Night Location: Barcelona, Spain
Song of the Day: I've got a feeling - Black Eyed Peas
Mumisode of the Day: "We are going to be with other people so you can't be silly." Mum was giving Dad instructions before boarding the cable car as according to Mum he had his bright eyed squirrel look on and was going to scare us to death.
Another fabulous day in a fabulous city. The group had decided to splurge on the buffet breakfast at the hotel so we spent a great deal of time lingering over breakfast in order to get our money's worth. Amber and David cleaned out the fruit bar pretty much by themselves.
Dad, who has been to Barcelona before and considers it to be one of his favourite places, was very excited to show us the city. First stop of the day was the Olympic Stadium situated high up on a hill overlooking the city. We chose the funicular to pull us to the top rather than slogging it out ourselves. Fairly smart we think! Today was incredibly warm. Gemma who had worn a long-sleeved shirt instead of taking a jacket was on fire.
The stadium itself is really very nice. It is sunk into the top of the hill rather than being built from ground level up and so from the outside it looks a lot smaller than it is. As it was first constructed in the 1920s it has an older feel about it which is also quite unusual. You can walk in and have a look around. The stadium then spills out into a massive forecourt with fountains and views over the city. The swimming pool site is also built on the side of the hill so from the stand you have a commanding view of the buildings below. Great spot to take a picture of our hotel here.
Since our arrival in Barcelona, we have all been wanting to ride on one of the cable cars that carries you from the Olympic site down to the port or up to the castle. After some initial confusion about which one to catch, and a cold drink on a terrace looking over the cable cars, we lined up for our turn. Gemma was a little bit nervous initially as she doesn't really like the feeling of swaying around and has had some bad experiences previously. Dad, Gareth and David laughed at this and Mum said, "There will be none of that." Luckily the gondola was large enough for more than just us and so everyone had to behave. The view as you travel along the cable is just magnificent. You are so high above the water and the buildings, you can look out to sea and you really get an appreciation of the city. Gareth and Gemma both took a lot of photos.
You land on top of a big tower and then catch a lift to the bottom, out onto the beach. People everywhere were lying on the sand and swimming. Not really what any of us expected for this time of year, but as stated previously, it was really hot. The boardwalk along the coastline is such a great place and connects to a bridge over to the aquarium.
Perhaps the most exciting find of the day was the Christopher Columbus statue at the end of the Les Ramblas. As mentioned previously, this has been the nickname given to Dad by the group given his intrepid nature and his tendency to charge on ahead. Dad posed in front of the statue and then we walked up Les Ramblas in search of breakfast.
Les Ramblas is a fantastic boulevard that connects the port with the centre of the city. It is really wide, and is lined with shops and restaurants. What makes it even nicer are the trees that are growing all along this main road; not really what you expect on a main city road. We found a great vegetarian place with falafal rolls and salad bar. David filled up his sandwich about seven times; he got great value for money here.
After lunch we split up once more. Gemma and Gareth explored the shops where Gareth purchased a new wardrobe, according to Dad. They also explored the markets where Gemma bought some strawberries. Dad took Mum on one of his walking adventures to visit the palace of Gaudi. Mum was very happy because she bought another scarf, but she was ready to sit down on her return. David and Amber had a quiet afternoon working on their travel plans for the next few weeks as they are no longer going to Egypt given the unrest in that part of the world. This was our last full day together as a big group.
For dinner, we returned to the fabulous restaurant from last night where we able to pick our favourite dishes. David and Gareth had the most interesting experience here. They both thought that they were ordering a sweet potato, chocolate and nougat ice-cream. Instead on the plate was half a boiled sweet potato, drizzled in chocolate with a mouthful of nougat ice-cream. Gareth says from here on in he will be paying much closer attention to the placement of commas. David still maintains he quite enjoyed it and might be whipping this up for dessert at home. Amber didn't look overly pleased at this prospect.
Tomorrow Amber and David say goodbye to leave on their Paris adventure. The rest of us are up early for our trek across the Pyrenees to St Jean de Luz over on the Atlantic Coast of France.