I had managed to walk in the wrong direction. Eventually I pulled out a map and found that I had added an extra 3 kilometres to the days walkings. Apart from the time spent inside Sagrada Familia and the Brewdog bar, I had been walking from 9am until 10pm.

The following day I had nothing planned other than moving out of my hostel and into the apartment that Kirsty had rented out for her birthday. She wouldn't be arriving until the day after, giving me a chance to put dibs on the best bed and have a solo night in luxury before seeing a dear old friend and getting too fucked up to appreciate how good this place was.

I didn't know exactly how amazing the apartment was until I got there and decided to just leave my slack jaw hanging open for the rest of the trip. The pimping first floor loft apartment overlooked a beautiful square and had wardrobes bigger than the dorm room I was just staying in. The apartment is to that dorm what the Sagrada Familiar is to a church in rural Victoria. It has featured in several magazines and TV programs and will feature high on my list of most opulent places I have stayed. Manuel the owner looked like a rather suave dude and I know he designed it specifically to have lots of rich person sex in there.

Not sure which one I prefer?

Having not even had poor-persons sex for awhile, on my days of wandering I couldn't help but notice how beautiful Spanish women are. And they seem to like me. I'm not entirely sure what that is all about but I'm getting checked out, eyed up and down and perved on more than I would at a tattoo convention. They are similiar to the incredible Turkish women, but grungier. Peircings and tattoos prevail, op shop wardrobes, 'three styles in one' haircuts, and passionate swaggers in their hips.

Because I am a slow learner and always willing to throw myself on the altar of shame just to get something to write about, I got back on to Tinder to see how many hot girls wanted to avoid me again. Boom, I was getting matched all over the place. And with a fuck pad of this magnitude, perhaps women could sense privilidge oozing from me as I overlooked the plebs in the square below. I had started a conversation with a delightful English teacher with no particular intentions, but that quickly escalated and yes, Spanish women are very passionate. Enough said.

 I think I might move to Barcelona.

After four delighfully clear and sunny days, my first day in the apartment had been pencilled in as the day that I hired a bike and ride to the more inaccesible parts of the city. Given the legwork from two days prior, I felt the only places I couldn't walk to where in another country. I woke at a time when my work would be finishing back home, and offered sincere thanks to the beauty of 3 months worth of sleep-ins. I looked out the window to see a miserable, drizzly sky and offered sincere impugnation to Lady Luck and her permanent grudge.

It was my last chance to do it, and having had no exercise in over a week except for one night of it horizontal, I was getting a bike regardless. My brazeness must have been respected because 5 minutes after heading off, the clouds parted and a beautiful day unfolded. I'd already walked up one hill, so I thought I'd aim for the one that the 1992 Olympics were held on. Having been so long since I had ridden a bike, I felt like an Olympian making it to the top of a hill that wouldn't have even drawn heavy breathing a few years ago.

Everything was better a few years ago, and I think the same could be said for the Olympic structures in Barcelona. Sports fields always have a use, even ones on top of hills and far away from human habitation. But purpose built Olympic buildings, including a giant toothpick, were never that practical in the first place. Fortunately, more incredible panoramic views of the city were fitting reward and with two days straight of working up a sweat, I could probably look at cutting my prune intake down to pre-retirement home levels.

Isn't that like a giant cheat stick in snooker? 

A pleasant roll along the beach foreshore ended the day of riding, and after four hours I returned to the bike shop, which was conveniently located in the square outside my apartment. There was also a vegetarian restaurant there where I had dined for dinner and breakfast, and with a tattooist and a few bars making up the squares commerce, I think I have found a new best place in the world. Now for Kirsty of Purple Coconut fame to join me in tearing up this town.

Tags: barcelona, bike, brewdog, gaudi, olympics, spain, tinder, walking

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