Part Trois – Panic in Barcelona

Barcelona today. Always a highlight of a trip to Argeles-Sur-Mer as it’s a nice easy drive, hop on the A9 and turn left, then just keep going about 1h45 to 2hours Autopista (motorway) all the way.

We missed the chance to go early as, well we didn’t get up early plus I managed to tweak my back bending over the day before so I took my time and plenty of pain killers and let it free up slowly.

We have always parked in the same place. A 2 minutes walk from the Sagarda Familiar but this year they limited the parking to 4 hours. A guy on duty told us of an alternative just around the corner. Very tight! If you don’t know most parking in Barcelona is underground. The first time we went we had a Vauxhall zafira with a roofbox which meant we could not get into any of the parking garages. We had to return another day minus the roofbox.

Will they ever finish this?

First thing was a quick walk around the outside of the Sagarda to take note of any new bits. There is something new every time we see it. We bought a couple of Barcelona FC shirts for friends kids and decided to do the most touristy thing we could. The tour bus. €29 each gets you hop on hop off access to 2 routes around the city all day. We have done it before and it’s actually a pretty good way to get to most of the stuff you are going to want to visit/see. Sounds expensive but hey we’re on holiday.

We rode the bus from Sagarda past a beautiful hospital, past park Gueil, one of Gaudi’s contributions to the city and around to passeig de Gracia which is where 2 of Gaudi’s famous buildings are located. First some lunch.

An Spanish/Italian place called Samoa seemed to call to us. I had a nice mushroom risotto and Halys had a Ceasar salad a couple of drinks and Halys had a Catalan crème brulé which was a given. I had chocolate brownie Banana ice cream. My eyes nearly popped out when I tasted the ice cream! More banana flavour than a dozen bananas! Pretty amazing.

We then bought tickets to go in La Pedrera the closest of the two Gaudi’s buildings. It was originally built as a private house, for a wealthy family who also rented out apartments in it. People still live their today.

Surprisingly their was not a massive que. But I bought the tickets online and we walked straight in. The tour starts on the amazing roof with it’s amazing chimneys and turrets. The turrets are actually ventilation shafts and staircases. Due to Barcelona’s covenant stating a maximum height for buildings the views are spectacular!

Next is the attic space which in most buildings is pretty mundane, not here it’s like the building has a rib cage and you’re now inside the ribs. This houses a series of models of Gaudi’s buildings and explains how he designed.

Next is the top floor apartment showing how residents would have lived in the buildings hey day.

The weather today was well into the 30’s and as you can imagine in a building of this age air con is minimal and so it was hot and sweaty. Once we got out we found some shade and a drink.

This is where things went south, fast!

We were sat on a low wall and waited for the next tour bus. When it arrived we grabbed our bags and hopped on.

Travelled to the Place de Catalunya where I realised my phone was not in my pocket!!! Panic set in we quickly established that I had not dropped it in the bus and jumped off. All my cards were in the phone case!

Panicing I told Halys to ring my phone. Someone answered! He told me he was Police and he was on passig Dr Gracia. I started the long walk/run back all the time thinking this guy’s winding me up. He’s gonna have me running all over Barcelona for a laugh. Turns out he was stood with another officer outside the Hugo Boss store waiting for me. He asked my name. He’d checked my cards and I showed him my fingerprint unlocked the phone! I have never been so relieved! Everything was still there too.

We got another drink in the shade and hopped on the rest of the bus tour which took us to the marina, the beach, Diagon alley as Halys calls it, Avenue Diagonal in reality and back to Sagarda Familiar. By this time it was 8pm and we decided we should eat before heading back.

Every time we go to Sagarda I walk past this “free buffet” restaurant which always looks inviting. Lots of salad and fruit. It’s right by Sagarda so not what you would expect. We decided to give it a go.

€10.75 each as much as you can eat and drink. Nice big salad to start, then roast chicken and potatoes followed by ice cream. Go back as often as you want. To be honest neither of us went back at all except for drinks. Had about 5 cokes. The food was very nice. There was also plenty of choice including Pizza, pasta etc….

We got back to the car and set off home. Sat Nav saying we would arrive about 23:20. The gate is locked at 23:30 so we should just make it.

We did and rounded off the day with a Long Island Iced Tea and a shower.

I’ll add some more photos when I retrieve them from my DSLR

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