19.04.2009 14 °C
My mission this morning was taking the metro to Nou Camp. After getting ready and eating my hotel breakfast, I headed out. I needed to get to FCBarcelona today. I was told months ago by a friend here in Germany that it is a must-see if you ever travel to Barcelona so I had to see if he was correct.
From the metro, I was to take the train to Palau Reial but of course I took the wrong train! I did say I am horrible at directions and in particular, buses and trains. However, after discovering I was headed in the opposite direction(2 stops after getting on), I jumped off the train and hopped again, this time in the right direction. Within 10 minutes, I reached Palau Reial and trekked up to the FC (Fútbol Club). Now, coming from Canada and outside Toronto specifically, waiting is not really in our vocabulary. Plus, I am a very impatient person by nature so standing in a long ass line for over an hour was not appealing to me. Especially alone but I once again, I sucked it up and stepped in line. I have a feeling that I will be doing a lot of waiting in lines while on this continent. I waited, and waited and waited.
By the time I got the front, my patience was at it's limits and I just wanted to get out of the line. In the end, it was a cool tour but of course, I forgot to take pictures. After the tour I decided to take the hop on/hop off bus to see a bit more of the city. Although it was freezing, I opted for the top bunk to get better views of the city below. And, my camera was primed and ready for action.
It was after 2pm at this time and my 7am breakfast had long since worn off but I ignored it and carried on my city tour. I decided to stop off at Sagrada Familia. I had only seen this church via internet pictures and deemed it was an ugly eye sore but after viewing it up close and personal, my opinion changed. Wow, I love it! It is so gaudy and strange and ginormous but interesting and weirdly beauiful that I now understand why it is reverred as a top tourist attraction in Barcelona. I didn't go into the church as that would have been another 1 hour wait and the views from the outside were fantastic enough. I took many pictures and then moved on.
This time, my hunger pans refused to be ignored. There was a McDonald's close by but I have a deal with myself not to eat any fast food while in Europe. This might change as Tobias is adamant about visiting McDonald's for dinner soon. Instead, I went into a cute little bistro for a cheese & tomato panini, fanta and a spanish Churros for dessert.
Oh my gosh, so good! I sat down at a quaint table and enjoyed my meal. After lunch, it was time to move on. I was impressed with the Sagrada Familia but there was lots more to see and do.
I was now on the hop on/hop off again and since I am entertained very easily, I stopped at the site, Tibidabo to get a panoramic view of Barcelona. In order to get to the top, we had to take a tram and then a funicular which totalled about 10,00€ return. Oh, the views were spectacular.
Pic inside the tram:
I am afraid of heights so I took pictures away from the edge at the top of Tibidab but still, it was a wonderful experience.
It was almost surreal with the strong cool winds gusting through the mountain and children laughing from rides up high in the sky.
Pictures of Barcelona from way up high on Tibidabo
At one point, after the novelty wore off (that happens a lot with me) I decided to climb higher and check out the church, Temple de Sagrat Cor, at Tibidabo.
I went into the basilica for some great pictures and reflection on my vacation thus far. Afterward, I took the funicular and then tram back down to the tour bus meeting point.
Here is where I met an American family and got to speak! The wife and I chatted it up for a while until we had to part ways at Catalunya Sqaure. My next destination was simple and purely girlie, shopping.
Since I arrived in Barcelona, I had noticed the fantastic fashions everywhere and wanted in on that action. So, after getting off the bus I walked the extremely short distance to H&M on La Rambla. I was in heaven as they have the best clothing I've seen to date. Of course I spent some €'s that I didn't need to but......when in Spain........
After shopping I refused to go back to the hotel as it was still early and it was technically my last night in the city (tomorrow I had a full day tour) so I got back on the tour bus, this time the blue line, and headed to the harbor and pier. In my line of work, it is alway interesting and exciting for me to see ships docked and the large bodies of water in which they sit on.
I was on that bus for about 2 hours when I stumbled off and ran to a nearby McDonald's to use the facilites. Sitting on a bus while freezing with a full bladder for 2 hours is no fun. At all. When the bus stopped at the square I gingerly got off and ran/hobbled/walked to MdDonald's to use the facilities. Afterward I felt great so I walked along La Rambla again, with my H&M bag in tow, got a sandwich for dinner and went to the hotel. I was feeling very cold so I turned in after eating. It was about 9:30pm. I watched a bit of the Simpsons and the end of Dodge Ball, Catalyna style.