Monday, July 6, 2009

Magic Fountain and cava vineyard visits

I'm a bit behind on this blog, so as an attempt to catch up, I'm going to write about the whole weekend in one post.

Starting with Friday, as I've already mentioned, two friends, one of their friends, and I went to the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc to have a picnic and watch the show. On our way there, we discovered some sort of biking event going on, which we were told was a 24-hour event from 7 pm that day to 7 pm the next. I couldn't figure out what the purpose of it was, except maybe Catalan pride, but you can try to figure it out here, if you're willing to brave the Spanish. Here's a picture from the event:

We watched a couple of "handoffs" between cyclists, then we continued on to the fountain. Basically it's a water show with light and music . It's not magic, it's science! But it was a lot of fun. I included a picture of it in my post yesterday, but I'll put some more because I think it's interesting how different it looks before and after sunset. While it's still light out, they don't use the colored lights. I have so many pictures like these:

I want to post them all, but no one would have the patience to look at all of them. So that was Friday.

Saturday started off early, because the three of us were going to tour two vineyards and we had to take the train at 7:25 am! For some reason, on Saturdays they're only open from 9 am to 1 pm. Because we were a little early, we walked around the town of Sant Sadurní d'Anoia. I liked this a lot:

These are like recycling bins, but for compost! I was happy.

Our first tour was at Codorníu, where we ended up getting our own personal tour. I guess a vineyard is not the most popular place to be at 9:30 am. Here is a picture of an antique grape press in the building where the fermenting cava is stored underground:

It looks like some sort of medieval torture device to me. According to our tour guide, they have approximately 30 km of tunnels underground, all storing cava! Two notes on that point: 1) that's 18.6 miles! and 2) cava is the Spanish equivalent of champagne, a term they used to use until the French got angry about it and made them change it. Cava just means cellar, technically, which is where the bottles are stored. At the end of the tour, we got to try two different types of cava, a brut and a brut naturale, both of which mean not very much sugar added.

Our second tour was at Freixenet, which is the biggest cava producer in the world. Apparently this one company makes more cava than all of France produces champagne. This tour was a bigger group, with a tour guide who spoke better English and just overall gave a better tour. Here's a picture of the outside:

They also have a car and two motorcycles in the shape of wine bottles on display just to the left of this picture.

After the second tour, we had a quick lunch in a small place in the town, and then took the train back to Barcelona. I took a long nap when I got home, and that was pretty much it for the day!

On Sunday, my roommate offered to take me to his gym since he had a guest pass, so I went to lift, ride the bike, and try to swim. I say try because the pool turned out to be extremely crowded, extremely warm, and have only three extremely narrow lanes. It turned out to be more of a play-swim type of pool, rather than a serious-swim type of pool. But I had had a good workout in the gym beforehand, so I didn't mind just playing around in the pool for a while. The pool itself had a lot of cool features, such as see through panels on some areas of the bottom where you can see through to the people walking around beneath. I was glad I had my goggles!

On Sunday afternoon my other roommate arrived back from her vacation, and as you can see she fixed the internet first thing on Monday! On Monday (yesterday) I went back to the library, since I've been getting through books so fast without the internet to slow me down. The same guy is always working there when I go, and he's pleasant but never looks that happy.

I'm worried I'm going to exhaust the entire English section at the library, since it's only 4 shelves and I don't really want to read all the murder mysteries. Right now I'm reading Burning Bright, which is by the same author as Girl with a Pearl Earring. It's pretty good! There's another library closer to my apartment, so maybe I can use my same library card there.

Another long post! But now I'm caught up, since I didn't do anything too interesting today.

Buenas noches!

1 comment:

  1. You mentioned tasting the cava but you didn't tell us how it tasted! And do you have any pictures of the motorcycles shaped like wine bottles??