Tuesday, 2 July 2013


In true Freddy Mercury style we have been to Barcelona!
Bert the Merc, Em, Bri and Matt at Barcelona Campsite
We apologise that it has been a while since our last post but we have been without Internet for almost two weeks!
So, we have a LOT to write about so prepare for a blogging marathon! I will break it up into places so that it is easier to read but let’s hope for the best anyway!

Last time we blogged we said that we were on our way to Barcelona! This went as planned and we stayed at a camp site just outside of Barcelona, Camping Tres Estrellas, we were only a half hour bus ride away from the centre of Barcelona and the camp site was right on the beach and had a cracking pool- the best we have seen as of yet (!) but we were pretty much on Barcelona Airports doorstep and we can tell you that they have at least one flight coming out of Barcelona every 5 minutes. We can assure you, however, that Barcelona was worth it and we stayed there three nights (Wednesday to Saturday morning). The Wednesday day we just chilled by the beach and by the pool and started chatting to a young couple from Oz (Bri and Matt) who were also travelling around Europe in a campervan (The Slug) from London and they are going back to Australia about a week after us! They went into Barcelona on the Wednesday afternoon while me and Steve chilled by the pool and when they came back we met up with them at the bar to see what they thought of Barcelona. Down to pure coincidence they had walked past a Travel Bar which is from the company Travel Bound who offered a *FREE* walking tour of Barcelona!
The Slug
On the Thursday, me, Steve, Bri and Matt all went into Barcelona on the bus and headed for the eleven o clock walking tour of Barcelona. This was amazing and we all would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting Barcelona as the man we had- Chris (Who was also from Australia!) was so knowledgeable of the history of Barcelona and where all the secret places to go were and what they meant, which we would have never known or understood if we hadn’t gone on the tour. Like the fact that the Catalunyan people who live in Barcelona are currently fighting for independence from Spain, they even have their own language, and they want Barcelona to be the capital of Catalunya, due to this passion to enable independent we saw many flags in Barcelona and in surrounding areas which represents their support for Catalunya to be independent from Spain. We also got to see remains from the many wars that have affected Catalunya and we saw the cafĂ© which Ricky Christina Barcelona was filmed.

After the walking tour we had lunch at another Travel Bar and decided to go on the free Gaudi bike tour which was at 4pm and then go to a tapas and flamenco evening as a four. The cycling tour took us to see the beach, which is known as an artificial beach as the sand on the Barcelona beach is imported from the Sahara desert and the palm trees imported from Egypt in preparation for the 1992 Olympic Games. Then we cycled to the ‘Modernist Block of Discord’ which showed how Gaudi designed a building which was based on nature and so had no straight lines which was and still is completely contrast to those buildings surrounding it.

Next we cycled to Casa Batllo which was amazing! It was designed to look like a dragon, as it had bones as the windows and balconies and the chimney was in the shape of a sword, to represent the dragon being killed.
Sagrada Familia
We cycled through Park Ciutadella which is full of water features and statues. (Photos of all of these sights are at the end of the blog as there is a lot!)The next was the most impressive, the famous Sagrada Familia. This was incredible. If you don’t know about this then it is a huge church but doesn’t actually look like a church- it’s all weird, different, and unusual and was inspired by nature as well as Christianity. It is still being built now and they hope to finish it in 2026 as that will be 100 years after Gaudi’s death. The East facing side of the Sagrada Familia is based on the birth of Jesus, this is symbolic to the rising of the sun, and so the west side illustrates the death of Jesus as the sun goes down. The North side doesn’t have anything on it but the South side is still being built and is rumoured to represent the seven sins and heaven and hell. We didn’t have the opportunity to go into the Sagrada Familia on the bike tour but decided to come back to Barcelona the following day to get tickets to the Sagrada Familia! And boyyyyy was it worth it!!! I cannot express myself enough when strongly recommending a visit to Barcelona anyway but the Sagrada Familia is something so unusual and incredible, that it would be such a waste to go to Barcelona and not make the visit to this incredible church.

After the Sagrada Familia we cycled past the Monumental Bullring and learned that bull fighting had only just been made illegal in Barcelona- there had in fact been bull fights in this stadium just last year! Next we cycled under the Arc de Triomf which was not built of white brick but of red to show the Arabic influence on Barcelona and is as impressive, if not more so, as the arc de triumph in Paris, as the Barcelona one is not located in the middle of a roundabout!

We then cycled back to the Travel bar for a drink and then started heading to the tapas and flamenco bar. First was the Flamenco show which was so good! We have never seen a flamenco show live but have seen it on TV and stuff but it does not do it justice at all! It was such a powerful and exhilarating performance- the woman’s leg muscles were so impressive and the speed of which she moved made you just stare at her. After this finished we walked back to the travel bar for our tapas and me, Steve, Bri, matt and two Japanese girls had a table together as we had all been on the bike tour together, and the tapas started coming in! Yum yum yum! It was delish! Lots of cheese and calamari and peppers (or capsicums to the Auzzies) and bread and croquettes and lots more! And we had sangria on the side.
Tower in Sagrada Familia
The two Japanese girls were lovely and knew good English so we talked to them about Tokyo and where they had travelled before Barcelona- which has definitely made me and Steven want to go to Tokyo, so that’s another city on our loooong list of ‘Places to go’. It was then about midnight when we decided to get a taxi back to the campsite! Me, Steve, Bri and Matt met for breakfast the following morning and agreed that it was definitely worth getting the bus back into Barcelona to go into the Sagrada Familia and have no regrets, so we headed in just before midday and started walking to Sagrada Familia, which was definitely further away than we had first considered but Barcelona is a beautiful city so it was an easy walk. After finally getting our tickets (we had been told that you can buy tickets in a bank and skip the queue but after finding and walking to two of these banks and finding that they both did not work we just got into the line, which wasn’t as bad as it looked- it only took about 20 mins!) we headed into the Sagrada Familia. I don’t think any explanation of what we saw will truly represent this incredible architectural work and art but we have some photos for you to see- if any of you do get a chance to go we would strongly recommend it and would not hesitate to go in again once it has been fully completed. We paid extra to go up into the towers and I will say that this was great but if you have a fear of tight spaces then maybe not the place for you as it is tight! But is fantastic all the same!
Steve in a tower in Sagrada Familia

Em walking down a tower in Sagrada Familia

After this we got an ice-cream and started heading back to the bus stop- it was about 5pm- and we were all very tired after the hectic two days in Barcelona! We had a BBQ that evening at Bert the Merc and decided to get up and go the next morning and head to Calogne! So there we were driving in convoy, Bert and then The Slug (Bri and Matts ford Transit) and we decide to stop at a supermarket and get a few things. When we stop Matt runs over and says that The Slug is making some dodgy noises and the left wheel is hot to the touch, Steven has a look at it (to those who don’t know- Steve is a mechanic) and says that they need to go to a garage because it looks like the brake has seized on. Luckily there was a garage just down the road from the shop so we drove there. Unluckily we had forgotten that this day (the Saturday) was the start of the Spanish bank holiday San Juan- they were going to be shut until Tuesday and there was nothing they could do, to this Steven said to Matt and Bri to drive The Slug down the road to a back street so he can have a look at it- and he found that it wasn't the brake caliper itself but the hose that fed the brake caliper the brake fluid that had internally collapsed and so maybe he could do a temporary fix to get them to the next campsite which was only an hour and a half away. A jubilee clip, a bit of metal and some improvisation- and The Slug was ready to go!

More to come soon!
Much love and Happy Camping!

P.S. Click on the photos for full size images :)

Some more photos of us in Barcelona-

Inside Sagrada Familia

Matt, Bri and Steve
Park Ciutadella
Park Ciutadella
Park Ciutadella

Bike tour on cool cruiser bikes!
Inside the Sagrada Familia

Space Invader graffiti in Barcelona
Mountain we climbed ;)
Flamenco and Tapas

In front of the Sagrada Familia

Sculpture to represent the mountain of men

Organ in Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

Gothic Cathedral
'Artificia' Barcelona Beach

Top of a Tower of Sagrada Famila

Casa Batllo

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