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Greg Eden’s Travel Diary

Friday, 29 Aug 2014

MapDay 3 Barcelona
We are told by the tour guides that Barcelona is the third most visited city inEurope. There are huge crowds walking up and down La Rambla each days. Street vendors are open early and close late at night. The bars and cafes are  buzzing with people all day but it really gets going at night. Did a bike tour for 3 hours this morning. It is a really good way to see the city. Rode around the back streets then up La Rambla to the harbor and along the beach, which is all man made from crushings of buildings that have been demolished. The beach is more dirt than sand. Did a tapas tour later in the day and had a great guide who took us off the tourist path into the back streets, through a red light district that the authorities are trying to clean up, through the Greco park. Had Pinxtos, which are not really tapas but are Catalunyan origin and consist of a combination of hors duerves secured by a toothpick. It's an honesty system where you pay according to the number of sticks you have at the end. The guide was very informative and interesting as he had several professions, including being a director of opera. Spoke several languages and was German. After the tour we went to Reil Plaza, had a drink and watched a highly professional Flamenco show. The show went for 30 mins and cost 10 . By now it was 11pm and the streets and bars are full of people. The temperature stays on about 23 all night. It is a city that feels quite safe but we are frequently warned to look out for pickpockets. Our guide said it is the pickpocket capital of Europe. My hand stays firmly in my pocket most of the time! This city seems to have benefited enormously from the 1992 Olympics, unlike many other cities that might not have had as much foresight in the future use of infrastructure built especially for the games.