The flight over was long. It started off with a 2 hour flight delay from Atlanta to Barcelona due to weather and we sat on the plane for the entire 2 hours. I did upgrade us to Comfort Class (this was not comfortable, but I did get free wine, so after a couple, I was more comfortable).
Since our flight arrived at 8:30 AM and it was too early to check into the hotel, I arranged for Barcelona Day Tours to pick us up at the airport and give us a 4 hour tour of the city. This was a perfect way to get a brief overview of the city and help us plan the next day on our own. Our driver was extremely knowledgeable and he hit the key locations. This gave us a good idea as to what we wanted to see on our own on Friday.
We were thrilled to see La Sagrada Familia up close. We didn’t go inside today, but hope to make it back tomorrow. Our driver stated that they plan to have it finished in 13 years. Ummm. I guess I would have to see that to believe it.
The guys really enjoyed seeing the Olympic Village area. It was interesting to hear how the city brought the Roman architecture to meet the needs of the modern day Olympics . They Olympics also really made a long term impact to the city. We stayed in the modern section, which was developed as a result of the Olympics. A few weeks before the trip, we ironically saw a piece on the NBA players who played in the Olympics and showed them walking Las Ramblas.
We are staying at the Hilton Diagonal. Finding a hotel in Barcelona that would fit 3 people and not have to get 2 rooms was a challenge, but they brought in an extra bed for Nick. It worked for 2 nights and knowing we would be on the ship shortly helped.
It’s a beautiful hotel and the staff speaks English. However, next time, I think we will select a hotel that isn’t so far away from the city center. It definitely does not feel like the Barcelona we saw on our tour, but the view from our room is beautiful. There were some on our cruise who stayed in apartments in the older district, which we will look into if we visit again. One location that was highly recommended by someone is Hotel Arc La Ramblas. They said it was large, clean and close to everything they wanted to see.
The weather is perfect. Blue skies and in the 70’s.