03.10.2010 - 06.10.2010
Due to the price difference between the bus and train over a large distance, we decided to take an overnight bus to Barcelona from Cordoba. We hardly got any sleep on the bus. However, we stopped into some interesting Spanish towns where it appeared as though the whole region was celebrating a fiesta. Several towns had fairs on, with many people out in the streets, and the towns decorated in lights, and men and women wearing traditional dress. We were lucky enough to see fireworks at about one o'clock in the morning, that lit up the otherwise dark sky, at the most fantastic angle as the bus passed along the highway. We got into Barcelona at 7am, waking like zombies. We took the metro into the centre of the city - La Rambla, where we were able to drop off our bags at Hostal Campi, where we would stay for the next three nights. Barcelona is in Catalonia, where Catalan is predominately spoken. They have an independant cultural identity and there will be a referendum next year to decide whether Catalonia will break off from the rest of Spain. They are against bull fighting and have banned the sport from the region, and they have their own dance where they gather in a circle holding hands and intermittently lift their feet up. Barcelona can only be described as a strange city. One moment you're walking past a street party with a brass band and drums, the next winding your way down the dark narrow streets, dodging George Orwell square where itinerants pass the time waiting out the 5 years they need to stick it out to be given nationality. We went on a walking tour through Barcelona with this outlandish young Australian guy with a crude but funny sense of humour that had Jade laughing for most of the 2 hours. Jade had half a mojito before she was out for the count and had an early night. We pre-booked tickets for Gaudi's Sagrada Familia Church, that started being built in 1882 and is due for completion around 2020. Architecture like you've never seen, with tree like supporting structures and angular sculptures. Chris took the lift up to the top of the church where he took some photos of the Barcelona panorama. On our last night we went for a walk up Montjuïc Mountain to the castle and enjoyed our last look at Barcelona, and Spain for that matter, before leaving for Italy.