Barcelona | photos

I’ve no idea why I haven’t put these up already. Maybe it’s because I cry when I see them and feel sad that being a Formula One reporter isn’t my day job – yep, that’s the reason. 

May I recommend that Placa de Catalunya as a lovely place to ring EE and ask them if they’ve put your travel package on because you didn’t receive any kind of confirmation text and you want to text home and don’t want a £600 bill.

You finally get through to someone (Jeremy with a Welsh accent) and he tells you it’s a-okay and you secretly promise yourself you will make Jeremy with a Welsh accent rue the day he told you everything was fine if you arrive home to a £600 bill.

I arrived early on Wednesday morning, which meant I had the whole day to spend wandering around Barcelona, before getting lost trying to find the hotel. (More on that later) 

I hopped on a tour bus so I could see the sights, I didn’t realise how big and beautiful Barcelona was before I went so I’m glad I went on the tour bus. I only got off at two stops but I think you could easily spend three or four days just sight-seeing. 

The first stop was Sagrada Familia. 

I didn’t have time to go inside because the queue was so long but the outside is breathtaking. It’s so detailed and beautiful, if you’re ever in Barcelona this is a must-see. 
I hopped back on the bus heading for Tibidabo, thinking I could get some great views on Barcelona.
At the stop they said you need to find a tram, I could see a tram line but no trams. I thought it couldn’t possibly be that far and tried to walk, uphill, in the midday heat, wearing jeans, with a suitcase in tow. 
40 minutes later I lost my patience and got back on the bus. I could see it but had no idea how to get to it and I was walking on the path next to the tram line and saw no trams! Next time Tibidabo, next time. 

I got back to the city centre and went in search of a drink and found a shopping centre off Placa de Catalunya. In there they had a huge wall full of Big Bang Theory artwork, so I just had to take a photo. 
Next began the arduous journey of reaching the hotel. I’d done my research and knew what trains to get. Wrong. 
The website had lied and now there was no direct train, you had to take two. Only two different people at the station told me different things. I managed the first train fine but the second one was my undoing. Not being able to read Spanish I was going a bit of guess work and when I saw ‘Montmelo’ on the board next to the platform, I though that was where the train was stopping.
It turned out that was where the train wasn’t stopping and I had to get a third train to Montmelo. I arrived in Montmelo and tried to call the taxi company listed in the station, but they weren’t answering. 
I tried walking but had no idea where to go so in the end I called the hotel and asked them to order a taxi. On the ride to the hotel I discovered that if I’d continued for another five minutes when I was walking I would have arrived at the hotel. 
We stayed in an IBIS, which thankfully we got at a good rate because they were charging 250EUROs a night while the F1 was on. They weren’t even coy about it. Behind the desk they listed their prices: about 60EUROs per night was standard, 90EUROs for the Moto GP weekend but 250EUROs for the F1. 
It was a room with two single beds, a TV and a bathroom for 250EUROs! I’m sure you could stay in The Ritz for less. 

That was my day in Barcelona, keep an eye out for my pictures from the Spanish Grand Prix next Sunday.