Mediterranean Melodies travel blog

Architecture Barcelona

Entry to the Markets

Cool Juices Anyone

Or a slice of Proscuitto

Up we go

Castel de Montjuic

'Sagrada Familia' in distance

View from the top

View from the top

Port Vell+-

Tuesday 23rd August 2011 Weather:-29degrees-Humid

First stop was the tourist information in Placa Cataluña to get the goods on how/where to catch the train to Montserrat it turns out that they have a combined ticket for the Metro/Train/Funicular/Entrance Fee/Museum/and Lunch all for Au$52—not bad in my books. We also purchased a 2 day pass for the On/Off tourist bus and as it was already 11am and the bus pass starts early in the morning we decided that we would begin that tomorrow.

A fresh air break was had in the nearby McDonalds where I witnessed a bag theft:-a bunch of youths all dropped their bags on the floor of our next door booth leaving one guy there to sit sentry. Unfortunately the ‘sentry’ was busy reading, another youth walked past, kicked one of the bags, bent over, picked it up and kept walking’ I told Herman what I thought I had seen but as there was no response from the ‘sentry’ and the returning other youths I thought that I must be mistaken. Ten Minutes later the police turned up and asked “Which one of you has had their bag stolen—we have arrested the thief” pretty good going, don’t you think.

In an effort to fill the day we decided a walk to Montjuic might be a good thing (Could have gone there on the On/Off bus next day)and in our travels we passed the local fruit/vegetable market where they sold lots off delicious foodstuffs but the majority of stalls sold fresh fruit juices and packs of freshly cut fruit salad--all with little forks sticking out ready for consumption. The walk was nearly beyond us—we are realizing that at 69 and 66 years old we finally getting older. Luckily it has a funicular from half way up the hill to the top and I can tell you we were staggering when we reached it. The Castel de Montjuic is located on the highest point of the Montjuic hill at an altitude of 170 metre with great views of Barcelona city and the port area. It was built in 1640 during the war between Catalonia and Spain's Felipe IV, known as the "War of the Reapers." The castle is infamous in Catalan history books because of its role in the Dictator Franco's regime (1937-1975) as a place where political prisoners were imprisoned, tortured and executed.

A Cog Railway+Metro trip back into the city was a reminder as to how courteous people are around here, by just putting my foot in the carriage a man of about my age stood up for me and on the Metro people stood up for both Herman and myself. It seems the last to get a seat is parents of young children because they make sure that their children sit down while they stand.

A cool drink was had in one off the cafe’s near the Placa Cataluña where my observation was that ‘this place must be twice as busy as Sydney, it is not fun watching people here as there is too much going on—it must be like living in an ant’s nest’.

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