After a day or two in Barcelona to recover from our long trip we set off in a rental car to explore some of Spain.
03 September 2015: It’s been a busy day. We looked around the old part of Barcelona this morning and I took photos at and around the Cathedral.
At La Boqueria fresh market we marvelled at the displays of fruit, fish, meats, cheeses and sweets, then sampled a traditional Xuxo (chucho) pastry which was delicious.
I relive last year’s fantastic holiday by bringing posts over from the trip blog. This doesn’t aim to be identical to the trip blog, but an improvement, with text edits and more / better photos. Find all these posts under the tag: Spain2015.
We picked up a rental car and Deb somehow managed to drive through Barcelona’s mega busy Avenida Diagonal traffic and out to the Hotel Barcelona Golf Resort, Sant Esteve Sesrovires, which is around 45 minutes away, but close to Montserrat.
This afternoon we called in to a nearby town called Martorell for a few groceries and to get Spanish SIM cards from Orange for our phones. I’ve already had to call the free Helpdesk as Orange are sending me a text about every 6 minutes to say my credit has run out. Apparently the previous owner did something that caused this and it could take them 2 days to fix it. Sigh.
Tomorrow we’ll visit Montserrat, and, I hope, the saltpetre mines at the bottom of the mountain, before we drive on westwards. We don’t yet know where we’ll stop tomorrow night, but for now this hotel is very comfortable and pleasant, with views, though not from our room, of the surrounding countryside.
In retrospect: the thing I didn’t mention in this blog post was the detail of picking up the rental car. We caught a bus in the pouring rain from our hotel to the rental car place on Avenida Diagonal, a huge and extremely busy major road in Barcelona. It has something like 4 lanes of traffic in each direction. The rental car was brought up from an underground garage and there was no time to get to grips with the GPS before we were engaged in the traffic and trying to find our way out of the city.
Deb was grappling with a manual drive, on the ‘wrong’ side of the road while I was trying to get the GPS to do something. Directions were in Spanish and I was translating on the fly while trying to watch street signs. There was nowhere to pull over and we just had to go with the flow. Somehow we made it a couple of dozen kilometres until we could find a spot to stop for a minute and gather ourselves.
Luckily our destination hotel was only a 45 minute drive away, and we found it fairly easily, with only one major unintended side trip.
The hotel was comfortable and our room was on the first floor. There were mysterious signs on the lift though whose potential meanings intrigued me.
No smoking and max 8 passengers are clear enough. But then: no more than 1 child per adult? Beware bats?