Having left Figueres and Dali behind we initally went back on our route off road through the Pyrennes unaware of just how bad the wheel hub issue was.
We spent a happy couple of days getting to the French border and then onwards to the eastern coast of Spain. Our first sight of the Mediteranean was very exciting – and quite beautiful.
Enroute we stopped at a cement factory in Castellar de n´Hug. Who would ever have though cement could be so fascinating! The factory had coated the entire landscape in thick white powder for decades and working there must have been hell on earth. Long since decommissioned and now nothing more than a tourist curiosity.
We also found the Sant Ferran Fortress, an enormous 18th century military fortress and the largest monument in Catalonia. It was absolutely colossal with 3.2 million sqft of living space….that´s more than 30,000 times the size of Henry!
By now, however, we had become sufficiently concerned by the wheel hub wobble that we found a road and stayed on it, putting our trails on hold for a while.
We had now turned right at the coast travelling south towards Moraira and our friend´s place. Still no news of the Spain to Morocco ferries but time yet to wait it out before giving in to the long slog up into France and a 48 hour ferry crossing.
Between us and Moraira was….Barcelona. Having spent nearly three weeks in the wilderness we thought a change of pace could be fun.
Having learnt from our aborted Pamplona excursion we have decided that if we´re doing a city we´re doing it properly – no more half-heartedly driving in to the centre keeping our fingers crossed that there are no restrictions and a car parking space can magically be found for a 2.4m high landrover! So we checked into a campsite an hour north of Barcelona for three nights and on the first morning tucked Henry up in his temporary home and headed on foot for the train station.
The bright lights and city delights awaited us and we had decided to stay overnight to make the most of it.
As most of you who know me are well aware, I´m not a city girl by any stretch of the imagination! Nice to visit friends for a meal and glass or two of wine but even nicer to escape shortly afterwards….so I was very surprised to find that I really like Barcelona, really quite a lot!
The city is eclectic to say the least with something bizarre, beautiful or curious around every corner. Much of it not even mentioned in the guide books as there is so much to see.
Some highlights of the sites and smells here…..
We tried to visit all the big hitters. Starting with Barcelona cathedral and Santa Maria del Mar, both beautiful and completely not Le Sagrada Familia!
Gaudi´s La Sagrada Familia being, of course, the largest and strangest cathedral in the world….but breathtaking in its audacity!
We were literally stumbling across sites which would be the main attraction of most cities, often struggling to keep up and my camera had steam coming off it! Gaudi is everywhere with his wierd and wonderfully designed buildings – hardly and straight line in site.
We checked into a modest hotel with wall to wall 5 star reviews on Trip Advisor but actually found nothing more than a slightly shabby backstreet place! Getting into bed that night we looked sadly at each other missing Henry and his lovely, cosy bed.
Up early next morning and we finished our visit at Park Guell – another Gaudi creation and as parks go, quite unique. Also home of the Barcelona Lizard……
Eventually we wound our way back to the train station – via a lovely lunch of hamburger, Ceasar salad and french toast – and back to Henry waiting patiently for us at his holiday home. We were both ready to leave despite having had a wonderful couple of days.
As we unpacked and put our tired feet up we both had a very strong feeling of coming home. Henry seemed so familiar, all our overnight stuff put back in his drawers and cupboards, the lovely comfortable bed awaiting and a peaceful evening spent star gazing and watching movies…..Barcelona is good but Henry is better 🙂