I’m exhausted, so this is going to be super short, but I wanted to put up pictures from today. I took the Barcelona City Bus tour (yes the cheesy red double-decker bus kind; I don’t care, I love them). I made Mt Tibidabo my first stop and took the tram up the mountain. The top was closed today so we only got to go about halfway up but the view was still spectacular. There are amazing mansions built into the side of the hills, originally for the bourgeoise who wanted to live outside of Barcelona city. It was an exclusive area, and the residents would access it by tram, which still runs today for the tourists. I ended up walking back down just to get a better view of all the houses-there was some stunning architecture and design. Some appeared to still be residential, but many have been converted to businesses.
After that I rode the bus for a while until we got to the beach at La Barceloneta, where some of the best restaurants, and seafood, in the city are. So I got off for lunch at Restaurante Salamanca, which is right on the beach. Definitely go here if you’re in the area. The service was great. They bring out appetizers of sausage or serrano ham with tomato bread as soon as you sit down. The tomato bread is a typical Catalunian staple-crunchy fresh bread drizzled with olive oil and tomato sauce. I ordered some garlic prawns as well and they came out sizzling in a skillet full of butter. Delicious!
After that, I got a little lost. Instead of getting back on the bus I thought I’d walk down the beach and catch it at a later stop. But the walk was a lot further than the map showed, and also, it’s not one beach but several laid out one after the other, plus the Olympic port. And when I finally got to the bus sign it turned out that all the beach stops except for la Barceloneta were closed for the winter and the bus took an alternate route, which was not very clear in the guidebook. And I did not feel like walking back to Barceloneta! So I went a few blocks away from the beach and found a metro station, took the subway to Placa Catalunya, and got back on the bus there. I mostly just rode since I’d already seen some of the areas, and then we went up Montserrat, the other mountain in Barcelona. The views were amazing, and I want to go back and spend a day at the art museum; it looks like a palace!
Then on the way back we passed the Arc de Triomph:
And now I desperately need sleep! Tomorrow, La Sagrada Familia!