Thursday, November 15, 2018

14th November (sun and cloud and mild)

If the average apartment in Spain is like the one we are currently staying in, I wonder how people manage it. Dad, who normally sleeps pretty well, had a shocker last night. Because of siesta in the afternoon, a huge amount of the population don’t finish work until after 9pm and others even later. As they tend to eat out for evening meals, it means they don’t get in until 11pm-12am. Then, there is the settling in phase of sorting things around the home, putting on washing etc. This is fine, if you have a well built home with good soundproofing and carpets, but therein lies another issue. Most apartments that we’ve stayed in have walls as thin as paper and tiled floors, which means you can hear every movement. God help you if people are eating and keep getting up from the table, it’s a racket. In this apartment, all of the above apply and every time someone flushes the loo, or runs some water, you hear that too. But the worst aspect,….yes it gets worse, is that you can hear everything they say to each other. If there is an argument going on, look out. The Spanish are loud in all respects, but when arguing, it reaches crazy levels. Poor Dad had one of those nights, a bit like I have here very often, where the noise was loud and constant until the early hours of the following day.
He looked and sounded very jaded, so, I suggested that he may want to spend today indoors, whilst Ju and I explored. He agreed. So, after breakfast, we took off along the road to the nearest Metro station and hopped the tube for Tibidabo, heading into the hilly area of Barca. We wanted to see the church and basilica that was there along with the views of the city. There is also a little theme park. Our ride up was, thankfully uneventful, as we have been informed by locals to keep a very close watch on our possessions. After Dad’s incident on the tube in Paris, we are on the alert. 
Walking up through Tibidabo

A walk up through the suburb of Tibidabo revealed one plush home after another, each trying to outdo the next it seemed with size and design.  We were grateful we didn't have to walk the last part of the hill and took the funicular, for Euros 15 to the top. 

Tibidabo Basilica
Cathedral underneath, Basilica on top.
Sorry about all the cathedral shots but we just loved the dramatic clouds and lighting.

Obviously they have fun times in this church, judging by the size of this juke box.

The walk had been pleasant, but up here, a black cloud was hovering and the wind was cool. I was still only wearing a t-shirt and shorts, so it wasn’t cold as such. Took some shots up here and visited both the church and basilica. Once again, it was amazing to see the younger folk taking photographs of each other. The location doesn’t seem to enter into the equation. They stand and then pose, flicking hair, turning heads, pouting, lifting chins, with the background being a block wall, or the edge of a hedge. Don’t get it myself, but seriously intend to practise my posing for future trips.
Look beyond Pete (I know it's hard to tear your eyes away) and you'll see the street we had to walk up.
We were very happy to see these escalators up the steepest part of the hill to Guell Park.

Rode the funicular down and began our walk to Guell park, where a lot of Gaudi’s work is on show. Although this was quite busy, it was nice, once again, to be away from the very busy, city streets. Spent a good while here, wandering the gardens and taking shots. Of course, whenever an opportunity presents, the authorities will put an entrance fee in place. In the park, you could walk freely in some areas, but not others. Ju and I managed to get around paying, by walking to another position to get a shot. The price for entry was steep, (almost as steep as that hill to get here) for the options that it presented.
Walking into Guell Park

This part of the park was being repaired and had workmen all over it - it also happened to be the bit they were charging for, so we didn't bother.

Had some fantastic views over Barcelona today but the camera doesn't generally do it justice.
Here you can see the Sagrada Familia taking shape above the rooftops.
A young man had tamed and painted this dove to earn some tourist dollars.

Guell Park entrance

The entrance building.

We were still a good way from the apartment, but decided to walk back and on the way, grabbed a coffee and something to eat. Arrived home to discover dad asleep, sitting up on the bed, leaning into the headboard. He looked comfortable enough and with little snores, every now and then, figured he was getting some much needed rest. Julia had been online to try and track the bike boxes and decided that we should take a walk around there, after a cuppa.
With dad still out to it after forty five minutes, we took off to the Post Office. Sure enough, they had arrived. The guy we dealt with was very understanding of our “no car” situation and loaned us the use of a dolly, to push one box at a time, back to the apartment. That was extremely effective as even though we only had three blocks to walk, it would have been a pain having to carry those 30 kg boxes one at a time through the busy streets.  Upon arriving back with the second box, we found dad awake. When I asked how he’d slept, he told me he hadn’t and was adamant that he hadn’t been asleep, whilst sitting in bed.  Mind you, he also hadn’t heard us popping back into the apartment three times, making a cup of tea and shifting the two bike boxes in and was very surprised to see them.
We popped across the road to a lovely cafĂ©, for a coffee and cake. Very enjoyable. The late afternoon, early evening was spent blogging and working out Friday’s routine, for our flight home. At 7.30pm, we strolled around the corner, where we found an Indian restaurant and enjoyed a delicious meal and great service. Back at the flat, we enjoyed watching the game between Barcelona and Real Madrid, played three weeks ago, before hitting the sack, hopefully, for decent sleeps.

1 comment:

  1. That Guell Park looks incredible and I didn’t realise Barca had a section of the city like that up a steep hilly region. Looks quite intriguing .
    Well it must be Friday there so I guess you are in the throws of departing Spain and heading home. Where has that 3 months gone! I hope the three of you have a good trip home and there were no dramas getting the bikes to the airport and checked in.
    We have a weekend of first visits for the puppy buyers / owners - there are some very excited people coming to meet them from all over NZ. I’m not sure I can get to the airport to see you guys get in- will if we can but may be still tied up at home. See if we can though. Safe travels😘