Barcelona Day 3

This morning we had 9am appointments at the US Consulate to get pages added to our passports. We had made appointments about a month ago online for the Embassy in Madrid, but then found that the Consulate in Barcelona would work better for our schedule so we canceled those and rescheduled.

However, JT forgot to print out the appointment confirmations when we rebooked, and the appointment site said that confirmations were required to enter the consulate. There seemed to be no way of reprinting, so he figured we could cancel and rebook. Didn’t work… No spot opened when he canceled his appointment, even the next day when availability might have refreshed. So, he emailed the consulate about the situation. Thankfully, he got a quick reply that an appointment had been (re)made, and the guards would be made aware that we would not have confirmations.

We woke at 7:10am, ate breakfast at the apartment, and left at 8am to make our way by metro (8:11am, using 10 pack pass) and suburban rail (8:26am, €2.15 each one-way for a 1-zone ticket on FCG Ferrocarrils, L6 toward Reina Elisenda) to the consulate.

Las Ramblas was peaceful and empty at 8am

We arrived at the consulate before its 9am opening time so the guard recommended that we walk down the street and get some coffee. We did so, and enjoyed two café con leche (coffee with milk, 1.30€ each) drinks that came with a wrapped “galleta artesanal” (artisan cookie). It was interesting to see the locals at the bar drinking coffee and/or alcohol and eating breakfast.

Café con leche

We arrived back at the consulate shortly after 9am. We had to wait in line for passport check, bag residue test, and entry outside. Once let into the first door, we had our bags put through scanners and we walked through airport like metal-detector security. We had to turn off electronics and leave our bags and electronics with the security guards. Then we carried our passports and documents through another door and to a separate building.

Once in the other building, a receptionist buzzed us into the building and then into a surprisingly full waiting area. We waited with our tag bearing #8 for a while before being called.

Once called, we carried our applications and passports to the counter and explained we wished to add passport pages. A lady took our passports and applications and called us to the cashier desk about 5 minutes later for us to pay ($82 each or €78 each, paid by MasterCard). About 10-15 minutes later, we were called again and given back our now-much-much-thicker passports. We gathered our bags from security and exited the compound at 10:15am.

We took the suburban rail (10:28, L6) and metro (L3) back to our AirBnB apartment to pack up our things so our hosts could prepare the room for Carlos’ parents arriving this evening.

L6 train

We also chatted with our host Deborah for a while, which was really interesting and pleasant. We felt like we finally got the full AirBnB experience this time!

After chatting for a while, we were rather hungry. At 12:45am, we headed out to go to two restaurants our hosts recommended – first getting a ‘frankfurter’ from Frankfurt Sant Jaume and then getting kebabs from El Cocinero De Damasco. The ‘frankfurter’ / hot dog was interesting as it was served more like a flat sandwich. The ‘frankfurter’ was sliced in half and grilled, while a flat bread was pressed next to it. It was good, but nothing amazing – and not worth the rather proud price of €3.2.

JT with the ‘frankfurter’
The ‘frankfurter’

The kebab on the other hand was indeed amazing! The sauce and shawarma mixture of lamb and turkey meat was excellent, and definitely made for the best kebabs we’ve had the joy of eating yet! We sat savoring the blissful meal for a bit after finishing.

Delicious kebab from El Cocinero De Damasco
Contents of the kebab from El Cocinero De Damasco
Another happy customer being served at El Cocinero De Damasco
Humble exterior of El Cocinero De Damasco

After lunch we headed over to the Barcelona Cathedral, arriving shortly after 2pm. We entered during one of their fee entrance times, meaning we had to pay an entrance fee of €7/person, but the entire grounds were open to us and we didn’t have to pay ala carte for the various sections of the cathedral.

We wandered the incredible cathedral and grounds for shortly over an hour, but unfortunately did not have time to visit the roof top terrace. We hope the church puts our entrance fee to good use as the roof seemed to need some repairs.

The cloister at the Barcelona Cathedral
Choir stalls at the Barcelona Cathedral
Barcelona Cathedral

After grabbing a drink from the ornamental Font De Sant Jordi drinking fountain in the cloister, we left the Cathedral at 3:15pm for our 4pm guided tour of Park Güell’s monumental area (14€ each for tour + monumental zone entrance, reserved in advance on park’s website, paid by MasterCard). We cut our transit time a bit short and ended up really hustling to arrive at the walking tour meeting point shortly after 4pm.

Katie had received an email saying the 4pm walking tour would leave promptly at 4:15pm, so she assumed this meant the tour would start at 4pm but not leave until 4:15pm (so those who arrived between 4pm and 4:15pm would just miss some information). But when we arrived at 4:04pm, our guide was no where to be seen. This confused and worried many of us that were scheduled for this tour – especially as other guide groups were leaving to enter the park from this area – but we waited at the meeting point and our guide turned up around 4:10pm and the tour started around 4:15pm.

The 45 minute walking tour covered the monumental area of Park Güell. It was interesting and informative, but also somewhat frustrating because it was difficult to hear our guide through the portable headphone system. We finished right around 5pm.

Our small group walking tour at Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell’s entrance
A lizard near the Park Güell entrance
The two building at the Park Güell entrance, with Barcelona in the background

After the tour completed, we explored the park until sunset. After sunset, we tried to figure out what to do next. JT knew Barcelona was known for Gin & Tonics, so we tried to research bars on Katie’s slow data connection and the park’s even slower WiFi.

Katie looking out at the Park Güell entrance and Barcelona

Katie relaxing on the serpentine bench in Park Güell
JT and Katie on the serpentine bench in Park Güell

We finally settled on Rubi Bar. Along the way to the metro station, we stopped at a bakery for a couple of sweet treats and then a market for some cava for the ferry ride. Although Rubi Bar was supposed to open at 7:00pm, they still were not ready to open when we arrived at 7:30pm, so we walked down the street to an ATM to reload on cash for the night. Once back at the bar, we ordered two delicious drinks: a vanilla gin and tonic (€9) – using special Rubi Bar mixed gin and premium tonic – and a strawberry mohito (€5). Both tasted so good that it was hard not to drink them too fast!

Rubi Bar, known for its many types of gin
Rubi Bar had many types of alcohol, including house gin in a variety of flavors
JT’s gin and tonic was prepared right in front of us
JT’s gin and tonic

After finishing our drinks around 8:15pm, we headed for tapas at Bar Xampanyet (also recommended by our hosts, Calle Montcada 22). It was crowded, but we were able to claim some bar space and order two beers (€2 each), two stuffed potatoes (€1.5 each), green olives (€2), and two large marinated artichoke hearts with a special sauce (€3.75 total). These were all good, and the cost only came out to €12.75. We enjoyed watching the bartenders/prep chefs so much that we left a tip – which was rewarded with the ringing of a bell and cheering (as is tradition for tips).

Stuffed potatoes at Bar Xampanyet
Beer + green olives at Bar Xampanyet
Marinated artichoke hearts at Bar Xampanyet

We were still hungry, so we stopped by El Cocinero de Damasco – for the second time today! The kebab was just as good as we had for lunch. However, they did forget to leave out the pickle slices this time. Although both of us don’t like pickles, the small slices added a different taste to the wrap and we opted not to remove the slices. We were happy to get another pair of delicious kebabs as our last Barcelona meal.

JT was very happy to have more kebabs from El Cocinero de Damasco
We hurried back to the AirBnB apartment arriving around 9:30pm and quickly packed our clean clothing (which had been drying outside) into our bags. We left around 9:53pm headed to 7 Portas restaurant to say goodbye to our hosts and return their key since they were eating with Carlos’ parents. The restaurant was rather fancy, so we felt a bit awkward about coming in with our large backpacker backpacks and small daypacks. So, with the blessing of the restaurant host, we left them in the atrium. Even without our bags, we still felt awkward entering the white tablecloth restaurant to say goodbye (but we did so anyway).

Our clothes on the drying rack
Katie squeezing into the tiny elevator at our AirBnB

We left the restaurant shortly after 10:05pm, figuring it would be a short 15 minute walk to our Baleària overnight ferry to Palma (which was scheduled to depart at 11pm). But it wasn’t as easy as we thought it would be…

The creature on the Ronda Litoral walkway to Barceloneta
The Ronda Litoral walkway towards to ferry docks

Leave a Reply