Er begyndt pakningen til Barcelona. Har styr pak cyklerne.
Vejrudsigterne siger nattefrost og kølige dage.
Købte i øvrigt en ny bil.
Experimentarium med Nicholai.
Madklubben på fruens invitation.
morgen smuttur til Sletten for at justere varmen i båden.
Der er endnu ikke nogen besked fra Nuria om hvordan vi kommer ind i lejligheden.
Nu er cykeltaskerne pakket. Vejer hver 18 kg.
We are at our destination af a smooth and pleasant journey.
We were a little shocked when our trunks were refused at the pick up.
We had to admit that they contained our bicycles. We were nervous that we had to pay extra, so we insisted that this was normal luggage. We were asked to go to another desk in the opposite end of the terminal.
And then there was not any problem.
No extra payment. Just a little adrenalin.
The plane was delayed, but only 5 minutes delayed on arrival.
And the car was completely new, a VW-polo. But the man at the desk was slow and annoying. But we were calm.
We managed the traffic easily enough and arrived at the apartment 18.30
almost as expected and hoped for.
Five minutes and Jordi was there, helped us find the parking place and gave a fine introduction to the apartment.
The apartment is excellent, extremely well organised to house six persons. The parent's bedroom is also the only office. The two boys share a small room with bunks that can be placed vertically on the wall. Two bathrooms, a little practical kitchen.
We take a little rest.
Nine o'clock a little walk along the beach. Full moon. We find the restaurant with the Buddha, now inside. We were here 11 years ago. Dinner laying in sofas.
Now it has changed to Thai. So we decide for the neigbour AGUA.
Very nice interior, pleasantly warm.
Very fine tapas. Squids deep-fried, artichokes, Dessert, Coffee and cognac.
It is a nice evening, not really cold
A long sleep. Finding ourselves. Pumping the bikes. No bath in the sea.
The weather forecasts said rain, a little, but we refused to believe and went off without bothering for rain clothes. Well, actually we have none, so we ought to stay at home.
But we didn't.
A very fine ride to Barceloneta, a little cold, so the gloves did a good job.
The market has been renewed since we were here last, but essentially it is the same. We had a cup of coffee at the same place as that time, next to the same old ladies. The same shouting fish women, and the same particular care when cutting and slicing the chicken.
But hubris struck. It started raining. So we decided for another old favourite, the fish restaurant Can Ros. Also a little rejuvenated. We showed the waiter pictures from 2004 and 2006, and he had nearly tears in his eyes. As usual we were the first guests but soon the place was filled. We took the menu, mackerel for Stina and lamb for me.
And it kept raining. We decided to drive home. Biking is very easy in Barcelona; you drive on the broad pedestrian lane that has smooth edge stones. The rain hadn't stopped, on the contrary, we were very wet and rather cold on returning. Half an hour later the sun shuns brightly, but our clothes were too wet. And we needed to be warmed ourselves.
Five o'clock we were ready again. This time past the Barcelonetta town to the tip of the peninsula with the formidable new hotel W, also called the sail for good reasons. It is built by the architect Bofill, which is a very famous Spanish architect with a lot of fine buildings in Barcelona. We had a lot of photos in the evening sun.
Back to Barceloneta to have a chicken, but it was closed. After a little coffee near the market, we found a tapas restaurant in Carrer Ginebre, by the name Ja-iX...
Very fine also.
Late rising. It's storming, the trees in the garden sway.
The prognoses predict a gale (stiv kuling). Even a little rain is predicted, but a tiny one.
We had considered biking to La Sagrada and Gracia, but gives it up.
Let's take a trip in the car. We decide for Tossa de Mar, a town on the coast north of BCN with a very old fisher town inside murals. And numerous possibilities for long and short wandering tours along the coast.
The weather is actually ok, no rain, a little grey, as we take the autostrada after a short detour to Badalona. We like just driving along enjoying the landscapes.
As soon as we leave the motorway to take the way down to Tossa, the first hail hits the front window. We loose a little of our confidence. The meandering way down is formidable with lots of vegetation; beautiful grey green tree crowns silhouetting. But we don't feel for getting out for a Kodak.
After tossing around in all the unidirectional streets, we leave the car to be met with a very fierce wind. We abandon the idea of going to the fisher village inside the murals. Find a nice little restaurant and dwell there for a couple of ours. Which gives me the opportunity to fight the gale taking the tour round on top of the murals. A little nervous to be swept down.
We agree that the restaurant is nice and warm the food fine but the destination for the day not very well chosen for this type of weather. We don't know what would have been better.
The rain stops. We take the coast way back, uphill with splendid views, a down along the beach, through a lot of villages. It takes its time but is a pleasant variation compared to the autostrada. In Arenys del Mar, we try to find a place for a cup of coffee, but parking is impossible, which leaves us with a MacDonalds (!) at the roadside.
When approaching Barcelona, the rain pours down again. The driving and navigation demands the utmost concentration, and we feel very satisfied when succeeding finding home very smoothly.
For the first time, we enjoy preparing the food ourselves, egg with ham, salad with tomatoes, olives and onions, very simple very delicious.
The only news on TV is about the snow paralysing Spain. Especially the blocking of the road up to Montserrat making huge queues of trucks. Funny, we almost decided between Tossa and Montserrat by tossing a coin.
Ready to welcome Nuria home at 9, where she picked up things from the children list of things they missed. Very nice to meet her again and have some good advice.
The sky is blue. Let's bike.
First stop a funny bar, which is in an old garage, which have been made the place of an architect and design company and an IT-company. And a coffee shop in an old Citroen van, driven by an American. The room also houses an exhibition of Japanese bicycles.
Damned good coffee.
We are flying high on our bikes. First stop is Sagrada Familia. Now the sky is so blue, and the sun is so shining that we decide that this is not a day to be inside anything. Therefore, it suffices with a few photos.
Next stop is Gracia, Placa del Sol. Coffee and Bocadillios, one to eat now and one to go.
It is very funny to bike. You drive on any pedestrian area, wide or narrow, and you move like a snake between cars and pedestrians. We head for Park Guell, which is up hill.
More wonderful than ever. Sitting on the mosaic benches, enjoying the sun like a lot of other people. This is little Japan, and everybody is taking photos, most selfies, all (!) the time. We dwell a full hour, the bocadillo serves it purpose.
Now back to Gracia, this time Place Virreina for warm tea verte and Cava (for Anders). The sky is still perfectly blue.
We find the Rambla Catalunya, takes it to Placa Catalunya, zig-zags past MCBA and then to Antonio Market. Closed on Thursdays!
Zig-zags back to la Rambla and goes to Sant Josep Market.
Chicken breast, ham, sausages, cheese quiche and bread.
Third coffee in sort of internet cafe in Carrer Barra do Ferro in very convenient fauteuils.
Rushing home, C Montcada, C Viddrieria, Av Marques Argenteria, Pas Circumval:Lacio, accidentally meeting Nuria outside the door to interchange experiences and having an invitation for dinner Saturday. Very fine.
I rushed down to buy a bottle of Rioja at our little kiosk.
The chicken was so delicious. And so was the salad and the quiche.
Did I mention that we are very happy?
We saw the most confident robins, which we could photo from a distance of 1 meter.
We were very satisfied and started the trip home at about 16.
There was an alternative route down, yet more exciting.
But we had not been long on the autoroute until things cluttered helplessly. The remaining 35 km took us at least two hours.
We didn't know what had caused this problem. Only one of three lanes moving at a time, extremely slowly.
The only entertaining fact was to notice that all three lanes did the same progress so that we learnt the neighbouring cars and could notice when they disappeared and later reappeared.
The most serious problem was the increasingly growing and desperate need for a toilet. Therefore, Stina crossed two lanes to get to the exit to some little town to find the first garage to get relief.
Oh, what a relief, oh.
Another reason for this exit was that we had noticed that there was an alternative way from this town back to Barcelona, not an autoroute, but alas. But all traffic had congealed, the town was paralysed, with police conducting the traffic all over and even loudspeaker cars (that didn't help us).
Again in a daring action Stina succeeded to get out of the line with a u-turn and then return (mirabile dictu) to the autoroute, where the traffic now was flowing a tiny little faster. Now all thre lanes are moving in parallel. And then we met the origin of the calamity: 200 m of work on one of the three lanes. It is impossible to understand how this can have such an effect.
And next everything was flowing as usual, and we were soon home feeling very experienced with the Ronda Litoral, the main road through Barcelona along the harbour.
Objectively this had to be considered a real setback in an otherwise successful day, but we chose to adopt it as an interesting experience and a healthy addition of adrenalin.
Luckily enough, we had planned to eat "at home".
We clean and pack.
Drive to the hotel and park the car.
Fortunately we can check in immediately, 12.00
Expectations are again overfulfilled.
A room with a view. 5th floor, a vast terrasse facing south. The view ranges from the two tours, via Montjuic to Sagrada Familia. In the binoculars, we can even distinguish detail of Park Guell.
The sun flows fro a clear blue sky. It is so warm that we can lie on the terrasse sofas and enjoy.
We do so for an hour.
Hunger drives us to get the bikes.
We go to Poblenou with its pleasant rambla, which is much nicer that the one in the center. Find a very simple restaurant that offers chairs in plane sun.
And very excellent bocadillos. One with omelette one with ham Iberico.
Difficult to leave this paradisic state.
Have a go to Av Diagonal.
Have a coffee and some chocolate bits in the extravagant subterranean market Glories, which has been recently opened.
Next the great cucumber, Torre Agbar, and straight back to the hotel via C Avila.
Here is a link to the Cucumber (fantastic photos)
Bathtub and shaving and a very welcome and healthy rest preparing for dinner at Nuria and family.
Very cosy evening with nice cod. We have brought some of our special ham from Denmark. They like it, especially Mark.
Again a day surpassing expectations.
Out at eleven to get some breakfast. Ride the bikes along the beach to the Colonna and get an excellent place in the sun at our old favourite cafe Cava Universal.
Bread and ham and cheese and juice (freshly pressed). We have been here many times.
A procession defiles past us, shouting their hail to Santa Eulalia (??)
Along Av Paral-lel to Placa d'Espanya. Have to find our way crossing between the pedestrians. Very exciting, there are filled with people. But we manage, smiling.
From the Placa d'Espanya passed the exhibition buildings and using the escalators to reach the old castle where we have a free entrance to the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya since we are over 65.
(The normal rate is 12 Euros). Smiling again.
A fabulous cupboard to keep our bikes.
The Olympic Circle (Anella Olimpica) with the football stadium and Calatrava communication tower. Other interesting architecture.
And then it is seriously downward with a firm grip on the brakes. The direct way home along the circumval-lacio to have time in the sun on our terrasse. Oh, Oh, Oh.
An early tapas in Barceloneta, Jay-ca in C Ginebre again. Very satisfied. A very loud and noisy Italien girl was very drunk. But very silent after being to the toilet. The next guest for the toilet told the bar people that something had to be done. One can guess what. There were rather many drunk people around. Strange on a Sunday evening.
Now we have packed our bikes and brought them to the car.
We have to leave at eight tomorrow.
Another perfect day, everything went our way.
No problems with checking out, getting the car out, finding our way to the airport, have fuel refilled, having the car accepted. Everything was flowing.
The check-in, the luggage, the security, everything completely without problems.
We were through security at eight o'clock! The departure is at 10.10.
Nice cup of coffee and breakfast. A little shopping for the grandchildren.
We managed to get a whole row each; the plane started at 10.10.
The sky was clear, we had a fantastic view out, The Pyrenees shun in the sun.
The Dordogne meandered richly; you could distinctly see Bergerac and Perigueux. And Loire at Tours. Then the skies came but disappeared again when over Funen. The most spectacular flight over Sealand.
When we reached the luggage band, we could see our luggage immediately.
The train departed 4 minutes after we hit the platform. The car was parked exactly where we left the train.
Two much happiness! But we shall manage.