This was the entrance to the hotel?
The nice glass door with the name Hotel De Jardi had automatically slid open to reveal…stairs twisting to the left. I didn’t see a big lobby with cushy chairs and sofas, or a free-standing display of brochures for all the tourists, or even a big desk with a smiling, helpful desk clerk. Just stairs.
So my Dad and I lugged our bags up the narrow staircase to the first floor where there was a display of brochures, chairs, and a big desk with a smiling desk clerk who spoke Spanish.
Okay good. This was what I was expecting from a hotel. Glad that some things were universal in hotel land. The young lady behind the desk was from Portugal and she was very friendly as she gave us the key to our room. A real key with the room number on it! She then told us to leave the key with the clerk on duty when we decide to leave our room to explore. This was an old school hotel and I loved that. The set up reminded me of that John Cleese show “Fawlty Towers” where the guests would come to the desk in order to get their room keys after a day in town. I hoped the owner of our hotel was much nicer than Mister Basil Fawlty. Trust me, you don’t want to stay at a real Fawlty Towers.
Our room was on the third floor and the elevator was located on top of a flight of stairs. Yes, on top of stairs. So we dragged our luggage up the stairs and…where was the elevator?
Next to me was a glass door that looked like it was part of a tiny shower, certainly not an elevator. Guess what…it was the elevator. Like everything inside this hotel, it was narrow and small. The tiny thing could only hold one person with one piece of luggage. That was it. Two children could fit, but they still couldn’t bring any luggage. Okay, I decided to be our test pilot.
I put my bag in first, then me. Tight fit. Then I couldn’t figure out why the door wasn’t automatically closing after I hit the button. Soon I figured out that I had to shut the door myself before the sucker would work. Should have figured this was an old school European elevator.
The third floor was really a narrow corridor with three rooms. I opened the room and it was…small. Two small beds, nightstand, television, one chair, and a bathroom. That was it. Nothing lavish here. But a part of me LOVED IT. Why do you want the standard American hotel room? This had charm to the max. And when I opened up the window and looked at this view…
So what if it was a small room. Who wanted to live life in a hotel room anyway?
The next morning we went downstairs to the eating area for a breakfast served by the hotel. We found a table and a nice older Spanish lady gave us each a place setting with a napkin and silverware. Coffee? She asked us. Everyone said yes. The woman brought us each a cappuccino with milk.
Let me just say that this coffee changed my life. It was the best coffee I had ever tasted in my life. It was strong, but when you asked for it with milk, the blend was the perfect balance of sweet and strong. It tasted amazing, like my mouth couldn’t stop salivating between sips. Next came the food, a nice toasted baguette with a large croissant coated in a sugary like glaze. Jams, butter, and fresh cheese were available for the baguette. I went with the cheese and glad I did. The croissant was so sticky and delicious. Oh, and how could we not order a second cup of cappuccino. Seriously folks…it was THAT GOOD.
After a day of fantastic sightseeing, (which I’ll cover in another entry) it was time to relax at the hotel. We went again to our breakfast sitting area and sat on one of the two small balconies which overlooked the main plaza. The balconies were a perfect place to people watch.
Next cool thing was finding out about the automatic beverage machine located inside the hotel. It looked like an ordinary soda machine. But this machine had Coke, Coke light, (the European version of Diet Coke) and cans of cold Cervaza! (Beer in Spanish) No kidding. Beer in the soda machine.
I so love Spain.
So that night we sat out on the balcony and watched the world below us swim with activity. While I was still marveling at the fact that we haven’t even started our cruise yet.
Next up: A world wind tour of Barcelona.