Return to Barcelona

Staying in Torremolinos meant we were actually south of Málaga and didn’t have to drive across the city to reach the airport. Once there we dropped off our hire car and went through the check-in procedure for our flight back to Barcelona. We flew with Vueling and were quite happy with the low fare, efficient service and of course short flight back to Barcelona. We made our way back into the city via the train after swapping terminals on the free bus service. This time we had booked, Quatro Naciones, a basic hotel at the bottom of La Rambla. Our room was at the back of the hotel, so no great view but also much quieter. By now it was quite late in the day so we did a walk up and then back down most of La Rambla, enjoying the atmosphere of this lively pedestrian mall. As we went we diverted a few times down side streets branching off La Rambla to check out restaurants. This one didn’t catch our eye for its food but its name. Don’t think you’d get away with that name back home.

In the end we settled on eating pizzas at an outdoor table at Restaurant Italiano Rossini in Plaça Reial.

The next morning we ate a varied buffet breakfast which was a nice bonus of staying in a hotel rather than an apartment. Our day started by continuing down La Rambla to Columbus’ column.We continued along past the marinaspotting a sail ship, clearly under motor, making its way out.On the other side were some unbelievably large boats. I doubt that we could afford one even if we did win the lotto.It took us longer than I thought but we did make it to the Transbordador Aeri del Port (port cable car base) after about forty minutes. Needless to say there was quite a long queue, which we duly joined. Eventually we were able to access the fast lift up to the top and purchased our tickets, 11 euros each. From there we were placed in another queue to wait as there are two cable cars running back and forward from the marina area to Montjuic. At one point the queue passed a large window so I managed a few photos of the Barceloneta beach and surrounding area below us.With the zoom lens I even managed a photo of the still incomplete Sagrada la Familia.As we approached the front of the queue we had a good view of an incoming carriage.As they group exited we were able to go on board, gaining a forward position with a pretty good viewpoint.As our journey began it was a little bit disconcerting as the first movement is actually down as the cable takes up the weight but we were soon enjoying the journey and the views below. We caught a good view of the sailing boat we had seen earlier below us too.As we approached and passed through the mid point tower we had that sinking feeling again but soon adjustedand started to take in the scenery below and around us.Ahead were some of the architecturally majestic buildings on Montjuic.Soon our journey was coming to an end.One of our fellow passengers offered to take a photo for us and we returned the favour (Note the next cable car carriage in between us in the distance) before taking in the view of where we had come fromand to other parts of the panorama. It was a unique way to experience Barcelona, one we would highly recommend.Next we took a short walk around the gardens in the area before taking the funicular back down into the city and another trip on the subway to Jaume 1.We browsed a few cafes with their delicious display windows before settling on one of our favourites, Boheme in C. de la Princesa in the El Born area. After a light lunch we headed to the Santa Catarina market, where we purchased some olive oil to take home from Olis Oliva. Our lack of Spanish or Catalan made it hard to communicate with owner Ana, but her son Daniel spoke excellent English and soon had us sorted with a couple of tins and bottles. From there we headed to a wine shop and bodega recommended by Daniel. It was called Vila Viniteca and was in Carrer dels Agullers just off the Via Laietana near the main post office buildings. The girl who served us there was very helpful and we managed to find a few bottles of wine from regions we had stayed in during our trip to take home. Back at our hotel we began packing our goodies with our clothes around them for protection. After a bit of discussion about where to have our last dinner in Barcelona for this trip we ended up at Vegetalia, at C. Esculdellers 54, in the Barrio Gothic which pleased Karen as she prefers to eat vegetarian.  I ate a risotto and Karen ate a vegetarian schnitzel with mushrooms.Our time in Spain had come to an end. The next day we took the train out to the airport and headed home to Melbourne on an afternoon flight with Emirates, vowing to return sometime to Spain and also head further afield on the Iberian Peninsula to Portugal.

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