From Valencia, it was one big drive up to Barcelona. We arrived quite late at the ‘City Stop’ to find that it was no longer operating. It was a lorry park with an area set aside for motorhomes – similar to Merida and some other larger towns we have stayed in. The lorry park was still operating, but the pretty nasty security guard would not even let us turn around or stop five minutes to plug the backup location into Sally. There was plenty of room, we were stopped in a turning area, but he shooed us out and stood preventing us even turning around, so we had to reverse out onto a busy street. Great! We then sat in front of the gates for ten minutes while we sorted out the satnav for the backup – so dunno what the silly arse gained 😉
The backup location was right on the other side of town, and it was now dark. Sally didn’t care and we drove right through the middle of Barcelona. It has an interesting road layout – grid system like many US towns and with mainly one way roads.
Our first day exploring was the Sagrada Sagrada Família (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagrada_Fam%C3%ADlia) and a ramble down La Rambla taking in the market. It was our most expensive day out since leaving home. The Sagrada Familia tickets were 72 euros and with the metro tickets and a 60 euro meal – the needle was truly bent against the peg on the budget!
We had already visited the Sagrada Familia before – on a day trip from Tarragona with Charlie a few years ago. But we didn’t have the time to look inside that trip. This time we did and were amazed. What a fabulous building. Gaudi was very clever – he made iterative changes to the original design and it was really interesting to see in the museum the original design plus the four main designs leading to the present building.
Gaudi was also very clever in the way that the building was delivered in stages. He wanted to ensure that the building could operate while still being built. The present plan is for it to be complete by 2026 – the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death by tram car!
Our second day was spent at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museu_Nacional_d%27Art_de_Catalunya. A huge collection of art set us up for the day.
Day three was the Poble Espanyol de Montjuic, which is a kind of outdoor architectural museum. It comprises around 50 building each in a unique Spanish style. It also had an art gallery, so we got to see some more art – some Picasso ceramics!
That was about it for Barcelona – we need to get some km behind us on the race to Rome!