Jul 08, 2018

Are you ready for Barcelona?

On Tuesday June 5th we had a 4 -5 block walk to catch the airport bus.  Great deal at 12 Euro each, $18.15 CAD.   We were dropped off as far away as possible from our check in area ( lots of walking at the Nice airport ) so I was able to walk off  our pasta dinner 😉  We were flying with Vueling mostly because of the great fare.  It cost $212.00CAD for both of us to fly from Nice to Barcelona and that included a piece of free checked luggage as well as advance seat selection.  A great deal.  My only grumble is that I had to pay 2.2 Eu or $3.45 CAD for a small bottle of water once we cleared security which was a snap.  Not only did the water cost so much I had to actually show my passport to buy it.  The cashier could not tell me why when I asked but there was no way I was going to buy that water without my passport.

It was a very nice 80 minute flight.  We always sit across the aisle from each other when the flight is 3 seats by 3 seats.  The Barcelona airport is huge and it seemed like we had walked around it twice before we got to the luggage pick up area.  Definitely had walked off my dinner from the night before. We were soon on the airport shuttle which had a stop just four long blocks from our VRBO.  Sadly as were were just the one block away Colin felt something dripping down his back and off the one hand.  Suddenly there was a guy there saying ‘oh sir what happened’ and asking me to open my purse for some Kleenex.   Colin had this thick smelly white stuff dripping down his back.  We of course were stopped in the middle of the street but I gathered our bags around me and kept watch.  This guy kept trying to help clean Colin up by patting him all over.   I figured out that sour milk had been poured onto Colin but at first we thought it had come from an above balcony and kept looking up.  Why would someone pour sour milk over a balcony down to the sidewalk below?  It dawned on us about the same time that this was a scam.  This fellow was basically a pickpocket trying to rip us off.  About a minute later a fellow from across the street shouted out to watch our bags.  The fellow patting Colin down slithered away.  What a welcome to Spain 🙁  So glad that we speak some Spanish.

The area we were staying in was lovely.

So much green everywhere and little parks with places to sit on at every corner.

Our condo was well situated, marked with the dark ink scratched dot in the upper third left in the grey white area of the map.  We were within walking distance of most areas.  La Rambla is the street between the purple on the left and the red middle area which included the Gothic area.  Sometimes we walked and others we would walk 3 blocks to the subway and we were right there in the middle of La Rambla.  If you take a direct right from our apartment we were only eight blocks from Casa Batllo and then just another four blocks from there up to Casa Mila.

The link to our accommodation can be found here.  Such a delightful place, it actually was a penthouse type apartment with an outdoor patio, be sure to check out the photos.  Great price for $173.00 CAD per night and fabulous location.

This is one of the four views from the deck.

The view from the kitchen window.  We loved our 6th floor very private apartment.

Next was a free city tour of the Gothic Quarter which was absolutely fabulous.  Having done all of the walking I had already done that day we should have taken the metro, instead we walked.  I walked over 21,000 plus steps on this first day in Spain. We did have fun navigating all that distance and we saw so many different sides of Barcelona.  At the end of the day I had walked a lot and my feet were beyond tired.

As we approached the Gothic Quarter we got caught up in the tiny winding streets.  We had time before the tour to grab a tuna sandwich which was so good that we wanted to go back after for another one or some tapas which were not ready at 3:15PM.  But we could not find that place later.

We had a few free moments for Colin to try on a pair of shoes that caught his eye in the window.  He did not buy these but another pair in another shop the next day.

The tour went close to three hours and the fellow was worth every penny of his large tip.  This was the Gothic Barcelona Cathedral.  The cathedral was constructed from the 13th to 15th centuries, with the principal work done in the 14th century.  We had planned to get back there to check out the inside but we ran out of time.

Barcelona is a hot bed of politics right now with a huge vote coming up again this fall regarding the Catalan situation.  There are yellow ribbons all over Barcelona stating ” Free Political Prisoners and Exiles”.

Did you know that Barcelona flew three flags.  Our guide was passionate about explaining the politics and the reasons for everything to us.  He was trying very hard to get everyone to understand.  Sadly I was not in top form as I was working on suppressing my coughing so as to not disturb the group.

Each flag represents who you do or do not support.  Many many balconies were expressing their voices.  Feel free to delve into the politics if you are interested.

We walked a long way and came to the Santa Maria Del Mar Cathedral built between 1329 and 1383 a great example of Gothic architecture. It was built by the people ( locals ) for the people.  The reason I took this photo was to show what has to be the only statue of Jesus with the biggest ears ever.  The tour ended shortly thereafter and we did stop in to see the inside of this interesting structure.

We took our time heading back towards La Rambla, which we used as our main navigation point.  These appear to be very popular in Europe.  But why would someone want to be wearing what looks like bedroom slippers to me as a fashion statement…

…when they could be wearing these instead?  Good prices I have to say.

Then there was this shoe shop that only sold ballet flats.  For certain you could get the exact color you wanted here.

These meringues caught my eye.  They were huge as you can tell by my finger.  We never did get to taste them, perhaps next time. We ended up settling for seafood paella for dinner.

It was good to get back to our apartment and go to bed as we had another full day coming. This was taken from the kitchen window.

This was taken form the outside deck.  A great end to a long and wonderful day.





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16 responses so far

16 Responses to “Are you ready for Barcelona?”

  1. ARIZONA GAL says:


  2. George Yates says:

    Another very busy interesting day, love the Gothic buildings.

  3. Steve says:

    Again, great photos that show your trip. I love that city and the buildings.

  4. I’ve never heard of the sour milk trick, that’s a new one, glad you guys caught on. Damn thiefs! I’ve never been to Barcelona, maybe some day we’ll get back to that side of Spain

  5. Jannose says:

    We loved Barcelona. Don’t know if you did the Hop on Hop Off Bus there. It was an excellent and inexpensive way to see the area over a 3 day period.

    • contessa says:

      We never used the hop on, hop off bus as it just did not appeal to me. We researched what we wanted to see and just went for it. I never saw the hop on/off in Barcelona.

  6. Dolores T says:

    What a beautiful apt!!!
    Boy!! U sure did walk a lot!! No wonder u were tired out!!

  7. Dee Tillotson says:

    The statue of Jesus not only had big ears, but also had big hands. I wonder if there was some symbolism there. The meringues were so tasty looking. People have it all wrong; you should be able to eat dessert first!!

    • contessa says:

      No symbolism, they just used cheaper artisans as the locals themselves were paying for the church to be built.

  8. Maxx Trails says:

    You are the second couple I know to have that scam happen to them in Barcelona … and I only know two couples who have been to Barcelona 🙁 I love those boots!

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