Night Location: Barcelona, Spain
Song of the Day: City of Blinding Lights - U2
Honorary Song of the Day: Barcelona - Freddie Mercury
Mumisode of the Day: "Hello." Yes, Mum did it again. When the waiter approached the table, Mum once again looked up at him and simply said, "Hello." She then realised what she had done and started to laugh as did the rest of us.
This morning we awoke to brilliant blue sunshine. The mist had left and the city of Carcasonne had an entirely different feel. After another cheap breakfast and some more photos of the walls, we piled into the people-mover for our last transit day as a group of six. Amber and Gemma have got the packing mastered; however, there isn't much room for anything else. David has has what can only be described as a perch in the back, and the three other children are fairly friendly. Games of 'Scrabble' and 'Ticket to Ride' keep us amused, as does the iPod.
There was only one stop today before Barcelona: Girona. For Gemma, Amber and Mum, this was their first time in Spain so it was a very exciting moment as well as another country. Once again we were left searching for the right words in Spanish as we attempted to order lunch. The weather couldn't be better; it is really quite hot in the sun. Definitely hot enough for gelato.
After lunch, Dad, Gemma and Gareth set off to explore the cathedral of Girona which has the largest Gothic nave in Europe and second largest nave overall after St Peter's Basilica. Quite beautiful inside with a massive set of white stairs out the front; much better walking down than up.
As we approached the city of Barcelona, we did make an attempt to listen to the 'Barcelona Gold' album on Gareth's iPod: the soundtrack of the 1992 Olympic Games. Alas, the songs really were terrible, the only champion song being "Barcelona' which was played at our first sighting of the city. Our hotel is right in the centre of the action again: quite new and very funky. All the rooms have awesome lighting, and the 360 degree view from the rooftop bar/pool is incredible. Quite an interesting shower experience though as it is a glass wall facing out into the bedroom. Not much privacy here.
Gemma, Gareth, Mum and Dad set off exploring the city. It was so warm that Gemma didn't even take a jacket, something she regretted significantly later in the evening. First port of call was the famous Gaudi Cathedral. A work still in process, but what an incredible sight. The building is like nothing we have ever seen before: so art deco and so creative. The outside only gives the slightest hint as to what you might see on the inside, but nothing really can prepare you for it. The columns that form the internal structure are shaped like the trunks of trees with the roof being a canopy of leaves as though you are in a forest. It is so light, and everywhere you look the attention to detail just astounds you. Gaudi wanted the tip of the steeple to be the first thing that sailors saw on their return to Barcelona, a symbol of hope. Very sad that he was hit by a tram before much of it was completed.
Just to compare, on our way back to the hotel we stopped in at Barcelona's main cathedral and it really was so stark in comparison. The truly impressive thing here was the cloister, complete with fountains, geese and palm trees. We really are into the Mediterranean once again.
In our absence, David had been researching a place for dinner and so led us to a funky vegetarian restaurant where we enjoyed a tapas style degustation menu. Absolutely fantastic, particularly Mum greeting the waiter with her famous, "Hello."
Can't wait to explore more of this fabulous city.