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Published: June 19th 2006
Elated Aussies congregating outside Hogan's pub in La Ramblas after the 3-1 victory over Japan in the Worl Cup.
Well, I did a bit of a jig whilst carrying my pack down the gang plank in Tangier on Sunday morning.
Whilst I really loved my visit to Morocco, I was excited about returning to Spain. Uneventful fast ferry trip, booked my overnight train ticket to Barcelona via Bobadilla (where is that you may well ask? Answer, somewhere between Cordoba and Granada according to my GPS), and wandered around a very quiet Algeciras. Afterall, it was Sunday and nothing was open.
Got to Barcelona at about 10 am Monday morning. As usual, had failed to pre-book any accommodation and, as has been usual to this point, this did not end up presenting a problem. Before I even made it to the tourist information counter at the train station, cheap accommodation, including the bus number etc, had been provided by a hostel "hawker". Got to love good customer service! Ended up being very divey, as expected, but in a great area and close to La Ramblas and La Sagrada Familia (Gaudi church). And given I had only 2 full days in Barcelona, cheap and quick options are definitely good.
Spent the morning wandering the around the local area before
La Sagrada Familia
Outside La Sagrada Familia - "The Passion" facade. The other side has "The Nativity" facade.
checking in. Then spent the whole afternoon in and around La Ramblas. Walked in and out of many lanes, down to the Port area and back to Hogan´s Aussie Pub for the World Cup match between Australia and Japan. Well, due to stopping to take too many photographs, I missed the Japanese goal by all of 1 minute. The demeanour in the pub was therefore angry when I arrived. Over a jug of sangria, I watched the second half of the match seated next to a native Texan, Jeff, who was now living in Barcelona. He had money on the Aussies so was very interested in the match. I had all but given up on our boys when, as you all would know, we scored the equaliser and then 2 more goals all in the last 10 minutes. Well, the Aussie crowd went wild. As well as singing 'Waltzing Matilda', 'Advance Australia Fair', and 'C'mon Aussie C'mon', the crowd spilled onto the street to ensure that all of Barcelona knew the result. In the end, it was all too much for me, getting a little embarrassed by their over-enthusiasm so I went to do some more sightseeing.
A fantastic sight in one of the parks I happened to wander through.....
La Sagrada Famila, Gaudi's Temple of the Holy Family. It is still under construction but is an impressive, and eclectic, building. I went up the elevator and stairs to get a great view over the city and a bird's eye view of some of the Gaudi design work.
The next day, I wandered the streets again, visited the Barcelona Cathedral and the area known as Barri Gothic before ending up at Parc Guell, Gaudi's landscaping effort. Again, impressive architecture and good views over the city.
After watching more soccer at the hostel (Brazil versus Croatia), I am starting to feel caught up in World Cup fever too.
Next stop, Stuttgart, Germany which is one of the German cities hosting World Cup matches. Should be even more fever-pitched there.
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