From Narbonne we set out south and stayed off the toll roads. We only had 300 km to go and most of the road was secondary highway.
Arriving at the Spanish border we found the usual outlet malls and cross border shoppers, but here there were numbers of gaudily dressed prostitutes standing at the rest stops and round abouts waiting for the truckers I would guess. Border towns are sketchy everywhere but this was one of the worst we have seen in a while.
Southwest of Girona we got our first glimpse of the Mediterranean! Arriving to Barcelona we had forgotten the mayhem of the scooter drivers in Spain! They buzz around you like flies. That said we arrived to our hotel and met up with Fernanda. It was so funny we had kept the visit a surprise for her parents. We posted the helmet pic with no comment on facebook. Mario saw it and called Fernanda, who when she skyped us was so excited she totally for got how to speak English!
Walking to the metro we passed our first Gaudi modernista building. We did a bit of a tour of several of the big squares.
Since we are only here two days we opted for touring the city on the hop on hop off bus. We did this all day and really only scratched the surface, but we will have to come back next year on the way to Italy to really see the sights.
Luckily with a teen we had wifi!
The architecture is varied and interesting, especially the Gaudi and other “modernism”.
The old town center
Lunch Spanish style is drinks and Paella.
The Basilica i Temple Expiatori de la Sacrada Familia is a UNESCO site still under construction. The building began in 1882 and Gaudi took over in 1883 and transformed it to his vision. It was only ¼ complete when he died in 1926. It has progressed slowly since it is funded by private donation and building was halted for the Spanish civil war from 1936-39. It was half done in 2010 and should be completed in 2026, 100 years after Gaudi’s death.
We did a bit of a walking tour in the old city. This included the Cathedral and the old city walls.
Fernanda took us to a Pizza place she claimed was the best she had every had….She was not wrong. It’s a good thing we don’t live near here.