Roger and Gayle ordered a taxi for 7:30am this morning to take them to the Barcelona airport. We had a wonderful time traveling with them and we’re sorry to see them go.
We ordered a taxi for 8:30 to take us to the train station for our 10am train to Madrid. When we got into the taxi the driver said getting to Sants train station could be very difficult because today was the Barcelona marathon. We made it to less than a mile from the station but then there was no way to get to the station. We told the driver we would walk, got out and walked the last .7 of a mile. Along the way the marathon leaders ran by us.
When we got to the station I wasn’t sure how we would get across the course and the runners. But an old guy suggested we use the metro station and it worked!
We caught our high speed train to Madrid with no problem. And then walked to our Madrid hotel.
Today we drove to Barcelona and turned in our rental car. After breakfast, but before we left the Parador of Aiguablava, Duke and I recorded his car review video. Aiguablava was so nice that we all agreed we would be very happy to go there again.
Getting to Barcelona was relatively easy but finding the car return place was a bit of a challenge because it had been moved since we were last in Barcelona. We had to drive around Sants train station a couple of times but eventually we completed the challenge.
We took a taxi to our hotel and then went for a walk along Las Ramblas and through the Gothic Quarter.
For dinner we went to Loura restaurant. We had a fabulous meal at Loura last time we were in Barcelona and our meal tonight was equally as good.
This morning we took the metro out to the airport to meet our friendS Rick and Elaine who will be traveling with us for the next two weeks. After they checked into the hotel we went exploring. First we went to the cafeteria at the top of the Corte Inglés department store on Plaza Catalan. for coffee and pastries.
Next we strolled down Las Ramblas.
We stopped to rest our feet and people watch for a while. While we were sitting there we saw a seagull kill and start eating a pigeon. It was gory!
Next we went to the top of the Columbus Monument overlooking the harbor.
Next we Walked through the Gothic Quarter on our way back to our hotel.
For dinner we went to a restaurant called Raó. The atmosphere was great. The people were friendly and the food was wonderful. We had several small plates each of which we shared.
This morning after breakfast we went for a great hike from Cruz de Tejeda along the ridge top. We could see all the way down to where we stayed in Las Palmas in one direction and in the other direction we could see the island of Tenerife.
Along the way we had a nice chat with a couple from Yorkshire in England. When we mentioned we were going to Barcelona they said “Beware of the pickpockets!” We agreed because we also know people who have been robbed in Barcelona. Of course we always try to be very careful and aware.
When we got back to the Parador we packed up and checked out. We drove to the airport, turned in our rental car and got a flight to Barcelona where we are tonight.
In Barcelona we took the metro to our hotel. As we were changing trains we started up a series of escalators. Then the escalator stopped. There was a well dressed couple right behind us. I started to climb up the stopped escalator and the guy behind me helped with my suitcase. We got on the next escalator and then it stopped. This time the guy was up by Duke and the woman tried to help me. As I ran out of breath and insisted on stopping I looked up and saw Duke push the man away from him and yell very loudly “You’re a f***ing thief!” By the time I got to the top of the escalator the couple were heading up the next escalator. We regrouped and I asked Duke what happened. He said he had realized the man had his hand in Duke’s pocket. The couple were pickpockets! They were stopping the escalators as a diversion. Luckily we didn’t lose anything. It was a very disconcerting experience.
We found our hotel, rested a bit, then found a tapas bar for a great dinner.
Our train to Paris left at 1:20 so this morning we visited the Palau de la Música Catalana. It is a concert hall built in 1908 and owned by a Catalan choir group. It was designed by the modernista architect Lluis Domènech i Montaner. I enjoyed seeing a gorgeous modernista building that wasn’t designed by Gaudí. It was designed as a box of light. The stained glass was especially beautiful. There was a children’s concert going on during our tour.
After checking out of our hotel we took the metro to the train station. The high speed train to Paris went through some of the Spanish territory that we toured earlier on our trip and then through the gorgeous French countryside.
It is exciting to be in Paris. Although I’ve been here before this is Duke’s first time in Paris. This is the view from our hotel room.