Barcelona Day Off - Moto Day #1

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Up at 8 prepare for lobby at 10 for shuttle to pick up rental motorcycles. Meet Brian Collins and Brian Kountz and his wife Jolene in the lobby at 10. Soon Mike from Moto Espana arrives, he's an ex-pat from Glasgow, Scotland. Great guy, he drives us to his shop/house and we pickup three BMW 650's. Awesome little bikes, perfect for what we want to do.

We start out from the shop in Vilassar de Mar and head north up the coast of Costa Brava. We're mainly on a small seaside highway with lots of roundabouts which winds up to the hills and back to the ocean. The beaches here are mixed nude/topless/regular. Very strange. The only people I see nude are fat old European tourists. Ewwww. We lunch in a little town called Calella, at Casa "Carlos" Restaurant. We dine al fresco (outside) and we can almost see the ocean from our table. Almost everyone orders the speciality of the house, Rotisserie Chicken. And it is GOOD. Falls of the bone. Yummy. After lunch we head down to the beach, Brian and Jolene take a swim, while I snap a few photos.

Back on the bikes we head north again, stopping at a few overlooks to snap some pics and marvel at the scenery. We end up just north of Tossa De Mar, where we happen on a small cove and hillside full of colorful tents. It's a campground and we turn in to inspect it. After parking the bikes at the top we walk down towards the water. On the way we pass tents and caravans (campers) from all over Europe: Spain, Netherlands, Poland, Germany, etc. This place has great facilities, a swimming pool, supermarket, snackbar, tennis, etc. When we reach the beach, Brian Collins, having no swimsuit with him, borrows a knife and makes his jeans into shorts and dives in the Mediterranean Sea. I opt to stay in the shade and plan our route back.

Soon it starts clouding up and we decide we better head back to Barcelona in case it rains. We drive back on the same road we came up on, catching the scenery once more, then find the main highway C-32 which is 6 lanes and we make it to the outskirts of Barcelona in under an hour. The bummer about this road is the toll booths every few miles, which have no set toll, it could be 58euros, or 1.67euros, who knows. Also, it is quite a pain to dig change out of your pocket while riding a motorcycle.

We make it into downtown Barcelona and even though we are on the right road Kountz thinks we're not and turns right on another road and somehow we end up at the Temple de la Sagrada Familia (Temple of the Sacred Family), one of the most famous churches and architectural marvels in the world. Designed by Antoni Gaudi with construction starting in 1882, and it's still not finished. Wow!! We pay our admission fee and go in, meeting about 10 of our fellow crew members who were already inside. Collins and I pay the 2euros and ride up in the elevator almost to the top of one of the towers, we walk up the rest of the way. Those of you who know me, know I don't like heights, and this one was pretty bad. Narrow staircases and small balconies to look out on. It was amazing and I'm glad I did it, but it was a little unnerving.

After the church we decide to try and find a restaurant near where the others had dined last night. To make a long story short, we got hopelessly lost and in the worst traffic I have ever seen. People here are crazy, with all the scooters splitting lanes and the roundabouts, it's a wonder people are not killed hourly. We got the heck out of there and parked on a side street and ate at the first place we saw, a pizzeria!! It wasn't bad, I had tortellini and the others had pizza. Wish I had gotten pizza as it looked great!! Back to the hotel now and we park the bikes outside one block from the hotel. Normally we would have been apprehensive about parking on the street, but it was in front of the police station, so I think we're OK.

***Look for photos and links to be uploaded later***

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