Barcelona Nov 07

Barcelona Travel Blog

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Might not seem the most postive summary, but really I was expecting more, to be blown away by it perhaps. Such a popular destination from the UK and so many people I know had come back and raved about it, yet I wouldn't rush to go back. Was in Valencia the year before and found it just as impressive. Lacked any real sense of history for my taste and should probably have got a clue from the fact that it's main attraction is a shopping street. Still it was nice enough to be able to get out and about in the sunshine in November walking about in T-shirts.

Arrived at airport and train connection was closed as they were doing up the line. Ended up getting express bus to the main station and then jumped onto the metro system to get to our hotel, The Universal in the Avenida Parrallel.

Building at bottom of Las Ramblas
Turned out to be a great choice of hotel and we were soon out and about. Found a cafe/bar to have dinner and walked up to the Placa Espanya. looked nice lit up at night and them we got the metro to the bottom of Las Ramblas inteding to walk up.

Met a group of guys we knew that were over for the game as well. They were all at uni and were meeting a girl they knew who was over here doing a year of her degree. She ended up taking us on a pub crawl down the lanes that run off Las Ramblas and we had taken so many twists and turns that when we came out of the last pub we hadn't a clue how to start to get back to the hotel. Had forgotten to leave the trail of breadcrumbs so decided to get a taxi and it couldn't have been that far as it ended up costing just €10.

Bridge in the port

Next morning headed down to the port/marina area and  had a look about before going on the bus tour round the city. Walked up Las Ramblas and into the market . Saw a few of the living statues but there were so many it starts to become uninteresting. Also didn't seem right selling animals and birds from stalls on the street.

Had been well warned about pickpockets before going, but as we got up to the Placa Catalunya you could see them operating in teams outside the enterance to the metro station, they were that blatant. Onto the metro and up to the Goudi Cathedral which looks weird surrounded by all the cranes and then went to the Nou Camp and did the stadium tour. Headed back to hotel to get changed and decided to go to Las Ramblas .

marina
Cut along a street ,Carrer De Sant Pau, and came across hookers with their pimps and drug dealers. Avoid it, or head for it, just a bit of information, up to you how you use it :-)

We were more interested in getting food. Walked around a bit going down some of the streets off Las Ramblas and settled on one that looked OK. Ordered a couple of beers and then decided on sharing the Giant Tapas. Was going great and they just kept on bringing out different plates every time we finished one, but I drew the line at the baby octopus. Now I sometimes will take Kalamari by choice off a menu in Greece, but these still looked to much like little octupii and I just couldn't stomach biting into the head.

One of the great things about Barcelona,and Spain in general, is eating tends to be later, and so it was about 1am when we left the restaurant and went up to the top of Las Ramblas and found another bar.

las Ramblas looking up
Left here about 3am and were wandering down when we were propositioned by 3 young Oriental type girls. I found it quite sick, but kept watching in case they were trying to dip us as well. They were quite persitent with it as well, and I just looked at them thinking they weren't that much older than my own daughter. Glad when we got back to the hotel.

Wednesday was the day of the game. Were still sleeping whem another mate phoned to say they arrived at the airport with the day trip flights. Great, turned over and went back to sleep. Phoned again an hour later and after going for some brunch went to meet them in a square with arches off Las Ramblas. Spent the afternoon with the boys until they had to head to their buses and we went back to the hotel to get changed for the game.

market St Josep
 Direct train to the Nou Camp from outside our hotel. Won't bore details of ground and game but we lost 2-0 yet it was still a fantastic experience in one of the worlds best football theatres.

Police pushed us out of ground in different direction from the one we had come and we folowed the crowd until we came to a metro station. Once back in the system headed back to hotel and decided to get seomthing to eat despite the fact it was already after midnight. There was a little tapas bar round the corner,offset from the Avenida Parrallel at the junction with Carrer De Sant Pau . Were tired and couldn't be bothered moving after a long day so just sat and had realaxing meal before retiring to our kip.

Slept late,no phone calls to disturb us today, and  by the time we got going it was brunchtime again.

Placa Catalunya
Went up to the Placa Catalunya and started going round the side streets, and then abck onto one of the boulevards and walked until we felt it was time for another beer. Went back down Las Ramblas and stopped in a few of the bars before reaching the bottom of it and walking back up to the hotel. Grabbed a couple of hours sleep and cut back across to Las Ramblas and down the street the restaurant from the 2nd night was. Went to a different one and went for something easy to eat and then just went back to hotel.

Had to check out at 11am and dragged our cases  up towards the Placa Espanya before stopping at a pavement cafe and  grabbing soem tea and coffee bfore getting a taxi to the airport,which was about €25. Only really one cafe/snack bar at the airport, but it is quite nice once you get through to departures.

As I said,I liked it well enough, but I felt it lacked that something extra, that you find in say Rome or Paris, that would make you want to go back.

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Building at bottom of Las Ramblas
Building at bottom of Las Ramblas
Bridge in the port
Bridge in the port
marina
marina
las Ramblas looking up
las Ramblas looking up
market St Josep
market St Josep
Placa Catalunya
Placa Catalunya
Gaudi Cathedral
Gaudi Cathedral
Cathedral from park
Cathedral from park
Away fans get the tiny bit right a…
Away fans get the tiny bit right …
Nou Camp
Nou Camp
Table Football Nou Camp museum
Table Football Nou Camp museum
Stained Glass window
Stained Glass window
European Cup
European Cup
Museaum ground floor
Museaum ground floor
Placa Catalunya at night
Placa Catalunya at night
Mate at the game
Mate at the game
Start of CL game
Start of CL game
View from the top of the stadium
View from the top of the stadium
Barcelona Hotels & Accommodations review
Good location,good value
Might not have been overwhelmed by Barcelona, but this was a good hotel to stay at. Good sized comfortable rooms, with a great bathroom and shower. We… read entire review
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photo by: fivepointpalm