Sunday, June 2, 2013

Day 3 in Barcelona, Olympic Stadium & Mont Juic

My day started late today, after a late night talking to my hostel mates.  I had the room to myself for about one minute last night, one hostel mate left and two more returned from a night out.  I think everyone finally went to sleep around 3 am, one of my hostel mates compared staying in a hostel to summer camp, I think it is a fitting comparison, eight people sharing a room does resemble the summer camp atmosphere.

I got up in time for breakfast, around 9:30 am, most of my hostel mates were still in bed, except the one who had to check out early to catch a flight.  Others who had to check out by 10 am got up shortly after me.  I ate breakfast, disappointed all but 2 slices of wheat bread were left and both end pieces.  I went back to sleep, or at least rest for an hour after breakfast.  I officially got up a little after noon to start my day.

My plan for the day was to go to Mont Juic, a part of Barcelona where the Olympic stadium, Barcelona's National Palace and Art Museum, and the Mont Juic castle are located. I left the hostel around 1pm and headed for the Mont Juic area of Barcelona. I had asked the hostel person on duty the best route, she explained it to me, she said I could walk it, but recommended taking the funicular and walking back down.

My first stop on the way to Mont Juic was Placa d'Espanya, across the street from Barcelona's famous soccer arena, I plan to visit the soccer arena later this week.  Placa d'Espanya is a square that leads to the Magic Fountain and the Mont Juic area, it was my landmark.

Placa d'Espanya
I walked past the magic fountain on my way to the National Palace, Barcelona's National Art Museum is housed in the Palace.  I did not go to the art museum today, I likely will not go on this trip to Barcelona.  I may go to Barcelona's history museum, time permitting, while I am here. I took some pictures at the magic fountain, looked at my map then moved on.

Lynnae at the Magic Fountain & National Palace
My next stop was the Olympic Stadium, I walked past the entrance at first, thinking it was further down the road.  I went back, saw the stadium and Olympic complex, the torch, etc.  Barcelona hosted the Olympics in 1992, the Olympic complex is nice this is what I was expecting to find yesterday when I was walking around the Olympic village.  Barcelona's Olympic park is located far from the village, in the Mont Juic area.

Lynnae & the Olympic Torch 

Barcelona's Olympic Stadium

Lynnae at Olympic Stadium
After the Olympic stadium, I began my trek up the hill to the Mont Juic Castel.  I asked the man in the information booth how long it took to walk up the hill, he said about half an hour.  I was going to take the funicular up the mountain, but I am low on cash and have no ATM card, I am trying to save my cash for an emergency. The machines at the funicular station would not accept my credit card without a pin number, I have noticed this problem with train stations all over Europe.  I had no choice, if I was going to the top of Mont Juc,  I would have to hike it.

Funicular on its way to Mont Juic

Mont Juic Funiculars view from top of Mont Juic
I went to the Mont Juc castle, saw the great views of Barcelona from the top, sat down and relaxed awhile after my long walk to the top.  I did not pay to go inside the castle, most of it was free, and I have seen enough castles in Europe, has to be a special one for me to pay to go inside.  I spent about an hour atop Mont Juic, then I began the much easier walk down the hill.  I took a different direction down to Barcelona, instead of passing through the Olympic Stadium area, I went directly into the city center.

I stopped for lunch, considered walking around some more, but I was tired and my lunch did not sit well on my stomach, I went back to the hostel to rest.  I had a quiet evening, chatting with my hostel mates, and relaxing from last night's late night.  I may go on a day trip tomorrow, or I may do more sightseeing in Barcelona, and take day trips Tuesday and Wednesday.  I doubt I am getting up early tomorrow, I will make my plans when I get up. 

Day 3 in Barcelona Photo Album 

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