A trip to Barcelona to explore the city had been on our radar for a while so this was an opportunity not to be missed.
We booked the motor home in for a two night stay at Camping Tres Estrellas a beach side camp site which was also on the bus route for a 45 minute ride into the city centre of Barcelona.
The camp site staff were very enthusiastic and helpful and we were able to book a days travel on the Barcelona City Tour Bus ( barcelona.city-tour.com ) for €30 each which was the recommended way to see Barcelona in a day.
From outside the main entrance of the campsite we boarded the 08-00 L95 bus at €2.50 for the ride to the centre. Roads were very busy as you can imagine at that time of the morning and we were the only two on the bus without earphones and staring into a phone. Cars seemed to be easily outnumbered by motorbikes and scooters and although I had read of the cities attempt to increase bicycle use, despite cycle lanes and infrastructure I saw little evidence of a cycling revolution.
Once into the centre we soon found the City-tour rep. The tour-bus operates an orange and green route which each cover a different area of the city but start and finish at the same area so making it easy to change over, tickets are valid all day and you can get off and rejoin at any point of the route.
We started on the Green route which goes out to the East, the trip takes about 2 1/4 hours. The open top bus certainly gives you a feeling of being part of the city and the headphones and audio tour save you the bother of reading the paper guide so you can just enjoy the sights. I am not going to list all the places we saw but two things that did stand out were Port Vell, the massive old port which was remodelled for the 1992 Olympics, and probably everybody’s favourite Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece. I would have liked to have taken the tour of this site but the queues to get in were very long, likewise the Museo Picasso, these will have to wait for another opportunity.
On finishing the Green tour it was time for a coffee and comfort break and were pleasantly surprised to find coffee and cake in a very smart cafe at €2.50, what a bargain for a city centre.
Next it was the Orange route and by 12-00 it was very busy with a long cue for the bus so we decided to walk to the previous stop (top tip) on the Orange route and were rewarded with an empty bus and a front seat. This route travels to the west and from the high ground you get a fabulous view of the city. The Olympic stadium and MNAC are very popular as is the Barcelona Camp Nou football stadium.
A single day is not enough time to explore the city which seems to be dominated by the work of Goudi although there are many other architectural masterpieces and you would do well to find another city with such a diverse architectural history.
I would not have liked to bring the camper van into the centre of the city but unlike London where the driving is very bad natured and aggressive there was a certain air of calm as drivers respected everybody’s right to get about in Barcelona.
A fabulous city, a great day out and lovely people, I would recommend it, I was thrilled to see the work of Goudi , all very surreal …….