Where’s Colin? He’s still at the CityStop Aire in Barcelona.
Our second consecutive early start was, to an extent, negated this morning due to a blunder on my part. We’d walked two miles across town to get to Montjuic (including passing along a particularly dodgy narrow backstreet where something untoward was going on) before I realised that I’d mistaken Plaҫa d’Espayna for Plaҫa Catalunya, and thus we’d ended our Metro journey in completely the wrong place.
The impressive building was the centrepiece of Barcelona’s 1929 International Exhibition and is now a sizeable art museum
Contiuing to take advantage of the various escalators which have been installed to get people relatively painlessly up this (really quite little) hill, onwards we went up, to walk past the Olympic park, where a side (and downwards) trip to seek out some public conveniences allowed us to compare shoe sizes with various sports persons:
Up we continued to go, after the Olympic Stadium, with our objective being the castle, where we arrived at 10.50. That would have been remarkably convenient, had we wanted the guided tour, as the English language one was due to start at 11am. We opted to just wander, though, so with our €5 per head handed over, across the drawbridge we went, and soon we were looking down from one of the bastions, onto a side of Barcelona that most tourists probably don’t see – the docks:
There were some big guns dotted around, but the real reason I’m slipping this photo in isn’t because of the gun or the bronze, but the gorgeous sky:
From the other side of the castle (which, by my definition, is actually a fort) far reaching views were to be had over the whole of the city and the hills beyond, including snow capped ones in the distance:
To my surprise, there was far more to the fort than I’d anticipated, including a museum which spelt out how turbulent a time Barcelona has had, even in the relatiely recent past and the role the fort had played in that. Interesting stuff.
Lunchtime was then upon us, and we were in an area with no eateries, so downwards we went, deciding on the way that we would find the nearest metro station and make our way right across town to a place we’d walked past yesterday. We’d noted it simply because it was absolutely heaving at 2pm and no English menu was displayed. We thus deduced that it was very popular with local people and thus struck us as a good choice. Google Translate was called into action before we could order, but it did the job as we both got exactly what we thought we had ordered:
The plans for what to do next varied from A through C:
A) Go back to Colin and drive out of town for a night, returning tomorrow so as to take advantage of the art museum being free after 3pm on a Saturday and all day on the first Sunday of the month (a saving of €24);
B) Go and do some random wandering in bits of the city we haven’t yet seen this afternoon, stay another two nights and do the art gallery for free Saturday afternoon and Sunday; or
C) Stay just one more night, pay for the art museum and do it today and tomorrow (a ticket is valid for two days and the place is huge, so you’d likely be arted out to do it all in a day).
The final decision was C, and this time we got ourselves very efficiently to the correct Metro station, giving us just a five minute walk up to the entrance.
Exhaustion hit just after half past five, causing us to find a big comfy sofa in the foyer of the magnificent building to while away the last twenty minutes until they threw us out into the dark of the evening:
With just an hour to wait until the Magic Fountain was to put on its first display of the evening, we thought we’d see if we could manage to stick around in the rapidly-cooling evening. Two cups of tea saw us through the first twenty minutes and, just as we were wavering, some entertainment arrived in the form of a breakdance troupe. I’d like to post a photo or video of some of their display, but it was too good to spend time watching through my phone screen, so not a single snap was taken.
Suddenly the sound of water running had us move back down the hill to see a bit of this:
And this too:
Throughout all of which dozens of offers of ‘Water, Cola, Beer’ were declined from the hopeful hawkers.
Finally, after very nearly twelve hours of being tourists, we arrived back at Colin. Just one more day in Barcelona now. We really are going to leave at 4pm tomorrow.