We started our Friday exploring the Barri Gothic area in search of our bike tour. We found our tour guide, "Buddha" (originally from Sidney), in the same plaza where a political protest was ongoing. Barcelonians as we learned love a good riot. Our Fat Tire Tour group included the eclectic Buddha, college girls from Connecticut, newly weds from Michigan, two couples from London, and a Chinese man. We rode throughout Barcelona (see attached pictures) learning the true history of the city with a little "Buddha" flare. By the way, Barcelona missed out on the chance to build the Eiffel Tour for the World's Fair, instead they got something that looks fairly similar to the Arch de Triumph in Paris. After three hours of touring the city, we ended up on the beaches of Barcelona for lunch and Sangria. Buddha gave us some great dinner recommendations in the Born area. We ended up at a toothpick tapas bar (see pictures) that was phenomenal. It was self serve, and they literally charge for how many toothpicks are on your plate.
Saturday...after a three hour train ride, we ended up in a much different place than Barcelona...Madrid. There are sooo many people here. Everywhere you turn there are crowds of people. Among the chaos, we settled in for dinner outside our hotel along the street which is a typical venue for dinner in Spain. Of all the gin joints in all the worlds, we happened to sit next to a couple that once lived in Enterprise, Alabama. Jose and his wife are now a long way from Enterprise currently residing in San Juan, Puerto Rico and delivering organs for medical purposes to the United States including Birmingham. We ended dinner having after dinner drinks with Jose and his wife discussing rednecks, UAB, Tulane, water policy, the green movement in Puerto Rico, and Bear Bryant. We have an open ended offer for a plane in San Juan...next trip possibly?
FYI family...Marques is corked and more expensive in Spain.