1st December

The drive down to the border was uneventful and took less than two hours. Crossing the border was a non-stop process with the Spanish border control guys standing around looking macho with their big guns but casually waving us through. Another two hours including negotiating the ‘Ronda del Litoral’ and some of the commercial district of east Barcelona saw the car safe in the underground car park of the Express by Holiday Inn for the next three nights and us unpacked in our room on the sixth floor by 3pm.

Lynne demanded we make good use of the afternoon available to us. So it was a taxi to the Parc Guell for a long wander, or should that be wonder, around and also seeing Gaudi’s house that is located within the park. When it finally got dark we got a taxi back to the hotel and set out to find a place to eat.

Turning left out of the hotel we turned immediately left up the street, Carrer de la Llacuna, by the side of the hotel and headed for what we thought a likely area of the Avinguda Diagonal, one of the big boulevards that now has trees, walkways and the tram system running up the middle. Quite a long walk and it was mainly retail with cafés for cakey-faces; our first indication of what a lot of cakey-faces the Barcelonas are. Still we did walk almost to the bottom of Barcelona’s (better) answer to the ‘Gurkin’ in London and stopped off in an interesting bar that had nothing that Lynne could eat. So we headed back towards the hotel with the intention of asking at reception about areas with places to eat. We missed the street we came up and came to the next one along called Rambla del Poblenou and were (almost) spoilt for choice on places to eat. We ended up in La Boqueta (which I think means kebab as that was the speciality). The waiter dragged the chef out of the kitchen as he spoke English and we both ate well. Pud was Carlos Primero, they opened a new bottle for us and poured the usual ludicrously large ‘Spanish measures’. When we got back to the hotel there was no-one behind the bar so it was off to bed.