Where's Frankie?

Barcelona Part 1

Wednesday 26th November

In the end we did move on Monday and found a proper campsite that had been recommended to us at Villanova i La Gresu, about 30 miles south of Barcelona.

We decided to take the coast road again which had fantastic views but you can have too much of a good thing. The roads twisted and turned for mile after mile, you could never get higher than third gear and after 10 miles or so I’d had enough. Lucy found it impossible to get a decent photo, as soon as she had composed her shot a tree would magically appear right in the middle so she gave up in the end.

Camping Villanova is part of the Camping Cheques system where you prepay your nights by crediting a credit card. The current cost is £14.95 per night which is higher than the ASCI sites network but there seem to be far more of them open all year round. We arrived just behind another English couple who had tried to get into an aire in Barcelona itself but it was €38 per night which they didn’t fancy, (our aires book actually told us to avoid the aires in Barcelona) and because they didn’t have a Camping Cheques card paid considerably more than £14.95 per night.

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This is our pitch, standard 70m2 of gravel surrounded by trees and hedges.

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At our back left corner we have the water and waste connection and the electric is at the front. Technically we have a sea view, if you stand on our step and look over the wall it can be seen 3km away in the distance. The other side of the wall is a factory which converts huge logs into garden sheds, they start work at 7am and continue until quite late but they only make a background hum. 

We’ve got two swimming pools, restaurant, wifi (expensive), heated toilets (with gardens in them) and all the other facilities that a first class campsite normally offers. We have neighbours who come back every year to the same pitch and won’t be leaving until April. It’s nice enough and would be great in the sun but it isn’t that good.

We’re staying here a few days because Lucy’s lucky credit card expires at the end of November and we need a permanent address so Emma can post her the new one. We arrived on Monday, the letter was posted on Tuesday, how long do you think we’ll be here?

We took it easy on Tuesday and got all the washing done in the camp launderette and took the time to work out where we would like to go in Barcelona. There is a bus every hour that takes us from the site straight into the middle of Barcelona for €5.10 each which wasn’t too bad. Up early on Wednesday and caught the bus, which left spot on time. Our only problem was that it started raining as we got on the bus and the closer we got to Barcelona, the heavier it got, really seriously heavy with deep rivers running along the roads which were flooded in several areas.

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Being dropped off in the middle of a city in the pouring rain isn’t the best start but we found Las Rambles, one of the wide streets where you can walk along the centre and found La Boqueria, a large covered market, just the thing for a rainy day.

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The displays were fantastic, all bright and very colourful. The market was divided into different sections for meat, fish, vegetables, sweets, etc. The hams in the photo above were priced at €250 each or you could buy a kilo for €198

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There were lots of small streets off Las Ramblas were you could easily lose yourself. We found a restaurant (our first this trip) and treated ourselves to La Menu del Dia, I plumped for the spinach cannelloni and tapas while Lucy had the chicken in lemon sauce and spaghetti neapolitan. 

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The weather was starting to clear so we continued south along Las Ramblas until we found a column for Christopher Columbas and the harbour. We also found a map of the city and worked out we were miles from the places we really wanted to see so we wandered around taking in the views and made our way back to the bus pick up point. The afternoon buses were at 3.40pm and 6.10pm so we decided to hop on the earlier one and come back another day.

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