Archive for May 28, 2006

“But You Do”

Did the title of today's blog get you interested. You'll get the explanation later on. We did the tourist thing this weekend. On Saturday, we got up nice and early and headed to the train station at Placa Catalunya. We were heading a short distance out of town to visit a cava winery. Cava is Spain's bubbly wine. Not permitted to call it Champagne, the Spanish created their own name for this popular and, in my humble opinion, amazing bubbly. I prefer it to Champagne because it's affordable and more than rivals it's cousin in many ways. The tour began in the meeting centre, with a 20 minute movie introducing us to the history and facts about Freixenet. Alex's blog has more details on that.



Outside the entrance to Freixenet, the trees were all in bloom with these amazing and fragrant flowers. Of course, I couldn't resist taking at least one photo.


Trees in Bloom

The cellars were 20 metres below ground and to me, the perfect temperature. We saw thousands and thousands of bottles stored in racks just waiting to reach maturity. Each hall had a different variety of wine or cava in varying stages of maturity. From here, we took an electric train to the factory where thousands and thousands of bottles were stored on pallets ready to be prepared for shipping. We ended up in a beautifully appointed tasting room where we were each given a glass of cava, It was really worth the effort to visit this wonderful place.


The Cellar

We took the train back home and arrived in our apartment at around 2:30. It was an amazing day, around 25 C in the shade so Alex suggested we go to the beach. On our way there I thought I'd send my friend M a text message letting him know we were going to the beach. He decided to join us. Meanwhile, Alex contacted her friend J and she joined us also. This turned out to be my favorite type of afternoon, totally spontaneous. We spent the rest of the afternoon swimming and sunning ourselves. Somewhere around 6:30 or so, J gets the idea to go to a cava bar she knows of. Wow, more spontaneous behaviour, I'm really enjoying this. Off we go. We get to the bar and the crowd in the street indicated how full it was. If there was room for us inside, it was not obvious to me but J plunges into the crowd and starts making her way to the back of the bar. Bar is a bit of a misnomer. This place serves sandwiches first, but if you want, you can get a bottle of cava to go with it. We're slowly making our way to the back and people are laughing, trying to get out, trying to get to the counter and trying to get to the back (like us). The ones standing still are balancing sandwiches in one hand and cava in the other. Some are also holding the bottle. We finally get to the back and Alex and I find space for one against the wall. We both squeeze into it while J and M get the cava and food. People were squeezing by and I cannot tell you how tight it was. I mean, I was intimate with every person who passed by us and the atmosphere was amazingly friendly. We met this young couple and I never got their names. He was an Italian from Rome, the happiest dude you could ever meet and she was an Argentinian living in Barcelona. We hit it off right away and to people watching us we looked like we had been friends for years. We laughed and told jokes, acted stupid and laughed some more. You had to be there to get the full conversation which centered around being a fisherman, having had a chat with God and many other things that I can't remember and we had to communicate in French and Spanish as neither of them spoke english . Anyhow, it was time to leave so we carefully made our way back to the street. Once out there, J decided we should have gotten their email address so she plunges back into the crowd and disappears. Meanwhile, the guy from Rome pops out of the crowd and greets me with a huge hug and handshake like I was his long lost brother. I asked him if he was still killing fish (you really had to be there) and he said "Nope, killing people now". I said "no way, that's not nice, you're not doing that ". He replies "no, but YOU do" and he points to M. You really had to be there because it was so spontaeneous and quick that we all collapsed into uncontrollable laughter. I must point out that M is an ex Royal Marine and has a Royal Marine Commando tatoo on his arm. Nobody had mentioned this but the guy from Rome must have noticed it and his parting words made note. It was just too funny.

Alex and I went home, had a shower and went to this Japanese restaurant near our place. We had sushi and wine and by the time we got home we were totally finished.

Sunday, our original plan was to go hiking in Monserrat but it was too hot, we were too lazy and the beach was too close. Too many toos. We spent the day at the beach planning next weekend. We also had to discuss budget because we can't maintain a tourist lifestyle for too long (another too). Anyhow, the weekend is over and Alex and I are going out for a walk. She just prepared an amazing snack of cheese, sausage, bread andcava out on our balcony. Time for the walk.

Be healthy everyone.

May 28, 2006 at 6:53 pm 1 comment

May 2006

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