Sant Joan Despí

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    • Day 9

      Rückkehr nach Barcelona

      August 21, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 28 °C

      Wir legen wieder in Barcelona an und verabschieden uns an dieser Stelle von David und Tobias. Die beiden werden nun 13h durchfahren um morgen Vormittag wieder im nördlichen Teil Bayerns zu sein. Alle 500km wird man sich beim Tankstop abwechseln und kann sich dann etwas aufs Ohr hauen.

      Wir setzen unsere Reise von hier aus bis vor die französische Grenze per Autobahn fort. Über die Pyrenäen geht es dann heute noch bis nach Pau. Unser Plan sieht vor, dass wir nach ein paar schönen Tagen Frankreich unsere Heimat am Donnerstag wieder erreichen werden.
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    • Day 45

      A Bit of Trainspotting in Barcelona

      September 12, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

      We landed in Barcelona at a time when there was a lot of media attention about the protests against tourists. There were definitely parts of the city that displayed a disdain for tourism, with graffiti splashed across walls claiming that “tourism kills the neighbourhood”. Some businesses in the city centre offered a different perspective and welcomed tourists with open arms: we ♥ tourists (Ironically, throughout our Eastern European adventures, we've experienced hoards of Spanish tour groups.) At the same time, there is a call for Catalonia to become an independent Republic, divorcing itself from the Kingdom of Spain. The area that we stayed in seemed supportive of a “yes” vote in the up-and-coming referendum, with Catalan flags flying from many of the homes. Meanwhile the Australian Government proceeds with a postal survey on same-sex marriage, a right already afforded to the Spaniards. By acknowledging same-sex relationships in this way, it has had an obvious effect, with couples openly displaying their relationship without fear of persecution.

      After arriving at our accommodation, we immediately realised that this wasn’t exactly what we had expected. The reviews indicated that the accommodation was close to public transport but it didn’t say that the accommodation sat (almost) on top of the railway line. With each train, the building and windows shook. So close where the trains that at night you needed to make sure you kept all body parts clear or else you risked losing a limb. We knew that there would be little sleep outside of the hours of 12:20am and 5am, except for short powernaps of 15 minutes between freight trains, unless you're disturbed by squeaky doors and floors from other guests returning home after a night out or a late check-in.

      On our first full day, all tired and weary-eyed, we took the metro to explore the city centre, in particular the buildings and monuments designed by Antoni Gaudy. La Sagrada Familia is one of the most photographed buildings in Barcelona, but we felt underwhelmed – perhaps the morning caffeine fix hadn’t kicked in yet. It led us to coin the phrase gaudy Gaudi. The day was filled with lots of gaudy Gaudi buildings, all of which seemed more interesting than La Sagrada Familia (which by the way is no longer Gaudi’s creation and now has become an interpretation of his intentions since the original plans were burned).

      Wandering the streets of the city, we headed for the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, which contrasts to the busy streets of La Rambla or the beaches of Barceloneta, with its medieval churches and gargoyles peering from the tops of buildings. Although only a few steps from the main streets, it felt like stepping back in time, free from the illegal vendors selling their counterfeit goods (that is before the police come along and ruin a sale).

      Similar to many other European cities (Paris or Prague), the residents love their four-legged friends and the evidence is visible throughout the city. As we walked past a little old lady’s house, we noticed she was splashing water across the front of her home. At first, we thought she was warding off the evil spirits and thought how great it was that she was continuing the old traditions. Then we realised she was just washing off the dog piss from her walls.

      Unsure whether the old lady rubbed off on Jason but the following morning he seemed to suffer from a few bouts of what could be diagnosed as the onset of early dementia, or perhaps it was the many people warning us to beware of thieves that he worked himself into a panic thinking he’d been pick-pocketed, only to find his wallet buried in his backpack. Once, twice, thrice. On second thoughts it might have been beer-induced dementia. 99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer. Take one down and pass it around, 98 bottles of beer on the wall.

      Perhaps due to all of the beer drinking our cover as German tourists has been blown. One of the Indian shopkeepers looked at us as we purchased a few cans of cheap beer and said “you’re Australian”. In the past, Jason has been mistaken for Shane Warne by other Indians and we blame cricket for their ability to distinguish between British, Australian and New Zealand accents.

      Our short stay in Barcelona was capped off with drinks (there's a bit of a theme happening here) with an old work colleague, Geoff and his wife, Veronika, before heading back to doze between freight trains. Trainspotting in Barcelona hadn’t been on the original itinerary but seemed to be on the menu each night.

      Next stop: Madrid.
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    Sant Joan Despí, Sant Joan Despi

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