Catalonia, Barcelona and the Bus Touristic – Part One

Barcelona Catalonia Postcard

“Most visits to Spain are trouble-free, but you should be alert to the existence of street crime, especially thieves using distraction techniques. Thieves often work in teams of two or more people and tend to target money and passports.”   British Foreign Office Advice

I was rather nervous of visiting the Catalan capital of Barcelona and the pickpocket capital of Europe because the last time that I went there a thief separated me from my wallet and went on a spending spree with my debit card.  It was rather like losing a camera on the Athens Metro.  I eventually got the money back from the bank but it spoilt the day as most of it was spent at the police station and the British Embassy but I like to think that the whole unpleasant experience taught me a valuable lesson in life and I am much more careful now with my possessions.

Not, however so confident about security that I would want to leave a car there and as  I didn’t want to drive into Barcelona  we took the train from Girona and arrived mid morning at Plaça Catalunya and emerged blinking from the darkness of the metro station into the blinding sunlight of the busy square with white knuckles gripped tightly around my wallet – still there – a good start!

I had a city map but we were completely disorientated and quite unable to distinguish between north and south or left and right and we circumnavigated the square several times looking for a street name that reconciled with the map until at the second or third pass we found La Rambla which was something so familiar that I can’t imagine how we missed it the first time and so we walked along the most famous street in Barcelona and about half way down stopped at a pavement bar for an expensive beer and an overpriced tapas lunch.

La Rambla is a riot, an eclectic mix of sights and sounds which easily strays from modern to medieval and back with impressive ease.  Here are the boutiques and tourist shops, the street statues and entertainers, the tapas bars and souvenir stalls but alongside them are the market stalls and animal livestock sales which would appear to be more appropriate to a shopping experience in the Middle Ages.  It is certainly a place to keep a firm grip on your wallet!

We knew that Barcelona in just a couple of days was going to be a challenge so we flicked through the pages of the guide book and ticked off the places that we wanted to see and when we had finished that we reviewed the selection and realised that it would be almost impossible to achieve in the time available.  Kim however came up with a solution that would help and she suggested using the open top Barcelona Bus Touristic which is a bus service with three main routes that cover all of the principal sights around the city.

One of the main interchanges was at Plaça Catalunya so we wandered back, purchased our tickets and for no particular reason decided to start with the red route that covers the northern part of the city.  We took our seats on the top deck in the sun and soon the bus started to move and joined the Passeig de Gràcia in the Eixample district of Barcelona and heading for Antoni Gaudi’s Casa Milà but only a short way along across the street we saw the most amazing building that also turned out to  be the work of the famous architect- the Casa Batlló, recently restored as a museum and now open to the public.

Because we had only just started the tour about five minutes ago we didn’t get off here but I knew that we would definitely have to return.

The bus continued along Passeig de Gràcia past the Casa Milà and then turned right along the grid pattern streets and headed towards Gaudi’s unfinished Cathedral, La Sagrada Familia and still we stayed stubbornly in our seats with a plan to see all of these on the next day but the next stop on route was the architect’s vision of a Barcelona middle class housing development away from the grime of the industrial city, the Park Guell and here we made our first stop.

Actually the whole project turned out to be overly ambitious and the houses were never built but before it was abandoned Gaudi designed and built the infrastructure of roads, terraces and parks and he did himself live there for twenty years before his death in a house that is now the Gaudi House Museum.

Gaudi Dragon Park Guell

As we left I checked my wallet for the hundredth time today and we got back on the bus which now headed further out of the city to the suburbs on the higher ground.  At Sarria we got off and explored the narrow streets of a traditional and quiet area of the city where we bought some local cake specialities and found a bar for lunch and a beer and watched council workers erecting lights and decorations in preparation for a festival.

After lunch we rejoined the bus and to my surprise I was beginning to enjoy this method of sightseeing as the route took us through a district of wide leafy roads with churches, monasteries and palaces and then began a climb to a high spot above the city and pulled into a bus stop on the edge of a massive empty car park.  This was Camp Nou, the home of Barcelona FC, the largest football stadium in Europe and possibly, by some measures, the largest in the World.

Barcelona FC was founded in 1899 by a group of Swiss, English and Catalan footballers and has become a symbol of Catalan culture and separatism that has the motto – “Més que un club” (More than a club).  After its Spanish rivals Real Madrid, it is the world’s second-richest football club in terms of revenue, with an annual turnover of nearly €500 million and after Real Madrid and Manchester United it is the third most valuable, worth €2.6billion.

A lot of people got off the bus here but I wasn’t especially interested in visiting the stadium or the museum and I was certain that Kim wouldn’t be so we stayed in our seats until we reached the next stop where our plan was to change to the blue route which would eventually take us back to the city centre.  Half the tour completed and I still had my wallet and we both still had our cameras– we were doing well!

Barcelona Catalunya

More posts about Antoni Gaudi:

Catalonia, Barcelona and Antoni Gaudi

Alternative Twelve Treasures of Spain – Antoni Gaudi

Twelve Treasures of Spain, La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Cantabria, Comillas and Antoni Gaudi

Casa Batlló, Barcelona

 

Advertisements

19 responses to “Catalonia, Barcelona and the Bus Touristic – Part One

  1. Touch wood, we’re yet to lose anything to street muggers anywhere in the world. The bag snatcher who foolishly tackled Mevrouw T in Sydney didn’t get far. But we’re regularly robbed by hotels, taxis, tour operators, museums, market stallholders…sigh!

    Like

  2. I’ll have to pay close attention, Andrew, because I’m considering Barcelona for my birthday in early November and the open top buses are certainly a good way to get your bearings. My reservations are that the weather might not be so great, but that might be preferable to hot and crowded Summer. Still thinking 🙂

    Like

  3. We were once almost victims to the ‘begging with a piece of cardboard’ trick – mother comes up with small children, holds a large piece of cardboard with something written on it beneath your chin, children proceed to pickpocket you. Luckily we’d read about this so were prepared. We yelled at them and they knew we knew what they were up to.

    Like

  4. Barcelona fascinates me. I had an ESL student (a teacher) stay with me some years ago. Her family had a farm about a half-hour outside of the city. They didn’t have the latest conveniences but they grew just about everything they needed.
    Did you see any of the countryside, any orchards or farms, Andrew of did you stay primarily in the city?

    Like

  5. Thank you for your post. we have been to Barcelona too and it is very pretty and lots of art to see. Lucky you for taking some lovely pics. We will visit your blog again soon!

    Like

  6. I love this city and have visited many times. The first time we took the bus tour and it was the perfect way to get an orientation. I’ve been in Oct, Nov, Dec and always had clear dry weather. Never had my pocket picked there (yet!) but nearly did in Prague under the clock…

    Like

  7. You’re making me wait to find out if you got out of Barcelona with your wallet?

    I had several items stolen out of a hotel room in Amsterdam, and it’s colored my view of the city ever since. Good that your experience in Barcelona didn’t deter you from going back.

    Like

  8. I am not a fan of tour buses or tour guides with their umbrellas to heard people, However, I found the tourist bus in Barcelona to be a great way to get a quick (not usually my style) overview of the city, so we could return to those sites where we wanted to spend more time. It is also a less expensive way to get around than taxis. So far, after travelling in over 35 countries, I have yet to experience thievery, perhaps due to my long history of working with criminals, and the death grip of my purse. Unless you count the currency exchanger who tried to charge me the lower “sell” rate even though I was buying currency. When I threatened to stay at the exchange window to tell everyone who approached about the rip off, I was suddenly given the correct exchange rate.

    Like

  9. With only so much vacation time we chose to go to Portugal instead of Barcelona after our cycling. I do think we will have to go back and explore. Note taken hang on to one’s valuables. 🙂

    Like

  10. Navarre(Basque country) all the way to catalonia is the true promised land.Top secret

    http://www.faculty.ucr.edu/~legneref…e/humanmig.htm

    In 1995 National Geographic magazine published an article entitled “The Basques: The first family of Europe”

    CRO-MAGNON GENESIS: THE CHILDREN OF THE GODS by Rhawn Joseph, Ph.D.

    The Lords of Navarre(the original Basque land) is an authoritative, meticulously researched account of the Basques, their lives as early hunters and farmers, the dawning of (true)Christianity in their land, their fierce battles to fend off their enemies from their beloved highlands. By Jose Maria Lacambra-Loizu

    An epic novel of breathtaking scope, The Lords of Navarre is skillfully conceived and masterfully written. It traces a Basque family’s history from the last Ice Age to the present, an untold story of a people still speaking the haunting voices of its Cro-Magnon ancestors.

    The Cro-Magnon people invented civilization over 20,000 years ago; which is exactly what the oldest written records and the ancient Sumerian, Egyptian and Mayan Kings lists patiently explain

    “The Basque and Catalan regions, these were the bastions of the “Grail” families, this is where the descendants of Jesus and his family, lived (live) in the Middle Ages, this was “Grail”-central. Patrice Chaplin has written several books which touch on Rennes-le-Chateau and “the Grail,” which geographically recount her experiences in Gerona, Spain, and its relation to Rennes-le-Chateau in Southern France”

    Basque universal gentry extended to the lowliest native worker

    http://www.ensignmessage.com/basques.html

    For the present we leave our Basque brethren in that quiet corner of the Pyrenees until the day when,

    “Their seed shall be known among the Gentiles (Nations), and their offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge them, that they [are) the seed [whom) the Lord hath blessed.”
    (Isaiah 61:9)

    http://www.jesuswasnotajew.com/page-5-2/ “As long as the true facts of the Jewish overthrow of Judah remain unknown, the Jews can perpetuate their IMPERSONATION OF TRUE ISRAEL. I have dedicated my life to EXPOSING THIS HISTORICAL LIE. And I need your help in disseminating this information, so that Christians everywhere will become aware of the true nature of Judaism and its phony claims to origination in the Old Testament, with either Moses or with the prophets or with the Judahites of the Temple.

    All of these notions are pure fabrications by the synagogue of Satan, and I will not rest until everyone on this planet is aware of these deceptions. Jesus Himself prophesied that all such deceptions will one day be revealed (Matt. 10:26, Luke 12:2), and this document, with your help, can be a part of that revelation. Praise Yahweh” Pastor Eli James.

    Modern DNA discoveries & other scientific studies show the Basques along with the Spartans & Trojans(Thracians) to be an ancient branch of the tribe of Judah.”The Basques are of a holy bloodline, one of the world’s best kept secrets” Susan Pohl,member of the south african family de Boers.”Historians note that Odin, who was a very popular Thracian ruler”

    http://www.faculty.ucr.edu/~legneref…e/humanmig.htm

    In 1995 National Geographic magazine published an article entitled “The Basques: The first family of Europe”

    CRO-MAGNON GENESIS: THE CHILDREN OF THE GODS by Rhawn Joseph, Ph.D.

    The Lords of Navarre(the original Basque land) is an authoritative, meticulously researched account of the Basques, their lives as early hunters and farmers, the dawning of (true)Christianity in their land, their fierce battles to fend off their enemies from their beloved highlands. By Jose Maria Lacambra-Loizu

    An epic novel of breathtaking scope, The Lords of Navarre is skillfully conceived and masterfully written. It traces a Basque family’s history from the last Ice Age to the present, an untold story of a people still speaking the haunting voices of its Cro-Magnon ancestors.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGKpEIWRM2o The comments under the video are facts too


    The Cro-Magnon people invented civilization over 20,000 years ago; which is exactly what the oldest written records and the ancient Sumerian, Egyptian and Mayan Kings lists patiently explain

    http://ozzyfrank.150m.com/pages/Antiquity/iberians.htm “In Roman times, the Iberians were known to the Italians as Atlanteans” “They live on today in the form of the Basque people of the Pyrenees region of the Peninsula”

    “Most jews do not like to admit it, but our God is Lucifer and we are his chosen people. Lucifer(satan) is very much alive.” – Jew Harold Wallace Rosenthal.http://the-truth-is-freedom.blogspot…n-tyranny.html

    Jim How 6 months ago

    “Its the deepest darkest and ugliest of all secrets. I’ve been trying to get the word out for years and its not easy. I’ve had 5 channels shut down and many videos censored. Even mentioning this to non jews can get you in trouble. Everyone has been programed to hate anyone who speaks ill of jews”

    The original Mossad motto is : “By way of deception, thou shalt do war.” Deception = lies. satan is the father of all lies. Sort of ties in when you think about it…911 was a deception

    “Vasken” in ancient Armenian means “majestic, august, royal, with nobility.” The name “vaskenes, vaskones” refers to a people with pride of being of noble origin

    Armenia major was known as iberia(cartographically documented) because the original armenia is our iberia(the original celtica/germania) thats why they say the bavarian kings came from armenia

    Barcelona is the true promised land but imposters(jews=pharisees)fooled humanity like the bible says.

    This is scientifically proven so you cant call me “crazy” This is a biblical prophecy.Revelation 2:9 and 3:9

    http://lasxtribus.wordpress.com/ translate it into english because it explains very well who we are.

    Justice

    Like

  11. Pingback: Catalonia, Barcelona and Antoni Gaudi | Have Bag, Will Travel

  12. Pingback: Alternative Twelve Treasures of Spain – Antoni Gaudi | Have Bag, Will Travel

  13. Pingback: Northern Spain – Cantabrian Coast, Comillas and Gaudi | Another Bag, More Travel

  14. Pingback: Twelve Treasures of Spain – La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona | Have Bag, Will Travel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s