European Vacation: March-April, 2010


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Saturday, April 3 - Third Day in Barcelona

We asked for a wake-up call so we wouldn't oversleep, but we woke up early and got started sightseeing again. The call never came though. After breakfast we went to Plaça Catalunya to check the schedule of the airport bus, since we would need to take it bright and early the next day.

View Photos from the morning of April 3 (11 images)

We then took the metro to the Camp Nou, the largest stadium of any kind in Europe and the home of the famed FC Barcelona football team. We were there around 10:00-11:00, and there were crowds gathering and lines forming to buy tickets for that day's match against Athletic Bilbao, even though the game wasn't until that evening at 18:00. At a street entrance to the parking lot in front of the ramp down to underground parking, one crowd was gathering, which turned out to be a horde of people wanting to catch a glimpse of the players as they arrived in their fancy cars and SUVs. There is a museum and stadium tour at the Camp Nou, but because of the crowds at the ticket office it wasn't apparent how much it cost or if you could pay separately for the two, we skipped that deal.

View Photos from the Camp Nou (27 images)

Down the street from the Camp Nou is the Palau Real (Royal Palace) and surrounding gardens. We relaxed, had a snack on a bench, and took some pictures (including pictures of both of us using the handy tripod and camera timer).

View Photos from the Palau Real (16 images)

In the afternoon, we took the metro to Parc Güell, a large park designed by Antoni Gaudí containing forested areas, a cross-adorned rock peak, several public buildings, one a museum that was originally a house, and what is reported to be the longest park bench in the world. Here Neil got a picture with the Invisible Man.

View Photos from Park Güell (48 images)

After departing the park, we rode the metro back to the hotel, where Ginger napped a bit while Neil got a café and checked e-mail in the lobby.

Since the wake-up call thing didn't happen that morning, and we were leaving early the next morning, we wanted an alarm clock just to be sure. We were told El Corte Ingles would have one. Boy were we in for a shock. El Corte Ingles is basically a Wal-Mart/Dillards/Best Buy combo store housed in a huge building on at least 7 floors. And it was a crowded as the average Wal-Mart on any given Saturday morning. The mayhem! After asking at least 3 people where the alarm clocks were and getting multiple conflicting answers, we never found any kind of shelf with traditional alarm clocks. So we ended up with an FC Barcelona souvenir clock from the souvenir section of the store.

Late in the afternoon, we decided to take the metro to Plaça d'Espanya to make the short walk up to visit the Poble Espanyol, which we didn't know anything about but saw it on a tourist map and thought it might be cool. It turned out to be an outdoor museum -- we decided not to spend the 8,90€ per person, so Ginger rested on a park bench while Neil circled the exterior for photo ops. Since we only saw the daylight version of the Magic Fountain show the day before, we wanted to see the lighted night rendition this day. Again the show was beautifully done, the lights adding to the magic . We got back on the metro for the journey back to the hotel, but on the way from the destination stop, we had to stop by Farggi to get ice cream.

View Photos from the Poble Espanyol (16 images) View Photos from the evening of April 3 (29 images)