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
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
|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
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
|We continue down the Las
still on the road sticking in a tight group.
We were glad when we reached the bottom and left the
We stopped for a breather at a small picturesque
The group was saying the climb had not been so bad
|The road now became a steep
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
|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 shoulder.
|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 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 http://www.star-bikestations.com