Weekend in Barcelona – day 1

Destiny: Barcelona (Spain)
Flight Oporto to Barcelona-El Prat Airport
– 29.57€ (Ryanair)
– 42.14€ (TAP)

Hotel: Wow Barcelona Hostel
– 25€/double room (breakfast included)

Restaurants: Ciudad Condal (12€/pax)

Transports (train and metro)
– T10 ticket (10.30€): 1.03€/trip (maximum duration 75 minutes)

Flight Barcelona-El Prat Airport to Oporto
– 17.33€ (Ryanair)

Trip

On 7th February 2014 I, JB, my brother and his girlfriend flew to Barcelona (Spain) from Oporto (Portugal).

We went on different flights. My brother and his girlfriend went to “Aeroporto Sá Carneiro” (Sá Carneiro Airport) on the night before (6th February) in order to catch the Ryanair flight that would leave Oporto at 6h35 and would land in Barcelona at 9h45. I and JB caught the TAP flight that left the airport at 8h45.

We arrived in the airport about 1 hour before our flight. At that time the airport was very quiet. At scheduled time, we were driven on a bus to the airplane. To our surprise, the airplane was very small, it looked like a private jet.

11_barcelona_panoramicaThe flight took abound 1h30. A breakfast, composed of a ham and cheese sandwich and a juice, was served during the flight. Coffee, tea and cold drinks were also available.

Oppositely to the weather in Portugal, Barcelona welcomed us with a warm sun.

TAP flights arrive at terminal 1 of Barcelona-El Prat Airport. So we had to catch the shuttle (for free) that took us to terminal 2, next to which the train station is located.

We bought the T-10 ticket for 10.30€. The T-10 ticket is a ticket that contains 10 trips for train, metro or bus and can be used by multiple persons at same time.

Unfortunately, we were not quick enough to catch the train that was departing at the time we arrived to the station. We had to wait 30 minutes for the next one. Meanwhile, we found 2 seats and we ate the sandwiches we had brought from home. It was our lunch.

Cable car

Cable car

We went by train from the Airport to Sants station and went by metro from there to Diagonal station. As this whole trip takes less than 75 minutes, only a single trip was discounted from the T-10 ticket for each one of us (totalizing 2 trips).

However, when we were going to catch the metro at Sants Station, we did the same thing that we had done in the train station. We had the T-10 ticket on our right hand and went through the passage at the left side of the ticket validator. But the door didn’t open. It was just after we had done this twice that a nice lady told us we had to go through the right side of the ticket validator, instead of the left one. Because of this mistake we lost two trips from the T-10 ticket.

We arrived at Diagonal Station without more incidents, found the way to Diagonal Avenue and we went towards Wow Barcelona Hostel, the place where we were going to spend the next 2 nights. My brother and his girlfriend were already in front of the hostel awaiting for us.

Kitchen

Kitchen

Accommodation
We rang the bell of the 3rd floor, someone opened the door, we climbed the stairs (there’s an old elevator in the building, but we preferred to use the stairs) and we were welcomed by a lady and a young man. During the check in process the four of us were asked to show our ID cards and we had to pay a 20€ caution for each group of keys, which was returned to us when we checked out from the Hostel.

The young man gave us a map of Barcelona, in which he had marked the touristic places. Then he showed our rooms, which were located on the 5th floor. As we were already expecting, the rooms were very small, but they had everything we needed (bed, chair, bedside table, lamp, shelves, heater and fan). There was even a towel for each one of us (we had thought we had to rent them).

There were 2 bathrooms on that floor, both equipped with a sink, bath tub, toilet and bidet.

The kitchen was really nice. It had a nice decoration, was clean and organized and it was well equipped. There was a microwave, an oven, an electric water boiler, several pans, plates, glasses, boxes, cutlery and there was also dishcloths and paper towels.

“Montjuïc”

Jardins de Walter Benjamin

Jardins de Walter Benjamin

The plan for that day was to visit “Montjuïc”. Montjuïc is a hill in Barcelona and it was the selected site to host the 1929 International Exposition (World’s Fair) as well as several of the venues of the 1992 Summer Olympics. Therefore, most of the sights in Montjuïc, such as “Palau Nacional”, “Estadí Olímpic” and “Font Màgica” date back to these two events.

We went by metro to Drassanes station and then we walked to our destination.

First thing we saw when we left the metro station was a monument to the maritime explorer Christopher Columbus, in the middle of a roundabout.

We turned right to “Passeig de Josep Carner”. Some meters ahead, we saw some curious trees in “Jardins de Walter Benjamin” (Walter Benjamin Gardens). These trees have a thick trunk that has a bottle shape. If I’m not mistaken, they belong to the genus Brachychiton.

22_barcelona_castell_montjuic

Montjuïc Castle

I was walking looking to my maps when suddenly I felt one of my feet hitting something. I immediately looked down to see what that thing was. To my surprise it was a pigeon! Even after it was beaten, the animal was standing very quiet in the sidewalk, it was just looking a bit confused.

We found our first geocache in Barcelona just before we began the climbing towards “Castell de Montjuïc” (Montjuïc Castle).

As we made a couple of stops to enjoy the view over Barcelona and to look for some geocaches, it took us about 40 minutes to arrive at Montjuïc Castle.

Montjuïc Castle is a military fortress dated back from the 17th century, currently serving as a municipal facility.

We visited the Castle, enjoyed the view, took some photos and went back to the road. The next destination was “Fuente Màgica de Montujïc” (Montjuïc Magic Fountain).On its way, we passed by the “Estadi Olimpic” (Olympic Stadium), by the “Fundació Joan Miró” (Joan Miró Foundation) and we made a stop at the “Teatre Grec” (Greek Theater). This outdoor theater was built for the 1929 International Exposition. Nowadays, it is mainly used for the Grec Festival of Barcelona, an international theater, dance, music and circus festival.

When we arrived to the “Palau Nacional” (National Palace) it was already night and we found there a lot of people waiting the Magic Fountain show. We looked for a free spot to sit while we waited for the 19h, the time at which the show began. We enjoyed most of the show from the National Palace, then we went down to the Fountain to have a closer look. It was a spectacular display of moving water jets synchronized with music and light.

After the show, we made our way back to the Hostel, just stopping at the supermarket to buy some food. Among other items, we bought precooked pizza, lasagne and salad for dinner.

We made use of the Hostel’s kitchen to prepare the pizza and lasagne. As we didn’t like very much the bottled water we bought, we prepared tea to accompany our meal and to take with us on the next day.

Gallery

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