Trip Start Dec 10, 2008
25Trip End Ongoing
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
We were fortunate to stay at a very large campsite, possibly too big in some respects but extremely well equipped with excellent facilities including restaurant's, bars (overlooking one of the 3 pools), great entertainmet area complete with games arcade, lots of sports areas etc etc. Also, the most important thing for us, was of course the access to the city, and the bus-stop being outside the entrance.
So, we arrived into this bustling, cosmopolitan city ........
We did the only thing we could do (expect shopping as Tara had so predictably suggested), we jumped on the double decker tourist bus, which stops at around 35 stops, (which includes the Barcelona Footaball stadium, muesums and harbour) and we just sat on it for a couple of hours, with a running commentary/history etc, and just caught some glimpses through fogged up windows and downpours. Wasn't quite our ideal, however, it did give us a general perspective, and confirmed our desire to be back the next day for more (touring, not rain!)
Speaking of touring, we lined up with thousands of others (and waited 3 wet hours) to see the end of one of the legs of the Tour de France. It was just something we had wanted to do, and I have to confess, that we don't really know much about who is racing (other than Lance Armstrong), so after all the fanfare that is the build-up, (giveaways, parade etc), at the end of day we saw a whole lot of bikes whizzing past, on the way to the finishing post at the Placa d'Espanya
After that was over (around 5.30-6.00pm) the weather had subsided somewhat, so we jumped back on the bus, and sat on top of the double-decker and did another hour - okay, that was definitely different - you could see so much more. By the time we got back to the camp at 9.00pm, very tired, possible a little damp, and hungry, we plonked ourselves down in the camp restaurant (apologizing for our appearance), we ordered clams, which SOoooo fresh, they reminded me of the pipi collecting we used to do as children, and how we would boil up the water and eat them as soon as the steamed open. They tasted just like that. We converted Harrison, and ordered 3 plates of them the next night!
The next day, back into the city, (thankfully finer weather), and we saw many sights, that I can only describe as 'majestic'. The city dates from 1 BC, and was a Roman colony, so the history there is intense, it's on every corner in some form. What I personally enjoyed was the contrast, as you would see a building (in fact many) that was typically Gaudi's architecture (100 yrs ago and his presence is still felt through many sectors of the city; his inspiration was nature), to the very modern architecture and retail outlets, and everything else in between (ie: the olympic stadium, the cable car etc)
Also, that day we did a walk up the La Rambla, a pedestrian walkway that runs through the middle of the road, where the signts are as varied as they are bizzare. The vendor who sells hamsters and mice, sets up next to the silver painted lady and harp imitating a statue (very successfully). Admist all of that is the tacky tourist shop that will sell you a fridge magnet, a fan, and an 'I LOVE BARCELONCA' t-shirt.
I'm not knocking it - we bought one, and yes, ....... we do love Barcelona.