We were happy to get out of the constant rain and enjoy the sunshine of the Mediterranean. Our accommodation for four nights was a dated pension with a stiff mattress and pillows, but the location was very central with a balcony overlooking the crowded pedestrian thoroughfare Les Rambles.
We were amazed at the crowds of people wherever we went. Barcelona hosts more than 8 million visitors annually; and the tourist season stays strong until the end of October. The city bustles with tour groups, European vacationers, cruise customers and Spanish tourists. Most of the popular attractions center on the works of Antoni Gaudi. The city is very walkable and cycling friendly. (if you want to take your life into your hands). Street cafes and shopping opportunities fill every avenue and alley.
In our four days we enjoyed a variety of sites. One morning when our Camino legs cried for action, we took a long walk along the waterfront, past sandy beaches and marinas filled with megayachts. Another afternoon we hiked up to Guell Park with its unique viaducts and mosaic features. The hilltop park which overlooks the city is surprisingly the top tourist attraction. Our usual spontaneity cost us no admission to the inside of Basílica de la Sagrada Familia, but we absorbed the fantastic exterior. We did get tickets to the Picasso Museum, where we were introduced to the artist’s long career that evolved from realistic to the bold exploration of the abstract.
During our stay we enjoyed a variety of foods, but our favorites were the Spanish classic of paella and a nearby cafe with its creative breakfast plates. After refraining from shopping for three months, we took advantage of an extra luggage bag and began filling it up. Denim jeans feel pretty good after months of quick dry outdoor clothing. We thoroughly enjoyed Barcelona and would visit it again sometime.