Barcelona!!!!…. how can I forget?
Barcelona!!!! ….The moment that you stepped into the room you took my breath away!”
Queen, Freddie & Montserrat Caballe.
Whenever the name came up, the only thing I ever saw in my mind’s eye, was Freddy on stage in the spotlight, in a bright yellow jacket, white trouses, red piping, legs apart, clenched fist thrust into the air and a sky full of fireworks exploding behind him. BANG! One word, one image, like a smell generates a memory. I didn’t know why.
I do now. Viva Barcelona!!!!
It’s hard for me to quantify. Define ‘vibe’. It’s in the look on people’s faces, it’s in the way they speak to each other, happy, excited, you can see it, you can feel it!
‘Hey, it’s a nice day, let’s make the best of it’, attitude. It’s a very contagious buzz. If only you could bottle it. I’ll be honest, I thought I’d hate Barcelona city. The main reason we are here is for the WRC rally on Thursday night, but I did want to see the Sagrada Familia. I don’t normally like big city’s, I think it’s because my main example is London, that’s not a dig at London, but Barcelona is not London! If everyone in London had just come back from an ‘all expenses paid’ months holiday in Acapulco, and when they got back to London, they were told the sun was going to shine for the whole of winter, it may be a little closer… a little.
Barcelona Bus Turistic
Ok first up, just to get our bearings and there’s no better way than a Tourist bus trip. I do like a tour bus/train, it helps you get your internal compass set. If you ever do come to Barcelona (Bcn from here on), I can recommend the ‘Barcelona Bus Turistic’, you get two, 2 hour, + one, 1 hour rides, packed with info via headsets, (18 languages) a guide-book of all the tourist spots on route & a superb map. We took the 2 day option to spread it all out a bit, about €40. The busses weren’t too full this time of year, so we had no trouble getting a seat upstairs. As an idea of the scale of Bcn, it may take you 30-40 mins to walk from the centre square, to the Sargrada Familia and a further 30-40 mins to walk to the Park Guell, that would be over an hour to get back to the centre! I did look at the tube system, but couldn’t work out where to tourist spots were, in relation to the underground names (well done Transport for London) & what would you see from the window of The Tube?
The red route bus trip was great, but after all that sitting, time for a walk… & ‘when in Rome’…
A pedestrianised road purely designed to extract euros from you pocket, restaurants, bars & tat shops mostly, with the odd scattering of street ‘artists’ & beggars. Ignoring La Rambla itself, (I wish) but branching off it, there are some visually stunning, top quality food markets & open courtyards to wander in. A quick trip around Bcn Cathedral, which I thought was underwhelming for such a major city ….& that’s day one done, back to the campsite.
Another ‘if you ever come to Bcn tip’, is our recommendation of choice of campsite. We are in the closest, open site to Bcn, 30km to the north near Mataro (the o has a squiggle above it, but I don’t know how you do that yet, answers on a post card please) & did we drop on!!?? Camping Barcelona.They lay on a 50 seater coach to & from Bcn, twice per day & the staff really are superb, helpful & genuinely happy to help. I only asked ‘what other ways of getting back to the campsite are there if we miss your free shuttle bus? I was given bus time tables, train time tables, diagrams of where to catch the bus or train, route numbers, the colour of the bus & everything but the drivers dogs name! Crackin’ service! Top marks to Barcelona Camping. Other camp sites are available….
Tips: it is only possible to book here on-line, they don’t take telephone bookings, or you could ‘chance it’ & just turn up.
It was cheaper NOT to use our ACSI card, just pay the standard tariff for a pitch,€17. The campsite will pre-book all of your attraction tickets & print them out for you
for a very small admin charge.
You WILL need to pre-book Sargrada Familia 2 days in advance! The day we arrived at around 11am, the on site ticket office were taking bookings for 5pm that day!
How we justify the cost: If you were to catch a service bus for three days, to Bcn & return @ €4 per adult, per trip, deduct that from the pitch & that brings the pitch cost down to €1 for those 3 days or €10.14 pn spread over 7 nights, that’s approx £8.11pn..! There is a camperstop 1km outside Bcn, it’s €35pn, urban & noisy. There are wild spots, but near a big city, with Charlie alone all day?…nope.
“Barcelona!!!!…. hope that we will meet again…..some day.”
Back tomorrow 😉