Wake Up: 7am
After breakfast bus driver GT took us for a bus tour of the city and Ali explained for us the monuments. We were dropped off at Catalunya in the centre and we walked to the Gothic Quarter for a walking tour. This area of the city was built on an ancient Roman establishment and was also a strong hold for the dictator Francisco Franco up until 1975. It was moving to see the sights in which royalty had lived in decades past.
One square we paused in had children playing dodgeball against an old wall with visible markings in it. The markings were the fragments left from Franco’s reign, and the wall was a frequent backing for where he held fire squad executions. It was a hard thing to see such a sight.
Claire, Christie and I left the Gothic Quarter for a walk down La Rambla. We bought some cute local jewellery and the shop lady was so nice she gave us all a buddha as a gift and she gave me a ceramic image of flamenco dancers, as I spend a bit. From La Rambla we took the train to La Pedrera.
I have been dreaming of these apartments for years and it was a dream come true to visit them. In the attic were models and plans of all of Gaudi’s structures, as well as models of his inspiration. On the roof were mosaic erections and organic windows with awnings and you could see Sagrada Familia. The open apartment was laid out in Art Nouveau furniture and had all its original electrical fittings. It was so incredible.
Christie left us and headed back to the hotel then and Claire and I went to Parc Guell. We wandered around for a bit looking at the local wares and then sat down in the shade for a drink. There were three men playing acoustic guitar, I bought their cd.
Dinner was near the old Olympic buildings in a small village-style area. Gazpacho soup, salad, cannelloni, creme brulee and unlimited jugs of sangria. During the main the show started, flamenco dancing. Four ladies of varying ages and skill danced such a mesmerizing dance I almost forgot about my cannelloni. The band was incredible.
A VIP pub crawl was then booked to take us to some of the most “happening” places in the city. The first bar had complimentary sangria and football on big screens every 5 metres. The next stop was at the hilltop overlooking the city. It was a breath-taking view to see, and a pretty romantic setting for midnight. We had complimentary champagne here. My Contiki cold was pretty bad here and I had been struggling to keep up my energy so I got a taxi back to the hotel. Shrimp came with me so I got home safe.
Location: Carcassone, South France
Known for: crepes, cassoulet
Fun Facts: Settled 3000 years ago by Romans. Rebuilt in medieval times, at which point the number of turrets grew to 75 around the outside