After Sagrada Familia, we were drained, so we went back to the hotel to swim. We had the pool to ourselves for about an hour and got out to have our daily beers up there on the roof. Then the man-boys showed up with their female entourage, and basically took over the entire space with their whooping and splashing and hollering. This is why we cruise with Olivia.
But we had at least been able to "swim" every night (I mean it's a plunge pool, but you can still enjoy cooling off in it). It was funny the previous night when we got up there around 7 PM and there were no towels. We called for some from the bar, and they said the pool was "closed." We were in our suits and the hotel robes already, se we laughed and went in anyway. I mean, there's nothing and no one to stop you, and when we called for beer, they came up and served us and could see we'd been in. No one said anything.
I have noticed in Spain and Italy that they "close" their pools very early, even in the middle of the summer. Why even have a pool? But I will have an even better pool story about Rome. Just you wait.
So, the previous night, again, after swimming in the "closed" pool, we decided to eat in the hotel restaurant. It cost the earth, but it was so convenient and so good! The usual rule is, don't eat in the hotel restaurant, but I think that has changed in Europe. I still wouldn't do it in the United States.
Anyway, we came back from the cathedral, swam, had our beer and decided to try a restaurant across the street. There were, like, four, within a block. We chose this place called the Mediterranean Pub, or something. Wow, was that fantastic! We had been planning to always eat fish in the Med, and this was our third fish in row, and it was the best. But the others were very good, too.
We could have eaten outside, where the Spanish equivalent of la passegiata in Italy was going on, but it's still too smoky in Europe, and it was too hot, for that. This place also has tapas, so people came and went the whole time we were there. It seemed pretty popular with the locals. Actually we were the only foreigners in it. See, here's us with the "kids."
Then we went to the local farmacia to get more moleskin, returned to our room, and packed. We had a really good time in Barcelona, and recommend it highly. We also recommend Granados 83 because it does not cater to families with children. It's a little strange, but the staff is terrific, and the beds are great. Great location, too.
A note on smoking: it's still more prevalent in Europe than in the US and Canada, but a LOT less prevalent than before, and there's no smoking indoors in any of the countries we were in this time. We were concerned about that, but I think everyone's getting the message that second-hand smoke will kill you. However, if you want to smoke in Europe, you still can. Just take it outside, and no one will bother you.