Barcelona Travel Blog› entry 3 of 5 › view all entries
The next morning we meet our friends at the breakfast buffet of our hotel. Since we’ve travelled together for years, we all know what to expect from each other. Jochem and I are grumpy in the morning, while Rens and Carol chat as soon as their eyes are open.
We must be quite a sight, the four of us at a breakfast table. Rens and Carol are having lively conversations, while Jochem and I happily eat in silence and nod every once in a while.
Last night in the hotel bar we had decided we would use the Barcelona Tourist Bus (Barcelona Bus Tourístic). When I was in Barcelona over ten years ago, I accidentally discovered this ideal form of transportation for people who wish to walk the beaten path.
I had already marked the nearest bus stop of this Tourist Bus on our city map, and as soon as we’ve all finished eating and I’m ready to produce full sentences, I take out the map so we can look how to get there on foot. At that point Jochem also decides it is time to utter some words. He has the suspicion bus drivers in Barcelona are on strike today.
Since there is a chance that only regular bus drivers are on strike and not the ones who drive the Tourist Bus, we have a look at the bus stop to make sure.
Twenty minutes later we are at the bus stop where a new and fresh sticker is put over the sign with the time table. I don’t remember the exact words, but it was obvious no bus was going to pick us up.
A couple of short rides on the metro, a sturdy walk and a stop at the fast food joint at the site for some drinks later, we are ready to take the tour through the stadium. We managed to find the line for the ticket office to get the expensive tickets (and it was quite a long line!), once we found the starting point of the tour we have to wait for a while.
As it turns out, the tour starts with a 3D movie that takes about twenty minutes. Once it is our turn to get a seat at the small theatre we quickly discover that this movie is quite a joke (especially if you’ve seen a couple of 3D movies in Disney amusement parks).
The tour leads us through dressing rooms, bathrooms, the press room and of course the grandstand and the impressive football field. The tour ends at the small museum where you can see the cups Barcelona has won. We also pay a quick visit to the huge FC Barcelona store, mainly to be amazed by all the junk they sell here.
Our next stop is going to be a bit more complicated to reach without the Tourist Bus. First we have to walk from Camp Nou to the metro station, ride the metro then we have take a long walk uphill to Park Guell. But if my memory serves me right it is worth it, Park Guell is one of the highlights of Barcelona.
Park Guell was built between the years 1900 to 1914. It was designed by Antoni Gaudi and it was meant as a commercial housing site with sixty triangular lots for luxury houses.
Today, Park Guell has been converted into a municipal garden. There is no entrance fee, but you do have to pay admittance to view Gaudi’s house, ‘la Torre Rosa’. I didn’t see this house on my first visit to Park Guell, but it turns out to be a lovely surprise. It is full of the furniture Gaudi designed and it’s absolutely beautiful!
The buildings flanking the entrance, the large lizard that is in the middle of the stairs and the main terrace that’s surrounded by a long bench (all with gorgeous mosaics) are the main places of interest in the park.
As a bird lover, I also notice several monk parakeets flying around. These birds are originally from South America, but they have been deliberately released here to add further colour to the park. They have a pleasant chirp and it’s really cute to see them built large nests in the tall palm trees.
We go back to the hotel to freshen up, after that we have a long dinner and drinks at a small café nearby.