Friday, 4 December 2015

Barcelona

Not too far down the coast lies the 'small town' of Barcelona…
So many van stories read off forums of how bad it is here for security and vans being allegedly shot at on the AP7 motorway that, although we've always dismissed them as either Tosh or very isolated incidents, it still jingles about in your head
So loads of research later we take root in an Aire next to a small stadium 14km from the city and conveniently only a short walk to the train station



Arriving late afternoon at the Aire meant we could either wait for tomorrow or just jump on the next train, which is what we actually did



Happy Bunny with the Placa d'Espanya as our point of entry to the city behind


At the huge roundabout is a tall circular shopping complex with a lift that takes you up to the panoramic roof terrace and restaurants


So the selfie had to be done...


A very long way off atop Mount Tibidabo overlooking the city is Sagrat Cor, a Roman Catholic basilica


In our local vicinity the architecture is made up of medium rise apartments 


Some more swish than others...


The area of Montjuic


Christmas shopping is here for Spaniards but no where near the hype and tat of the UK


Its soon dark and we are busy walking a very long way in total around the shops and narrow streets leading to the Gothic Sector


Barcelona Cathedral


and its stunning interior...




Its our 15th Wedding Anniversary today so Nina's choice of meal was traditional Paella


I'll take this for 7pm on the last day of november


Seasonal sparklies



Next day we decide to 'Fozz' it in to the city as it seems to be rammed with folks on scooters


Our first port of call is La Sagrada Familia, an absolutely huge basilica that first began construction in 1882 and is still in construction today, can you believe it!




What are these?


This is one heck of a building project with cranes hundreds of feet up in the middle section


I thought bowls of fruit from a distance but you decide….


As ever it was swarming with tourists and the fee for entry was, we thought, a bit too much
The verdict on it was:
Nina liked it
I thought it was a huge carbuncle with no classic lines and a mish-mash of too many styles, some bizarre to say the least IMHO….. 


This was more like it…
The National Art Museum overlooking the Magic Fountain



Impressive or what?




In front of the museum, having arrived by escalator, we are greeted by the non licence-holding tick tacky men in groups selling the ubiquitous selfie sticks and other tat you have no need of.
This guy has taken the trouble to dye his doves and convince numerous orientals the necessity of a photo with them…
Nina thought it highly amusing, and one up for the poor doves, when moments later the orange one left a 'deposit' on his coat




View of the city from the museum


Cheeky...



No selfie stick, just my arm….
Cheaper and more readily available, just got to work on the Narcissism 


Way off down town we see the Torre Agbar and some of its 38 storeys


Back on Fozz right across the city and we visit, and gain entry to, Park Guell



Although quite crowded we made our way around its porcelain features and within half an hour felt like asking for our cash back
There are quite large public gardens you can then gain free entry in to but you are not allowed to re-enter the hillside Park. Given that the scooter is parked down the hill at the main entrance how do we get back then?




Some nice porcelain artwork here but not worth the half hour ride across town nor the entry fee I'm afraid


After loads more scooting and ambling the streets we locate to the port area and discover Nina's dream boat. Dream on baby…..


Very tired and very hungry we do a bad thing and enter a Turkish food emporium…
The food was actually really good and served in a sitting area graced with these beautiful light shades
Full marks given here to the kebab shop owners….

We navigate back to the van with Nina shouting directions in my ear from Maps.me on the phone and settle in for a well earned sleep
As ever two days is not enough but we will continue our Barcelona visit next year hopefully...