We are boiling in Barcelona.
Had to sleep on the floor again as it is ridiculously hot. We are not enjoying the heat or our homestay. The girls love the pool and it is nice and clean so no complaints there. We have got all the laundry done due to the weather being so hot it is dry in a day, mind you the host follows me and watched me in the laundry the whole time, so weird. I fix her leaking tap and she thanks me but still hangs around to watch me load the machine.
On our third day we have some lunch and then drove into Barcelona again and this was the temperature when we entered the city centre.
First stop, the Gaudi Museum Casa Batlo.
We took one look at the price to get in, $21 Euro each. We thought that was a bit steep and declined then drove to the Gothic quarter. This is more our price range, walking is for free. We spent the next 3 hours wandering around and just taking our time to see as much as we could in this area of Barcelona. It was cool in the stone passageways and in the shade of the large old buildings and so we were in no hurry to leave. Spring and I went into the Basilica Santa Maria del Mar. Doesn’t look like much from the outside, but once inside amazing.
We decided to leave, returned to the car entered the destination and our satnav let us down immensely. It gave us a direct route along a road with a thousand sets of traffic lights. It was like driving out of Sydney along Parramatta Road and we managed to hit nearly every set of lights. By the time we got close to our accommodation the stores were shut and we did not have enough food to make dinner. We decided to stop at a packed outdoor eatery and ate tappas. The first for the girls, I have been to Spain before.
We ordered at 10pm and Spring started to cry from hunger, we felt really bad but once we ate we were feeling heaps better and just went back and dropped into bed. We all fell asleep pretty quick, even in the ridiculous heat.
Barcelona to Benicassim.
Our attempt at dirt cheap accommodation didn’t work out the way we wanted. We didn’t really want to stay in a house with no locks on our bedroom doors or keys to the house when we left all our stuff there but we did it and could not wait to get out of the place. At first Summer thought it would be good for her to learn Spanish but by this morning she didn’t even come down for breakfast, just helped the girls pack and we all went down together and said goodbye.
We jumped in the car and headed to the last destination on our list of things to see in Barcelona, the Tibidabo Mountain. It is an amusement park on the top of a hill above the city. There is also a huge church up there called the Sagrat Cor, The Sacred Heart of Jesus and it has a Jesus statue that sticks over 500 metres above sea level, impressive. We parked in the carpark and walked the rest of the way up to the peak.
The amusement park was closed today but they had some rides still open on the observation deck and so we just unpacked our picnic lunch and ate on the seating, looking out at the view. Rotating above was a red propeller plane, it was an attraction and it swung people out over the edge. So cheesy. (you can see it in the picture above) We let the girls take a ride on the double-decker merry-go-round and then entered the church for a quick look inside. It was nice and cool in there. We took some photos and the girls waited while I climbed the staircase to get more photos. We could clearly see the La Sagrada Familia from up here with all the cranes sticking up out of it.
We then left and headed South down the coast toward a seaside resort town called Benicassim. Summer had found a small room in a hostel for a good price and booked it for two nights. We only wanted to drive a short way from Barcelona and needed to swim in the ocean. When we got to the hostel we all had a laugh. It was two bunks head to head, a huge TV that you would only be able to watch if we all sat on the top bunk and an air conditioner. We struggled to fit our bags in and then we opened the barn style sliding door to the bathroom and you could have fit another set of bunks in there it was so huge.
We went for a walk around the town and to look for the beach. The coast line here in this beach resort town is really strange to us. There are houses and boutique hotels all along the beach front and the foreshore biking and running lane is on the street behind the houses, or in front of them, it is confusing. Across the road and inland from the beach there is block after block of medium level apartment housing. We couldn’t work out how to actually access the beach and then the girls said they saw a walk way.
We parked the car and yep there is a massive beach in front of the houses. We returned to our room and Spring and I changed and went back to the beach for a swim, while Autumn and Summer watched a movie. Nice to split up and spend some parent child time with each of our girls. When we returned we all got together and bought some food from the supermarket and had dinner down at the beach, picnic style again. Instead of street busker’s that play an instrument or do tricks Benicassim has sand artists. It is pretty impressive too. We returned to the hostel had a bed each and they were actually really comfortable. First time in Spain with an airconditioner so really looking forward to a good nights sleep.
When we woke we all felt great. I ducked out before the girls woke to get some ice coffee and other supplies and it was already heating up like crazy. After we all had breakfast we hung out on each of our beds catching up with the world again.
We all had wifi and began to send emails and post information like mad people. Then we got out and picked up some food for lunch. We drove around town looking for table and chairs to eat our picnic but we could’nt find any. We found this large gated park with an old train carriage in it. After we settled on a bench seat in the shade we realised the park has been purpose built to house a miniture rail network. There was even a miniature locomotive turntable so you can do maintenance on your miniature loco in the designated sheds.
There were tracks running in all directions and a pretty impressive set up. We ate and had to get out of the heat. Mind you our room had air conditioning and so we actually enjoyed just laying about and doing nothing for a little while.
We then decided that we were ready to brave the heat and headed out for a swim. It was great. It was shallow for about 60 metres out from the sand and so we all stayed in the water for a long time. We saw heaps some impressive sand sculptures.
Inspired we decided that we would do our own sand art. We made a big map of Australia. The girls each added their details, Autumn put a crocodile in the Northern Territory and a Harbour Bridge in New South Wales, Spring did an Uluru and placed it vertically and so when she washed her hands we changed it horizontally, she didn’t notice. Summer put a wine bottle and some grapes in Western Australia, I think she really misses the home grown wine. We wrote a message and took a photo, pretty proud of our efforts.
We then headed up to the supermarket and got some ingredients for a picnic dinner again. The weather is perfect for eating outside, but the lack of table and chairs is annoying us, we end up on park benches which is hard. We headed back to our hostel and all had showers in the massive bathroom, this is the best shower we have had since Turkey and that one only got a rating because it was the best since Malaysia. We dropped into another great nights sleep.