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Published: December 5th 2011
There was a bit of confusion with trains so unfortunately I spent more time than intended at the uninspiring Portbou train station where I sat with 2 party boy Australian lads who had been on my overnight train. I still don't see the appeal with Contiki tours - being completely wasted the whole time and not remembering much. This is surely something you could achieve at home? The whole thing just seems really trashy to me and like a complete waste of time.
Anyway the train to Barcelona took quite a long time and I finally arrived there at about 1pm. Luckily I was able to get off the train at the metro station where my hostel was. It was very hot and it wasn't long before I found my hostel. To my disgust they wanted to charge 2 euros for bedding and 4 euros for a towel!! I got out of paying for bedding though. Near my hostel was Casa Batlló - the first bit of Gaudi architecture I saw - love his work!
Again, it was ready, set GO as I only had a day here and had to leave early the next morning for Alicante. I
started with a meal of steak and chips at a cafe for a suprisingly reasonable price before heading to the famous street - Las Ramblas. I think I was disappointed by Las Ramblas because I had built it up so much in my head. I walked along the harbour where I was struck by the unusual structures such as these wooden stands that didn't seem to serve any purpose whatsoever. They were just wooden slats and wouldn't have provided any shelter or anything. Really bizarre. I reached the Parc de la Ciutadella which has the zoo, botanical gardens and Parliament of Catalonia within its grounds before coming across the Arc de Triomf which was an unexpected sight! I then made my way to the Sagrada Familia - the Pièce de résistance of my trip to Barcelona. It was a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be and construction workers were hard at it as they probably always are to try and finally finish this masterpiece after 128 years. Apparently 2012 is the year it will honestly finally be finished. We'll see!
I then made my way back to the hostel past Casa Milà - more of
from Mount Montjuïc
Gaudi's amazing work, before deciding to take the funicular from Parallel metro station up to near the top of Mount Montjuïc. Dusk was starting to set in so I wanted to find a nice viewing spot before dark. I came across Jardin de Laribal which was an absolutely stunning garden. I could have spent hours there but daylight was quickly evaporating. Again I was lucky with timing. I got the view over Barcelona in daylight, at sunset and all lit up at night. Glorious.
The next morning was a real ballsache. Got up ridiculously early to go to get the train to Alicante. Got the metro all the way to the main station just to be told there were no more seats left. Grr stupid reservation system. Back to the hostel I went where I indulged in the free breakfast after going for an early morning pre-tourist stroll towards Las Ramblas waiting for the next train to Alicante.
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