Today I went to hospital. Now anyone who knows me won’t be surprised at this as it’s usually not will I or won’t I get ill on holiday but which day will I get ill. Surprisingly, that day was not today so it will have to be tomorrow as we are off back to Blighty in the afternoon. I had my money on day two but luckily I only bet myself so It’ll probably work out even….

No, this morning’s visit was to a wonderful looking old hospital which is where Gaudi actually died. Get there for the 10am tour our English guide books said, so we did, only to find out that the first tour in English wasn’t until 12. So we left as it appeared that you could only enter as part of a tour and we had things to do. Not a good start but at least I didn’t need an injection in my backside as I did in Turkey earlier this year.

We stopped off for an enormous tub of ice-cream each before heading back to the tube to get to Parallel. We walked past the Sagrada Familia on the way as we were trying to take it by surprise-if it didn’t know we were coming maybe all the condoms on the towers wouldn’t be there. Sadly it saw us coming and covered up just in time.

The funicular was of course out of action so we took the bus instead. That was free with our Barcelona card so not a problem really. The cable cars were actually working so we went to the top of Montjuic that way. Sadly it rained at the top but at least that’s getting us ready for going home tomorrow. There’s a castle up there that’s only 5 Euros to get in and which has some huge guns/cannons from the Second World War around it. The castle was very much intact and with only minimal scaffolding.

Back at the bottom and we walked to the Olympic Stadium from the 1992 Olympics. This was better than the barren field we saw at Olympia last year but Claire was disappointed as she had expected it to be bigger. It holds 60000 people but then the Nou Camp, which I still haven’t seen, holds 120000 so hopefully she would be impressed with that. Not being a football fan though, maybe she wouldn’t.

We had a walking tour of the Gothic quarter booked for 3pm and, with half an hour to kill, we sat in a restaurant/bar on La Rambla for a drink. There were no drinks prices available so Claire asked how much sangria was, to which Mr Cheerful replied, without looking suitably embarrassed or guilty, 11 Euros….ELEVEN EUROS!!

I know the glasses were big but OMG!!

So she ordered a beer instead and I ordered an espresso. The latter was a whopping 3 euros but the beer which, admittedly, was in a fishbowl the size of Piccadilly Circus (but probably only held about a pint) weighed in at €9.05. I should have known it would be expensive when the waiter delivered our drinks riding a horse, wearing a cape and mask and brandishing a musket. But we still ordered.

Fortunately there were some police passing by and luckily they spoke English well enough for me to explain the situation. They arrested the waiter, chucked him in prison for daylight robbery and threw away the key before burning down the restaurant later so we could all sit round toasting chestnuts and marshmallows. Or we may have just paid and definitely not left a tip.

Thankfully the walking tour was excellent and it was free! Well you pay as much as you want and they give you a suggestion of how much to pay but we paid more as we enjoyed it so much. The guide was friendly and everything was interesting and involved taking you to places you wouldn’t normally go to or pointing out things you wouldn’t normally see.

It lasted 90 minutes and by that time Claire’s bath of beer had worked its way to her bladder and she really needed to pee. Instead of abandoning us, another guide from the same company took us to a coffee shop so we could use the toilets as he knew the staff there. We did actually buy a coffee but it was nice to be escorted there and another reason why I’d highly recommend Discover Walking Tours.

We then retraced some of our steps as it was free to enter the cathedral after 5.15pm so we took advantage. Glad we hadn’t paid to be honest as it was standard fare and, as I pointed out, quite religious in there. If that’s your bag, fine, but I was more interested in the 13 resident geese. Each to their own eh.

Food next and the offers on La Rambla looked tempting-3 tapas and paella for €9.95. Sounds good until you realise that the three tapas aren’t as big as one normal tapas but the paella was okay and they did do a vegetarian version for Claire even though it wasn’t normally allowed. My Pepsi at €4.60 was ridiculous and Claire avoided a beer as she was told half a one was six euros, the robbing bastardos!

I think the pickpockets are more honest here than some of the drinks vendors!

(I’m leaving uploading photos until I get home….the connection here is feeble…..it’s like being on Vodafone back home!)

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About the author

Fresh from failing to be an actor, a singer and retaining a full head of hair Glyn is now attempting to be a photographer and a novelist. He has taken more pictures today than he has written words of his novel in the last six months. Some of them he regards as okay..

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