Fri 6 Jun 2003
Barcelona was a fabulous experience! After the Sagrada familia and the first day, there were many other beautiful things to see. One small damper occurred when we found out that my camera was busted. It had started to play up on the top of the eiffel tower (probably fed up with the wait as well) and after developing the first roll, it wouldn't wind on anymore and so we started a quest for a new camera to capture our experiences. Of course, being on a fairly tight budget, we were looking to get a second hand camera. This is not an easy feat when you don't know where a store could possibly be found! We did manage to find a store that had a few second hand camera's and went for a rather cute looking Kodak Bertinette, which is fully manual, not an slr and without even a lightmeter to help set the exposure - great fun! We shot a quick roll of 12 shots and put it in to develop to check the results and it works fine, so should do nicely. Because I'm not that great at guessing exposures, I've been lugging around the other one, just to get a reading, which makes everything a lot heavier but should provide better shots in the end!
We did actually do more that second day in Barcelona - a lot of walking around mostly, walking past the Sagrada Familia again and down to La Pedrera and a few other Gaudi buildings as well on the way. We also spent some time in the beautiful park to the southeast of the city center. Visited an art museum and browsed around the park and the beautiful old fountain at the top end of the park. The day was finished off with a nice paella and a whole jug of Sangria, which after a couple of wines already had the rather undesirable effect of resurfacing the paella in the middle of the night.
Yet another Gaudi building to start of the day. The Palau Guell is the former palace of Gaudi's main benefactors, the Guell family. The visit there takes place in the form of a tour, so we found out a lot more information about Gaudi and some of the finer details that we may have missed otherwise.
After the Palau Guell, we tried to visit Montjuic, but in the end couldn't be bothered, because it was too hot! We found our way up to the entrance and had a great view of the city from there, but then gave up and returned to our hotel for a siesta.. rather a nice way of life really
We spent the evening wandering down to Barcelonetta, which is where the beach is located and made a rather unfortunate choice of Tapas, choosing two seafood dishes (which Janelle dislikes). Not knowing the language allows such things to easily happen.
We were to leave by train to Seville at 10 PM, so we had another whole day to kill and still had a few things that we wanted to see as well.. We had bought a two day ticket for the metro the day before and used it well. First stop was the Parc Guell (yet another Gaudi creation), and the gruelling climb up the steps thanks to malfunctioning escalators. The views are spectacular though and the park was well worth the visit.
Next stop, we returned to La Pedrera, which we had only walked past on the second day in Barcelona. Now we were committed to visiting it on the inside and climbing to the rather spectacular rooftop. The most impressive part for me though, was the apartment area, which was fitted out in its original style - very interesting. We finally caught the metro back la rambla again and walked through the old town again, visiting the Cathedral's courtyard and the geese in it one more time. For dinner, we now overcompensated for our previous night's mistake and had two dishes of sausage, which proved a little too much.. not much luck with food at that point!
The train ride from Barcelona to Seville proved fairly straightforward, although we had to sleep in separate berths! I felt rather bad, coughing all night and keeping all the other occupants awake. Finally made it though!