So from San Sabastian to Barcelona we set off in a train once again. We did not have any expectations of Barcelona as we knew little about the city. We were looking forward to some warm weather and luckily after checking the forecast we knew it was going to be warm. We had 3 nights in Barcelona and planned on meeting our friends Kirsty and Sam again for one day of exploring as our time over lapped.
Barcelona is well known for its architectual works of Anton Gaudi where his masterpeice, Sagrada Familia, which is classified as a Unesco world heritage site is incomplete. This huge iconic structure is predicted to be completed in 2026.
The city was also known for its pickpocketers but we felt safe and couldnt see what all the fuss was about. Nothing to how i imagined it would be like. People were too busy watching other people and soaking in the atmosphere of the vibrant city.
We met kirsty and sam and headed to the far side of Barcelona where we walked up to the palace and view the city from above. Views were great and the Sagrada Familia stuck out like a
sore thumb. Its one of those sights you need to get to in your life time and luckily most of us will get to see it finished nearly 100 years after it was started.
We also walked around the Olympic grounds which scott found interesting not so much Laura but got to see the open swimming pool, our friend Lauren will be racing in June 2013 for Swimming World Champs.
The great thing about traveling with other people is that they have also done their research into where to eat and go. Kirsty read about this Tapas bar near where they were staying and we all decided to check it out. We werent disappointed, a seat was hard to find but we managed to get one. The food was yum yum. We all shared a selection of seafood, grilled peppers, traditional spanish pompoms and meat. We have done alot of walking that day and were pretty tired when we got back to our hostel.
Now the great thing about hostels is their location, they are always central and near subways and the main tourist streets but the downside is sharing with other people and the bathroom situtation. This hostel
was very good in the case they provided a pretty decent breakfast however we discovered Barcelona is a very busy city and a top destination for many tourists, our hostel was packed.
We prebooked overnight train tickets to Paris a few days before going. We had to que for 2 hours and when we got to the ticket man, he was so rude and spoke no english and told me to go to back of que ( only phrase of english he knew) when i tried to communicate. Problem was night train was very expensive and we had to pay and extra 120 Euro on top of our Euroail ticket to get a seat not even a bed. After our last night train we were certain we were paying for a bed. That was not happening due to Mr Rude man at the counter. Instead of exploring other options for example day trains, we had no option but to pay for night train to avoid queing for another 2 hours.
So night train it was and thank god it was an massive upgrade from the portugal to madrid train. We had recline seats - woppee. It was almost
as flash as an airplane but more leg room for Scott. So after a semi decent sleep we arrived in Paris at 8:30 am.
Finally one of the most talked about destinations in the world - Paris. We arrived and checked into our hotel which wasnt far from the Luxembourg Gardens. We were pretty happy with our location of our hotel and the state of it. Paris being very expensive we found it hard to find anything within budget but did with this place. It was 50 metres from the subway and in a nice area so no complaints. Day 1:
We walked around the Luxembourg gardens, feeling pretty tired from a broken sleep on the train so headed back for a afternoon sleep and then explored Paris by night. We checked out the Notre Dame Catherdral, walked along the tourspist avenue and got sucked into a restaurant there. Tip of the day: do not eat there. Eat away from main tourest areas, we knew this but somehow we got suked in.
Highlight of the trip : Eiffel tower at night. It twinkled and was so pretty. We sat underneath it and soaked in the
romantic atmosphere. Wow we really are here we thought!!! Day 2 & 3:
These two days were very busy for us as we wanted to cram in as much of the Paris sightseeing as we could while we were there. This consisted of seeing the Arch Detriomphe (which we climbed and had an amazing view of the city), eiffel tower by day (with a bottle of wine, camerbert cheese and a baguette), musee de louvre (known for the da vinci), centre pompidou (national musuem of modern art), the basilica of Sacre' (another amazing view of Paris from this cathedral), food markets, the Pantheon (we had dinner beside this monument).
The one thing we ♥ 'd about Paris was the passion people had for music. The subways underground were always full of entertainers and even when you jumped on a train, a guy with his violin or lady with her microphone would jump on play and then jump off again. Due to budget constraints no performers recieved any money. If i was to give there were these 8 old men singing in the underground - rememberable.
So after a few action packed days we were once again
packing up and heading to the Normandy region to a little township called Bayeux. Time to relax away from the busy cities and in the french country side.......
Tot: 1.564s; Tpl: 0.089s; cc: 11; qc: 49; dbt: 0.0643s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 3;
; mem: 1.4mb