It was our last day in Barcelona so we tried to get started as early as we could (subject to the powers of recovery from the beer and the Cointreau!)
We packed our cases and checked out, leaving our luggage to be collected later in the day as our flight was about 10pm.
It was strangely quiet out on the street – well it was before 10 o’clock in the morning.
We had decided that we needed to take the ‘Bus Turistic’ to see as much as the city as we could before we left.
First we had to find some breakfast to set us up for the day so we headed up the road towards the bus stop looking for a café or similar.
We saw a chap carrying a take away bag but the first place we saw open was Starbucks.
We did go in and have a look what was on offer to eat and then we left to find a proper eating place which we did around the corner, a patisserie where we sampled the delights along with drink.
We started with the blue bus route and we plugged in our earphones, selected UK and we set off on our adventure.
First major sight was the Sagrada Familia – done that, didn’t have a T-shirt though.
We went through an area called Gracia which looked like a place to investigate when we visit again.
Onwards we went past the Park Guell where there is a Gaudi museum which was once his home.
The next stop was Tibidabo, the highest point in the area, so we got off to investigate.
You get to the top first by tram then by a Funicular railway.
We boarded the Tramvia Blau which has been running for over a hundred years.
When we reached the end of the line we almost had a re-enactment of Gaudi’s demise.
As we pulled into the stop we managed to run over the bicycle of a cyclist who was leaning against the kerb minding his own business with his headphones in listening to his music.
Another tram had just set off on the return journey and had pulled out into the track in the middle of the road. We were approaching the stop on the inside and the cyclist just did not see us.
The tram dragged his bicycle under the wheels and luckily he managed to leap off in time.
He was a bit shocked and apologised to us on the tram for causing trouble.
He went off checking his bike for parts that were in a different shape to what they should have been.
Old Gaudi must have turned in his grave.
Undeterred we moved onto the Funicular to get to the peak.
Tibidabo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibidabo is an interesting place when you get there and I would think you could spend many hours there especially if you are a family.
We had a wander and checked out the view, albeit a bit cloudy at the time.
We quickly moved on and retraced our steps on the Funicular and the tram then back on the tourist bus.
We passed through more interesting looking areas namely Sarria, Monestir de Pedralbes and Palau Reial-Pavellons Guell all looking as if they needed investigating if only we had the time.
Then on to the Nou Camp before we transferred to the Red bus route.
While we were waiting for the Red bus to arrive we spotted a Patisserie (another one!) so decided it was time for lunch so we ventured inside and with difficulty, and the help of a local, ordered several bits from the cabinet.
I had a Potato Tortilla and my other half had a spinach quiche as well as couple of nice ‘afters’ and drinks which I paid for.
We waited for our meals to arrive as they had to be prepared and they duly arrived with a nice bowl of salad so we tucked in.
After a couple of minutes one of the girls behind the counter came across and gesticulated at the salad. Evidently I had not paid for the salad, in fact it might have been an order for someone else.
I just paid the extra for it and carried on eating.
While we were having lunch it was interesting to note that several couriers and drivers from the tourist buses dashed into the shop just to use the loo.
We then joined the Red bus to take in the main station, the trade fair pavilions and museums before we approached the Olympic Park built for the 1992 Olympics (very topical).
Further on there is a cable car that takes you down to the harbour.
Down in the harbour there were several cruise ships docked as this is a popular stop.
We ventured on, passing many more places of interest and we hopped off the bus for a rest and an ice cream.
We then joined the Green bus route and it was getting very warm at this stage of the trip.
The tourist next to me had decided that the route map was more use to him as a sunhat rather than a guide.
The coastal area has been redeveloped from a dense cluster of factories into a place of recreation and culture for everyone to enjoy.
We finished the green route then hopped back onto a red route bus to get us back to our hotel to collect our cases before we headed off to board the train to the airport.
As we wandered back to the hotel I thought I saw a tramp sleeping on a bench but on closer inspection it was a couple having a siesta.
On our return flight there were three groups of lads, presumably on a stag do or similar, as one of each of the groups had one of the chaps dressed in female attire. They did manage to get through customs as presumably their face still looked the same as their passport photograph.
We had a good flight back and even the groups of lads were quiet as it was probably the first rest they had for days. They were mostly on soft drinks as well.
We landed at Bristol and arrived at the customs hall.
There were about 8 passport checkers as well as 4 self-checking machines which was encouraging.
Great, we shouldn’t be long before we get through.
It took a lot longer than in Spain as they got us to walk up and down the room in lanes before we reached the counters. We must have done about 100 unnecessary yards.
I did notice the ‘do-it-yourself’ passport checking was not working very efficiently as it needed extra staff to help people through taking longer than actually checking the passports – welcome home.
Back home and in bed by 1:30 am……..alarm goes in 5 hours….
Barcelona , I would recommended it even for a short break as less than a two hour flight and the train into the city only takes 15 minutes. There is lots to do when you are there, suiting all tastes.