Barcelona 2015.

Colin's 60th year so some celebrating and different riding and holidays. 
This was our second cruise this year and having done some trips we decided to cycle Barcelona as we had been previously and had done some walking and found it a long way to all the sites.  

We had a chat to the cycle guide and found he still had some spaces so booked up after checking bikes were of style and type Karen was used to apart from the twist grip gears. Still we were not expecting any challenging riding, especially when we all met at the desk and saw the age range of some of our fellow cyclists.

We hadn't thought of cycling on holiday so we had to cycle in ordinary shorts and tops, all of the other cyclists were dressed the same, 
helmets and backpacks were provided.




The bikes all one colour, not the individuality we re used to but the Ladies bikes were hybrids and the Gents were mountain bikes and all had 27 gears and front suspension.
We had been asked our heights so the frames were selected for the individual riders, 
we just needed to fine tune the saddle heights and have a ride 
around the port car park area which was deserted,
Our guide advised the ship had docked further out than normal and it would put 
approximately a mile each way on the day.

The weather forecast was good, sunny and 25 degrees!

Karen all ready for the off, seat adjusted and twist grip gears mastered, 
the extra mile will be no trouble to ride on this bike.
Just one problem, the port does not allow riding on the access road or path, 
so its a ride across the car park then a push all the way out of the port.
To make it worse the road goes up and over a high bridge, 
so a long hard push.
Not a good start. 
Eventually we come to the end of the access road and can mount up 
to ride on the cycle paths.
These lead past the port and soon we are at the touristy harbour side 
with the monument to Christopher Columbus at the bottom of the main city.
Across the square is the Offices for the Port of Barcelona
 a nice ornamental building 
but we knew there was better to come. 
The route goes across the square and along the sea front a little way
Then turns away from the front 
We cycle traffic free and up a big wide avenue 
until we reach Barcelonas 
Arc de Triomf.
Quick photo stop then on towards the next land mark
The Bull Ring 
Last bull fight was 2011, 
it is now a stadium and sometimes used for Rock concerts.
Still on the cycle paths we travel along the side of the zoo 
then into the park at the top.

Karen needs to get close to the Mammoth which is looking at this amazing fountain 
in Montjuic Park 

Then on to Sagrada Familia 
Antoni Gaudis magnificent design in his Gothic style.

We had a brief stop for toilets and pictures 

Then onto the part of the ride that had a few of the cyclists worried.

Las Ramblas 
with no cycle paths we had to ride on the road 
It was a very busy street, half way down we stopped for a look round the market.
Our guide reminded us that the area was
 popular with pick pockets so we carried our back packs on our chests
and kept our hands in our pockets on our phones and wallets. 
A brief walk around a browse of the market stalls and the gift bazaars  
then a sandwich and a drink, San Miguel, of course!
A photo of Casa Batllo,
before rejoining the group to saddle up for the next part of the ride.

Our guide asked who wanted to ride up to the Olympic stadium.
We were all up for it despite his comment 
"It was a bit of a climb"

We continue down the Las Ramblas 
still on the road sticking in a tight group.

We were glad when we reached the bottom and left the road
to go across a traffic free square, then turned right to start our climb.

We stopped for a breather at a small picturesque square.
there was a fountain, our guide said it was safe to drink the water,
some of the group  refilled their bottles, 
Karen and I erred on the side of caution we had brought enough.

The group was saying the climb had not been so bad
Then our guide said the steep bit was to come.

The road now became a steep climb, 
some got off to push, I was still on big ring so knew Karen would be OK 
we kept right on our guides back wheel,
which quite surprised him when he stopped
 and Karen was right behind him.

A little wait for the pushers to catch up then we set of again,

We turn right into a park and  the climb levels out to a gentle incline
 we have time for a quick pic of the parakeets in their nest
They are a very common site around Barcelona.

Our guide stops and shows us the Museum sitting high on the hill side,
Just as people are worrying about further climbing he shows us
the escalators and after a quick lesson on how to safely 
take your bike up the escalators we all make it safely to the top.

You can see how far we have come 
The Bull Ring is just above and to the side of Karen's left
The view back down to Barcelona is worth the efforts.
I zoom in on the Bull Ring and the city far below.
Then up more escalators and we are at the top and have arrived at 
The Olympic Stadium

The area is in very good order considering the Olympics were in 1992

The view back down to to the city
The hills in the far distance, it was a lovely clear day.
The stadium itself where the field events took place
We ride up to the stadium and admire the flame architecture,
although the flame is no longer burning. 
The stadium is open and we are able to go in and view the inside.
The grassy area which became a football stadium after the games.
Lots of seating in this fine stadium.
Another photo opportunity with a magnificent backdrop.

We start the ride back down, no pedals required just the brakes. The diving pool is in the hillside with amazing views, but the pool and boards can only be seen through metal sheets so not a good photograph.  

We stop for a while at the cable car station this would have been the easy way to go up to the top.

We can see the port and some of the boats docked.

Then more rallying down controlling the speed with the brakes.         


Back at the bottom we cycle to the port entrance where we have the long push back over the bridge to the ship.
It was a great day we really enjoyed the day as did everyone else who did the ride.

Some of them were still talking about it the next day and recommending it to everyone who would listen.

More details at