Barcelona, is the capital city of the autonomous community of Catalonia in Spain and Spain’s second most populated city, with a population of 1.6 million within its administrative limits. Its urban area extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 4.7 million people, being the seventh-most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, Madrid the Ruhr area, and Berlin and Milan. It is the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besos, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 metres (1,680 ft) high. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia.
MY city has proved to be more than I had expected. I was aware that Barcelona was a good city to visit but had visions of ‘another old European city full of old buildings’. My impression now is ‘a European city full of old buildings, merged in with many new and architecturally diverse buildings’. Of course, a mass of moving people, scooters, taxis and tour buses.
After shopping at the market for our breakfast, we took the Blue Route of the hop on hop off bus to the northern part of the city. These tours take 3-4 hours and are very popular with the tourists. We lined up for 30 minutes to board the bus for our journey. The top deck is usually full. A guy commentates on the buildings and architecture and various famous people of the city who lived in ‘that’ building or composed ‘that’ piece of music ‘there’. You listen in to your language through supplied earphones.
I had said to Lyn that we never get off at the touristy spots and were right outside the Barcelona Football Stadium soon after. I thought I could jump off the bus and buy some souvenirs and back on. Lyn suggested we get off and take a look around at what looked like a very busy attraction. It turned out that it surely was a busy attraction with official football clothing and souvenirs and other sports related ‘stuff’ available. The que to the ‘walk through the stadium’ visit was very long, each willing to pay 23 Euro to do just that. The retail hall was exceptionally busy with shoppers able to buy football jumpers and have their team hero’s name and number embroidered or stamped on them. They also had a little waffle bar and that became our lunch stop. (Now ya talkin’).
As we had said to our group members to fossick around and see the city, we had not expected to see any of them for most of the visit. While walking around the football precinct, we ‘banged’ into Lindley who was wandering alone. With 3 million people in this city, the odds of accomplishing that are way out of this world.
At the end of the Blue Route Tour, Lyn and I returned to the room for a rest before setting out by foot to see some more of the city. We found the Gotic District considered to be the old part of the city. Of course, there was another grande cathedral there and people milling around the square. We stopped to view some break dancers doing their thing; one guy seemed to be bouncing from a shoulder stand and into a head stand and back to a shoulder stand with the beat of the music. After his effort, I noticed he was a little ‘dazzed’ if that is the right word.
For dinner, we went into the supermarket across the road and found an Asian ‘cook and eat’ kitchen inside the supermarket. We ordered and for 6 Euros each had a very nice bucket of Asian rice or noodles with vegetables.
Another early night was our choice and we were asleep by 9:00pm.
We board the Royal Princess tomorrow for our much awaited for 21 day cruise around the Mediterranean – stay with us.