Day 1 Tuesday

Our hostel was on a quiet back street near the famous Las Ramblas. Once checked-in and sorted out we headed off to Las Ramblas.



 

History of Las Ramblas

Derived from Arabic, Rambla or (torrent) reminds of far-gone early times when the Ramblas marked the course of the seasonal river. In the dry season, the channel created by the water of the wet was used as a road. By the 14th century it was paved over in recognition of itís use as a link between the old town and harbor. In the 19th century benches and trees were added overlooked by stately balconied buildings. It is now the possession of the pedestrian, with traffic forced into one lane on each side.

 

On this famous street there are lots of stalls and performers. Just off Las Ramblas we came to Mercat Boqueria, (the main market) a sea of fruit & veg stalls. We took some photos then did lunch at a tapas bar in the market; Bar Quim.

 

Day 2 Wednesday

We went to the harbor and found a few places to try in better weather. The Museu d'Histora de Catalunya was very interesting and we spent ages in there. We watched a documentary of Barcelona through history, but we only understood a few words. The museum covers different aspects of Barcelona's history and lifestyles of it's people.

 

photo of bearsac sitting in display kitchen
 
photo of bearsac sitting on display tram

There were set ups of kitchens in different eras, I sat at the table of a rather fetching old kitchen. There was a drivers cab bit of a tram in one hall with a projector screen on the wall opposite. There was a small projector on the top of the tram projecting a cine film of tram journeys of Catalonia from the driverís perspective. It must have been filmed when trams were first introduced there as the people on the street - suited and booted and tail dressed adults included - were jumping excitedly in, and at the last moment out of the way of the tram path. It really felt like I was driving it and everything.

 

photo of part demolished building displyaing various colours

There were some partly demolished buildings, which looked - from the clothes and sheets hung to dry on the balconies - that they still housed occupants in the retained flats where next wall neighbors flats had been demolished.

 

 

Day 3 Thursday

Left after breakfast for our 2nd hostel, Hostel Ramblas. We had booked here for 1 night then 2 nights somewhere else and then back here again for the rest. The other occupants were still asleep so Debra just did basic unpacking and we went to the aquarium. We were in there for about 2 Ĺ hours, it was fabby dabby. I liked the glass tunnel where all the fish, including sharks and stingrays swam menacingly overhead. At one time I almost forgot where I was and thought I was under the ocean. I was scared when the big stingray with itís gills opening and closing, got too near and my fur stood on end and everything.

 

photo of children sitting looking a fish tank  

 

There were some little children sitting cutely in a row in front of a tank being told about the fish that were swimming past.

 

photo of bearsac inside play submarine

There was also play area, Debra got stuck in straight away, I didnít know where to put my furry little face. She was crawling through tiny glass tubes with water swirling around within the double glazed tube. She was crawling under the glass of the stingraysí open tank and she got to stroke them. Not me though, they looked a bit slimy. I was though, more than happy to join Debra in the submarine, that was cool. I loved the little penguins, which we could see from both under and above the water being fed.

 

 

photo of homage of barcelonaeta

 

On the beach and found the metal stacked boxes "Homage to Barceloneta" by Rebecca Horn, erected in 1992, which is made to resemble the buildings of the area. After a little paddle in the sea we came to a beach gym where we spoke to an old man who showed how to us the equipment.

 

 

photo of bearsac with no weeing sign painted on sheet

I laughed when we came across a sign for "No Weeing" on a building and just had to get Debra to take a photo.

 

Day 4 Friday

We checked out then off to our 3rd hostel. Simply called "Home", it was the best of the 3. In a quiet road in the suburbs it promised peace and quiet. We got the Metro to Espanya stn. With our t-dia (1-day travelcard).

As we came up onto the street there were a bullfighting arena, we didn't go there, dont want to see poor furry animals be treated cruely.

We visited the "Palau Nacional" (Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya). There was Gothic and Roman art. There was also a beautiful indoor arena with an large organ - It had been set up with tables and chairs for some function.

At the top of the mountain we walked around the Anella Olimpia (Olympic ring) where the 1992 Olympic games were held.

We entered "Poble Espanya", which is an old village of craftshops and workshops in old streets and squares enclosed by a wall. It was built in 1929. Entry was 7 euros for 1 person or 3.70 euros each for a group of 15+. Debra hit on the idea of gathering strangers together until there were 17. She had a bit of assistance for the maths as not everyone had the right change. There were a few orange trees but we were not lucky enough to have any drop off as we went by. By the time we had had enough it had become overcast and was starting to get cool.

We continued along the road and paid a visit to the Contemporary art Museum. It was really quite boring. Maybe it was interesting, but we were too tired to be interested. Grabbed some food and a bottle of red wine to take back to the hostel and Debra photographed me with Barcelonaís Arc de la Triomf in the background.

Back at the hostel - after some well-needed rest Ė Debra cooked dinner and opened the wine and ate and drank in comfort. After dinner we had a chat to some people in the sitting room before going to bed about 9.30. At last Debra slept well.

 

Day 5 Saturday

We went out for short walk in the woods on a hill and returned back the hostel got our stuff for the days exploring of Park Guell. It was said to be about an hours walk, but we kept getting sidetracked wondering what was down this way and that way.

photo of bearsac man on stilts

We came across a 10-foot man and lady dressed funny who were dancing. Debra said they were on stilts but I donít believe her. I asked the man if he would pose with me for a photograph, he was happy to oblige.

 

photo of bearsac sitting on mosiac covered salamander
photo of colonnade

 

After a bit of a walk we hit the woods at the back of Park Guell and was escorted by an old man to the bit we had traveled so far to see. Were we came in, through the back, led out onto a very large balcony. We found our way down to the stairway with the Salamander and I posed with him for a photo. We went into the porterís house; Debra got in at the student rate of 1. 50 euro.

photo of 2 tiered colannade type thingy  

 

We sat and listened to some musicians playing under the balcony between the carved stone columns.

After a couple of hours we headed back to the hostel and we had lunch at 4.30. Had a lay down till it was dark, then the fireworks started and the loud music from the school down the road where there was a party. The reason for the party and all the people weíd seen dressed up was it was the start of carnival week. Debra was too tired to go out to Las Ramblas in the town center for the possession seeing that we were now in the suburbs.

 

Day 6 Sunday

 

photo of bearsac sitting on a wall by a small river

Got the metro to the river weíd seen on the map. We walked until we decided to turn back and see if we could scoot back to town.

 

photo of bearsac sitting on wall with beer factory behind

Came across a beer factory (could have done with one or 10 by now). Debra must be mad to scoot back as it was about 7 miles down to the sea and then about 6 miles along the beach sidewalks until we got to anywhere we recognised, which was 2 miles from the hostel. We scooted about some more and ended up going into a church, we thought it would be nice to listen to a service to in Spanish. Debra was doing all the stand up, sit down, kneeling bit with the rest of the congregation. On leaving I crossed myself with holy water. It was getting dark when the service finished. By the time we got back to the hostel for a rest we had done about 15 miles on a microscooter. We scooted back to the Ramblas, watch a Spanish rock band play for a bit and finally back to the hostel to heat our dinner in the microwave.

 

Day 7 Monday

Out and about 8.15 through old town and into Parc La Ciutadella which housed the Museum de Zoologia Historia Natural.

 

photo of bearsac sitting stone stairway in front of duck-pond

There was a nice duck pond with nice ducks that quacked at me and everything. An ornate staircase as a back drop to the pond, or was it a duck pond as the foreground to the staircase?

photo of bearsac sitting on trunk of a mammoth

We then met a wooly mammoth that wasnít at all wooly, called Mabel. I posed on her truck and at her feet for a photo.

 

photo of bearsac sitting being held by woman with 2 other teddies

We scooted to the Sagrada Familia via Placa De Tores monumental. There was a coach tour of humans in the way of our trying to snap the building so we went up and talked to the teddy bears sitting in the windscreen of the coach. The driver and rep held the bears for a photo with me.

 

photo of bearsac by sagrada familia

The building of Sagrada Familia (Temple of the Sacred Family) started in 1882, and Gaudi was made Project Designer a year later, working on it until he died in 1926.

On the way back to Las Ramblas again, we stopped when we came by a TV crew filming the street scene. We of course took the chance to get me on screen, as Iím so cool. So I might be a Spanish TV star by now.

 

 

photo of bearsac being walked over by pigeons

We scooted round the round square, which was full of pigeons. I sat on the ground to feed the pigeons and they knocked me over and climbed all over me. That's gratitude for you!

 

photo of bearsac sitting in middle of a ring of dancing statue people

Came to a statue called the "Sardana" which was of people dancing in a ring holding hands. I sat in the middle for a photo as the sculpted people sang " Brown bear in the ring, tra la la la la".

We then headed to "Castell de Mountjuic" which once was a beacon tower for fishing fleets to find their way home. In the 1640 reapers War, the beacon tower was converted into a castle fort in 30 days for fighting against of the Castillian army of Felipe IV. Barcelona was starved into submission. In 1714, after the siege of Barcelona, The Bourbons blew up the original castle and in 1759 replaced it with one that specialised in torturing Castillian political prisoners. I sat on one of the big guns used for firing at ships. I was very happy that it didnít go off, the vibration would have blown me away!

 

photo of bearsac standing on century duty

I had a go at standing century duty but got fed up after a few seconds.

 

 

Day 8 Tuesday

At last, this morning Debra didnít feel that she needed to get up and at it before 8am. We stayed in bed till 8.50. Breakfast, then the market, for bread, strawberries and fresh soup. Debra made our sandwiches for lunch and we headed off to the beach about mid-day. It was a lovely warm day, so after the last few days of walking, climbing and scooting we deserved rest and a relaxed lazy beach day in the sun. After about an hours sitting looking out to sea Debra decided to build a sand castle but then changed her mind and made it into a sand teddy bear and named it Sandy.

photo of bearsac sunbathing in the nude photo of a sand teddy bear

 

Sandy attracted some amused smiles and questions from passers by and got hit by a football.

 

Day 9 Wednesday

We visited the Piccaso museum, it was 5 euros to get in. There were some of his paintings from a few years before his death, photos of Picasso by various photographers and there was artwork by other artists. There were doodles on scraps of paper with stains on them they looked like someone had taken them out of the bin and ironed them. Some looked like Mr. Bean had drawn them!

Looked around another gallery and a church then had a bite to eat in a bar. There was thickly sliced French bread topped generously with various toppings like salmon moose with dill, grilled Mediterranean veg, something that was like cross between soft tofu and soft cheese, grilled fish and others. It was a euro apiece. We had a nice chat with a couple who thought me cute and like my boxing gloves that Debra had bought for me along route.

After eating we continued the old town and followed the sound of drums. We hit upon an anti-war demo holding up traffic and of course joined in.

 

photo of bearsac sitting in middle of road in anti-war protest photo of bearsac with spanish police

 

Photographers came over to photograph me sitting in the road. Debra also snapped me. The protestors stopped vehicles from passing, only allowing an ambulance through. Later police in a plain white van stopped at the metal barrier that had now been erected by the protestors and one got out, moved it and then put it back where the protesters had placed it once the van had passed. This got a round of applause from the protesters. The police are human too I suppose. The protesters moved on towards the Ramblas and split up, proberly to get some food. Debra and I sat and people watched on a wall saying "Hola" (hello) to passers by. I was dancing to some nearby music and some people gave me money!

photo of man sitting reading with dogs with kittens for sale

There was an old man sat on the floor reading. He had 2 large dogs and a box of kittens with their mummy.

 

Day 10, last day Ė Thursday

Checked out of the hostel and headed for the other hostel where we stored Debraís rucksack until the flight. We headed for Mount Juic again and took in the peacefulness of the park for some time.

photo of 2 dogs and mannaquin in shop doorway

Looked around the shops and met two dogs in a shop doorway next to a dummy dressed a s a Spanish lady. They told us how cool it was to be a dog in Barcelona.

We walked around most of the day, taking a break for lunch. At 6.20 we were off to the airport.

Debra had her hand luggage searched as a knife had shown up on the x-ray. But it was just an eating knife that sheíd forgotten to hand back when she borrowed it from the hostel. They gave her back, as it was not a danger.

The flight was delayed by 2 hours so we were glad when we finally got home and had some sleep.

 

 

photo of bearsac in basin having a bath

When we got up the next day I had a Bath, you should have seen the water. Yuck!

 

 

 


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