Arriving at the airport we found a place to park after doing a few circuits of the airport. The women went to the arrivals lounge while Ewout and Greg stayed by the motorhome. We had some walkie talkies with us and kept in communication. It wasn’t long before they had found Lori and we all climbed aboard and drove to the campsite, which was only 6 kms away. A cabin was booked ahead for our 4 relatives and we had a site next door in the “Bunyip”. The campsite is very large and thankfully the season has ended. The cabin we booked for 4 adults turned out to be disappointing as it was tiny and the fold out bed was hopeless. That afternoon we spent relaxing at the campsite and taking a dip in the ocean. Later we drove to a Carrefour supermarket to buy food for the next few days and found barriers stopping our entrance 2.5 metres as we are over 2.8. A friendly taxi driver showed us another way in through a back road, this Carrefour was not very motorhome friendly. We had a barbeque for tea and into bed after another long day.
Sunday 13th September
Armed with a map and a leaflet from the campsite as to how we catch the bus in, we walked the 300 metres to the bus stop and caught the bus almost to the centre. A fun run was just finishing with some road closures so the bus stopped before the old town, we had no choice but to walk the rest of the way, which was not unpleasant as there was plenty to see. The bonus was that we found a great local tapas bar for lunch and after a couple of beers and plenty to eat we continued on. We did eventually reach the old town and while we were there saw a group of people doing a “Fat Bike Tour” which we googled to get some more info, and decided to do it on Monday. Later when we had walked enough around Barcelona and with the bike tour decided for Monday we returned to the campsite. Another swim at the beach and a snack for tea and a quiet night with a few drinks for a family catch up.
Fat Bike Tour
After researching the Fat tyre bike tour the day before it was decided that we would join the group for 11.30 meet up in the centre of Barcelona. Unfortunately Ewout was not feeling very well so the rest of us left him behind at the campsite for the afternoon. We had an easy bus ride into town and found our way to the meeting point at Plaça Sant Jaume easily with time to spare. We found we weren’t the only attendants and a large group were soon gathered to wait for our guides. Groups were formed and quickly were sent off with their guides to get their bikes or to hear about the first stop on the tour.
Our group was about 16 in total and with our guide Eva we at first wended our way through the small streets of Barcelona old town. Our first stop was Plaza del Rei. This wholly preserved medieval courtyard of the Palau Reial (Royal Palace) where Ferdinand and Isabella are supposed to have received Columbus on his return from the New World. Then it was to the Cathedral an impressive Catalan Gothic church, begun in 1298 and built on the site of a Roman temple. We then crossed into a quieter part of the city to see Palau de la Mùsica Catalana one of the world’s most extraordinary concert halls, the Palace of Catalan Music was designed in the Catalan modernism style by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. . We rode our bikes into Parc de la Ciutadella, where after the War of the Spanish Succession ended in 1714, a large fort was constructed on this site to keep the city in line. The fortress was demolished in 1869 and redesigned as a park containing a zoo, a boating lake, gardens and a large fountain worked on by the young Gaudí. Then it was on to one of the highlights of Barcelona La Sagrada Familia. The most famous site in Barcelona; this shell of a church was begun in 1882 and designed mainly by Antoni Gaudí, who worked on the church until his death in 1926 We then rode along the bike paths to see Vila Olímpica, Barceloneta beach, and Port Vell, ending up at a beach bar for a break, drink or something to eat.
We had an enjoyable afternoon, got a great overview of the city and found out a lot of the history from our lovely guide.
The Sagrada Familia and Park Guell
Greg and Talia decided to stay at the campsite and the three sisters and Ewout headed back into Barcelona for the day. A daily metro ticket gave us access to all the metro stations, buses, and trams.
After visiting a few places we headed to the Sagrada Familia, a place we visited 6 years ago. With tickets bought online we avoided the queue and spent some time exploring inside outside and the museum underneath. We noticed some changes to the inside as before there was a lot of scaffolding and screening where now it is very open.
Our next destination was the Park Guell and after taking a metro and walking up a steep hill we were disappointed that the main section of the park was now fenced off and a ticket of 8 euros was required to enter. The ticket was also for a specific time, so even if we wanted to go inside the next time available was later than we planned to stay. 6 years ago the whole place was free and you could roam the entire grounds, so we were very disappointed. We explored the free section of the park before getting on the bus to the metro, then on another bus back to the campsite. Exhausted from our day out it was take away pizza and a quiet night.
How time flys and it was time to say farewell to Greg, Debbie and Talia as they were going back to Australia after first spending a few days with their German friends in Berlin. We packed up at the campsite and dropped them off at the airport in the late morning. It was good to have spent time with family after being on the road with just the two of us for 4 months. For the rest of our trip Lori [Jenny’s sister] will be traveling with us. Last year she travelled with us at the beginning of our trip so she is well aware of what she is getting into.
Tamerite de Litera
We left Barcelona and headed west, noticing the countryside getting more arid and less populated than that of the coast. We stopped for coffee at a roadside stop and after a long drive stopped for the night at an aire on the outskirts of a small village called Tamerite de Litera. The aire is relatively new and was only a 10 minute walk from the town. Before tea we explored the town and returned for a quiet night.
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