Finally, we have really embraced the Barcelona breakfast. We went downstairs, got some delicious bakery goods and returned to the terrace for breakfast.
When we finally left the apartment at 11ish, breakfast was on in full force. We have also noticed that breakfast is available, and much earlier in the day, if you are staying on Las Ramblas.
We had weighed up the pros and cons, and decided to board the Bus Turistic for a tour of the city and to check out some more of the Barcelona highlights. This is an ultimate tourist shame job, but why not get amongst it when we are actually tourists. We buy our tickets and board the bus, getting prime seats on the top deck. Crack. Doom. That's the sound of dark clouds rolling over.
We check out Casa Balto. Karl was beside himself in admiration for the craftsmanship to build the house. 'House' is a very generous term for a five or six floor mansion. An understated architect, who would have thought....! Neeeeh.
The rain was pelting down by this stage. Not pelting by Darwin's standards, but certainly for Europe. We happened to be on rich boulevard; designer stores lining the streets. I had to restrain Karl from splurging on Prada, Tiffany and Louis Vuitton whilst waiting for the rain to clear.
The rain had eased so we got back on the bus and contInued the circuits. It turns out you don't really see much from the bus, as half the time it stops some distance from the attractions. What the bus is really good for, is people too incompetent to manage the metro. It was a long and tedious way to get around the city, made all the more gloomy for the drizzling rain, heavy fog and chilling winds. Even Karl admitted he was "freezing." On the other hand, Matisse loved being top and front of the bus.
Another thing Matisse loves is getting attention from strangers. She stares at them until they notice her, then acts shy, then grins, talks and squawks. People fall over themselves. She is a surprise tourist attraction everywhere she goes and she invites conversation from the most unsuspecting culprits. It's a beautiful dynamic for our holiday.
The day before the tourist shame job, we had caught up with Chad, an old friend from Darwin who has been living in Barcelona for the best part of the last six years. Amongst the reacquaintance, sourcing out the most delicious tapas, coffee, and quaint streets, he taught us the art of picking the pickpocket. Not actually "picking" them, but spotting them and preventing the theft. The next day we honed our skills. I spotted two and Karl saw three. Let the bragging begin. There are serious issues with pickpockets in Barcelona. They are constantly getting caught, but unless they have more than 400 euros of goods on them, there is nothing they can do. Some get caught four times a day and are still out working the streets that night. So the fact we only saw a total of five in one day, even after frequenting the tourist traps on the bus Turistic, is actually pretty pathetic.
We rebounded off the day with tapas. Mmm.