Tasty tapas, amazing architecture, and way too many photos!
25.06.2007 - 29.06.2007 26 °C
Excited to be getting a taste of another European culture and country, we set off for Verona airport. Once again (as was the case when Simon went to Prague, and when Shane and Sara visited), Verona airport was running late. The Italian passengers were not happy.
Nevertheless, they got us all on the plane, and after we had sat there for an hour and twenty minutes, and listened to a few explanations of the delay being a problem with the airport (not the Spanish airline, of course), we were finally told our delay was caused by a sciopero. Ah Italia. We finally got clearance to take off and we were on our way to Spain.
It didn’t take us long to figure out that to be understood in Barcelona, we just had to speak Italian with a lisp. “Grathiath!” It is so fun to hear Spanish being spoken, always so animatedly. Although it is a little confusing when it’s your taxi driver speaking it as if you should be able to understand, and you have no idea where he’s taking you or what he’s talking about!
We spent our first day exploring the city on foot, checking out the amazing food on offer in the markets.
We headed down to the beach where it was blowing a bit of a gale, but that didn’t stop the tourists packing it out and soaking up the rays (topless!). They even had a wheelchair ramp all the way to the water, pretty cool.
After exploring some funky shops and me even splurging on a new handbag we felt we’d earned ourselves a decent feed and headed to an authentic looking tapas restaurant.
The tapas and sangria was, of course, fantastic.
The next day both of us were pretty exhausted from the first day’s walking and pushing so we joined a bus tour.
This made it possible for us to see some of Gaudi’s amazing architectural designs across the city, including the cathedral which is still being built.
When the bus dropped us off at the stop for Gaudi’s park, we were met with a 350m walk up a very steep hill to the entrance. So much for taking a bus to be lazy! Under doctor’s orders to take it easy, I am not much help to Simon with hills, so I left him to it and he impressively powered up the hill. The park was nice, though after the marathon climb to get there, the next 3 levels of hill climbing were met with groans.
(another bad photo by a fellow traveller)
We were pretty happy to go back down the hill and hop on another bus to continue our sightseeing.
On our last night we followed TJ’s advice and went to see a fountain. Not really knowing what to expect we were blown away by the grandeur and the detail that had gone into this area called Montjuic and its ‘magic fountain’. The fountain does a light show display to music in the evenings which is truly mesmerising! Thanks TJ!
Before heading off for the airport, we thought we’d try and visit a cathedral we’d read was really nice, but had tried on 2 occasions to visit unsuccessfully because of siesta closing time from 12.45 to 5! The main entrance had a big flight of stairs so we were let in a side entrance which they promptly locked behind us.
After wandering through the beautiful building and gardens and taking our photos, we were ready to leave… but no one was to be found to let us out! So we had to sit and wait for about 10 minutes to be let out of the place…
How bizarre being imprisoned in a house of God.
We headed back to Barcelona airport, where our flight was delayed by an hour (guess why...) because of its late arrival from Verona.
Back in Verona for one night only, we filled ourselves with an amazing meal, said goodbye to our lovely landlord, packed up the car, and set off on the long drive to Provence.
And for those belly fans out there, here’s how it’s looking at 6 months… definitely not just gelato!