Of all the cities in Europe, this was the one I was most looking forward to.  Everyone raves about Barcelona so I couldn’t wait to check it out.  As it happens it was a bit of an anti-climax for us – compared to Paris it didn’t have the same beauty, attractions and ease to get around. 

However to be fair our experience was tempered a bit by a few things that weren’t really the city’s ‘fault’ – dodgy, expensive campsite, unable to speak Spanish, getting lost one night on way home on train (30min journey turning into nearly 2 hours late at night) and getting ripped off!  That’s not to say we didn’t have a great time…

The famous La Rambla

I should add that before Barcelona, our first stop was L’Estartit.  Lovely little town and you can just imagine it packed to the rafters in summer.  We couldn’t find campsite or aire so we just parked up for the night right on the waterfront opposite the marina.  Probably illegal but no one seemed to mind.

Pretty much dead centre you can just about see our van

Anyway back to Barcelona!  We spent a good amount of time just wandering around (and picking up our mail from the Poste Restante) and also hopped on one of those open top tourist buses which was a great way to pack in the sights.  Lovely buildings, markets and interesting people and things to see – the city comes alive in the evenings and both nights we went in we were there until late.  During the day, the market just off La Rambla was a highlight and we stocked up on great food for dinner that night.

Really nice fruit – cheap as chips too

EDIT:  Realised I left this post rather abruptly.  Been having all sorts of internet problems (eg chewing through our 500mb/day allowance in 2 hours…damn malware!).  Anyway to wrap up Barca, on the bus tour we passed by the Nou Camp stadium.  Throughout the city got a real feel for how passionate FCB fans are – merchandise everywhere.  As a matter of fact, we were there when they were playing Man City in the Champions League… texted my mate Tony the newspaper front pages while he was at the game in Manchester!

Is this that Gaudi bloke, Karen?

We also went inside the old Olympic Stadium, had some lovely tapas and each had a jog along the waterfront… there was even someone surfing some clean little one-footers – I was keen but no chance of hiring a board or wetsuit where we were.  With schoolwork included we filled up our 3 days there very well!

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