Monday, 16 April 2012

16th Apr TARRAGONA – BARCELONA

A nice easy drive to the aire in Barcelona, Sat Nav did really well. On the way I spotted this bright blue flower on the verge – it was Borage; I mention it as it’s one of my favourite herbs (I freeze the flowers in ice cubes to serve in drinks in the summer).

The aire is literally a lorry park with an area for campervans, the main appeal is that it’s got 24 hour security which means all our possessions are safe whilst we’re out and about doing our touristy bit – Barcelona has a  bit of a reputation for thieving (pick pockets, muggers etc); which is why Brett is wearing a money belt and I’m not allowed to carry my bag! The aire is not cheap 30 for 24 hours and we’re planning on staying for three days, as there’s so much we want to see, but it’s worth it for peace of mind.
We arrived at midday and had a quick lunch. Brett had read that Barcelona had good cycle paths and cycling was an easy way to travel around the city. As we didn’t have a map we took Sat Nav with us; we asked her to take us to Park Guell, she said it was 3.8 miles away – of course it was up hill, after about 3 miles the cycle lanes had disappeared, so we locked the bikes up and continued by foot – I had the brilliant idea to get Sat Nav to remember where the bikes were parked. We walked and walked (uphill) for another mile or so, not knowing if we were going the right way – it’s very badly signposted, probably because most people travel by COACH or BUS (not bike/foot, as it’s not close to the city centre). Anyway we arrived, me hot, sweaty, tired and bad tempered!!!

There were lots and lots of tourists, coach loads in fact! The place was surreal, fabulous, inspiring, weird, wonderful, and unbelievable – we took loads of photos.
Fantastic columns holding up walkways
These look like 'Gingerbread Houses'
Mosaics everywhere
Even in the ceilings

Close up of ceiling
And around windows

I even managed to find some glass! but it didn't photo well
When we left we asked Sat Nav to take us back to our bikes, as we left the park by a different entrance to the one we came in – it’s actually quite hard to use a Sat Nav while walking, it doesn’t respond very quickly and for some reason our one keeps getting lost and spinning round and round in circles. After ½ an hour or so we finally made it to where she said our bikes were – it wasn’t where we had left our bikes!!!!!! She’d taken us to the wrong bloody place, but there on her screen (about a mile away) was written ‘Bikes’...... we finally we found our bikes (phew); and now all the cycle paths were down hill which was much easier – until this stupid bloody pedestrian stepped onto the cycle lane (without looking) in front of me, right in my path – Brett was really impressed that I didn’t fall off (he said I would have a few months ago!) or completely run over him, we only bashed arms, I honestly couldn’t avoid him any more than that and he didn’t even apologise.
Tomorrow we’re going to the Cathedral ‘Sagrada Familia’; Brett says we’re going to go up the towers – I’m going to wait and see what they look like close up – he says he’s not asking me to climb stairs, there is a lift ............ yes, and then you have to walk across abridge (500’ up in the air) to the next tower to get down!

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