The train ride from Ocata station to Placa Catalunya only took 15 minutes. The train was spacious and quiet and the seats were wide. This was a great contrast to the plane or the skytrain that we were used to back home. As soon as we ascended to the street we were greeted by the architecture that Barcelona is famous for. We started first by walking around the Hotel Barcelona, an ornate building, balconies lining each floor and topped with colourful roof tiles.
The whole city was filled with people going in all directions, carrying bags and packages. We strolled a wide street made for pedestrian traffic. There were many other narrow curved streets with tall buildings on either side that looked like alleyways. I saw for myself the inspiration for the Vancouver library.
Barcelona is a shopping mecca. All the major designer and sports stores were there along with their own security and desperately needed air conditioning. Street vendors were selling everything from mouth kazoos to flamenco fans. Buskers were playing catchy Spanish music. The gelato store was what we were interested in!
In the middle of this sprawling metropolis were historic sites. We visited the Barcelona Cathedral, which we’ve included as a separate blog and an ancient gravesite, preserved in the middle of the city.
By the time we spent a few hours in the blazing sun, we were spent. We looked forward to the short train ride back to Masnou and the beach. Unfortunately we took the wrong train and ended up in the mountains instead. The backdrop was starting to look unfamiliar and there was no water to be seen. Fortunately for us, the train conductor allowed us to go back with the same ticket to our original destination. By this time, the rush hour was on and it was standing room only the trainload of passengers and us who were headed back to town.
Two hours later, we were finally on the beach with our long-awaited cervesas. The sunset temperatures and sandy beaches were a nice contrast to the blazing heat and pavement of the city and our day of adventure in Barcelona.