Spain Holidays

Tips on holidays in Spain
By admin, 9 years and 11 months ago

Spain Holidays 2010 - September 2, Thursday – Barcelona

Day 5 of Spain Holidays 2010 - September 2, Thursday – Barcelona

9:45 Check-out from the AC Som hotel. We could stay until 12:00, but preferred to leave early and see more of Barcelona and experience fine Barcelona SHOPPING! Luckily, we were allowed to leave our bags for the day in the hotel's storage room. It was offered for free and we gladly made use of it instead of taking the bags to the Sants station, which would take time and would cost €4.50 per large locker (90x60x50 cms).

10:30 Short visit to the nearby huge shopping mall – Gran Via 2. Lots of stores, but  nothing stunning, so we left rather quickly without buying anything.

10:50 Metro from Ildefons Cerda to Liceu (Rambla/Plaça de la Boqueria): L8 to Espanya (2 stops), then L3 to Liceu (4 stops):

SpainCoolpixLexar8GB 1523 300x225 Spain Holidays 2010   September 2, Thursday – Barcelona

Mercat de la Boqueria, Barcelona

  • Gran Teatre del Liceu (11:10)
  • Palau Guell (closed due to renovation works) (11:30)
  • Mercat de La Boqueria (Mercat de Sant Josep), with the world-famous Pinotxo bar run by Juanito Bayan and dozens of colorful stalls with fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and much more. Not to be missed if you're a gourmet! We enjoyed yummy lunch there. (11:45-12:15)
  • SpainCoolpixLexar8GB 1529 150x150 Spain Holidays 2010   September 2, Thursday – Barcelona

    Pinotxo bar run by Juanito Bayan, La Boqueria, Barcelona

  • Palau de la Virreina (12:30)
  • Esglesia del Betlem (12:40)
  • Stroll north along La Rambla to Plaça de Catalunya (13:00).

Shopping in the area of Avinguda del Portal de l'Angel/Passeig de Gracia (13:00 – 16:00)

16:00 Metro L4 from Catalunya to Liceu (1 stop). One more visit to Barri Gotic and shopping in the area between Via Laietana, Carrer de Ferran, Carrer Portaferrissa and La Rambla. Got some delis at Lafuente (Ferran 20) – great selection of delicatessen, wines and other spirits

17:30 Great pizza with beer at a small but cozy place on Ferran.

18:10 La Manual Alpargatera (Avinyó 7, between La Rambla and Plaça de Sant Jaume) - the espadrilles - ecological light shoes made with natural materials: vegetable fiber (hemp, jute, esparto...) for the sole and cotton, linen, etc. for the instep

18:50 2nd visit to the Barcelona Cathedral (Esglesia Catedral de la Santa Creu); encounter with the geese.

SpainCoolpixLexar8GB 1857 300x225 Spain Holidays 2010   September 2, Thursday – Barcelona

Barcelona Cathedral's geese

19:30 Shopping for snacks and drinks for the coming night train travel to Madrid – inexpensive at the Carrefour store on Ramblas.

19:45 Metro – L3 from Liceu to Espanya (4 stops) and L8 from Espanya to Ildefons Cerda (2 stops) – to AC Som to pick up our baggage.

20:30 Metro – L8 from Ildefons Cerda to Espanya (2 stops) and L3 (2 stops) from Espanya to Sants Estacio. It was quite difficult, though, to carry the bags from the metro station to the train terminal.

21:20 Reached the Sants train terminal, bought some more water for the trip and then just waited for the night train to Madrid. The train, called Estrella 00373, was to leave the Sants station at 22:20 and was to arrive at Madrid-Chamartin station at 7:36 in the morning (total travel time – 9 hours and 16 minutes). The train was to stop at 13 stations between Barcelona and Madrid, including the following bigger cities:  Tarragona (23:38), Zaragoza (3:14), Guadalajara (6:43). We bought the tickets online at home, paying €60 per person. There were some problems with the purchase as the Renfe website's English version wasn't fully functional. The email confirmation from Renfe was saying that we paid for «Oferta Litera Familiar», which we understood as a 4-person couchette compartment with bunks, blankets, pillows and clean linens.

22:20 Our train to Madrid left on time. Finding our car and our compartment wasn't easy – there was no one to ask, but finally we got to our compartment and found it very disappointing! First of all, it had very, very little room and it had 6 – not 4 bunks as we expected. We couldn't imagine to use those bunk beds to sleep, taking in to account our travel bags. Moreover – and it was a big problem – we were not sure if we actually got what we paid for - a 4-person couchette compartment – and if we would have to share it or not with some other strangers. The numbers of the bunks that we were assigned with the tickets were not consecutive and one of them was the highest (top) in the set of the triple bunks . Unfortunately, the conductor was not speaking English and we didn't get from him the answers to those important questions. The bunks were hard and it was not easy to get on and off of them and there really wasn't enough room for our bags. But we were tired and we needed to get some sleep between Barcelona and Madrid so that we could fully use our scarce time in Madrid. Therefore, despite the lack of confirmation from the conductor that the whole compartment was only for us, we claimed the four lower bunk beds and tried to sleep. We figured that we would be safe in our assumption if nobody would come and claim any of those two remaining bunks at the first bigger station, which was Tarragona. When the train left Tarragona, we agreed that nobody would come to our department to claim any of the two remaining bunks and soon everybody was soundly sleeping. It helped that we had with us a few cans of the «national» Spanish beer, called like our train – «Estrella» (star)…




Mercat de La Boqueria (Mercat de Sant Josep) -
Pinotxo bar – great intro by the gas•tron•o•my blog -
La Rambla -,_Barcelona
Placa de Catalunya -ça_de_Catalunya,_Barcelona
La Manual Alpargatera -
Renfe -

 Spain Holidays 2010   September 2, Thursday – Barcelona

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