Spain - Barcelona

Barcelona to Olite

We left Barcelona quite early with plenty of time to get to the train station - Barcelona Sants

It cost about 11 Euro for the taxi and the station was clean and tidy. It is the first train station that scans your luggage as you enter. You do not get scanned just the luggage.

We then waited for the gate to open (like an airport) so we had a coffee - it was horrible.

About 20 minutes prior to departure (like an airport) we were allowed to board (like an airport) the train.

We found our coach quite easily and took up our seats ready for the 3 hour journey to Tafalla.

Time passed quite quickly as parts of the trip were very fast and some not so fast.

We arrived in Tafalla about 12:50pm right on time - it was pretty quiet with no Taxis outside the train station. We knew where the taxi rank was so we headed off in the direction to find it.

No taxis there - but there was a man selling magazines & papers right next door so we asked him about the taxis. He came and showed us the telephone numbers for the taxis and he went back to his little shop.

So we were about the dial on of the taxis and he came back and said that there are no taxis and we should catch the bus which was in an hour.

I knew about the bus and tried to book it on a web site called Bus Bud but I could not book it. We asked the man about buying a ticket on the bus and he said yes so that was good. We had almost an hour to wait so we went and got a beer. There was a few tables filled with families having lunch so I went into the bar and asked for 2 beers - the man was not very friendly. His pouring of beers was rather piss pour as well with one beer filled up and the other about 75% and a lot of froth.

So we sat and had the beer and Pam bought two Pintxos for us to nibble. I said get the Squid or the Octopus, she came back with an anchovy and a potato croquet.

Since the place did not seems very good we decided to go and sit as the bus stop across the road. While sitting there i thought this is the wrong side of the road as the traffic was going into town and not out of town. Pam went and dbl checked with the friendly man from the paper shop and we crossed the road to the correct side. We were there only a few minutes when a bus showed up and I went inside and asked if it went to Olite and he said yes. So the 12:58 bus tuned up at about 12:40pm. Lucky we were waiting as the next was not until after 5pm and no taxis.

The journey from Tafalla to Olite is only  5km, it took about 7 minutes. We got off when others did as Olite was the first stop. We first thought maybe we go the wrong stop as it was 500 meters from the hotel. But no this was the correct stop - a long way from the old town with your bags.

Cheapest wine I have ever bought

I paid 1.53 euro for this bottle of wine - about $2.33 NZD

No vintage statement, 12.5% alc/vol - quite light, slightly raspberry-ish, but not too bad for the price. Not on my list to drink more than once.

OPPS - Sagrada Familia

We arrived this morning with plenty of time for our visit to the Sagrada Familia - we took a taxi for 6.70 euro from the plaza near our hotel to right outside. We would not have wanted to walk this distance at all.

We took lots of photos and walk around the perimeter of the Church. We then decided that we would queue in line even though we were about 20 minutes early. There way only about 10 people in front of us.

We got to the lady at the gate who checked our tickets which i freshly printed yesterday since Pam seemed to have misplayed the ones I printed originally.

The lady said something and we thought she meant that we were too early to be admitted yet, but this was not the case at all.

Our tickets were for yesterday - we totally stuffed it up 100% - no entry

For some reason while in Mallorca we thought that our entrance was on Saturday not Friday which the tickets were for. We asked if we could buy new tickets and the lady said there were no tickets available for today at all.

Pam asked for a manager or person in charge and after a couple of minutes on the CB radio the lady said someone was coming.

A few minutes later a lady showed up who basically said the same thing - no tickets today or tomorrow - sorry no entry.

We said we had come from New Zealand and just got the dates wrong - we were on time but for the wrong day and she got on her CB radio for a few minutes and talked to someone else and in the end they let us in. We were so thankful.

We were allowed in - oh what a stuff up on our behalf - worst stuff up for a long long time

The exterior of the church was amazing but the light shining through the stained glass windows inside was amazing

This is not my photo but it looks really cool.

This is a diagram of the tower that I walked around - it started on the right with the elevator to about 50 meters and then across between 2 towers and then down 400 steps to the bottom. Interesting but probably not required as the inside/outside is the best.

This is the view from inside one of the towers towards the top of the tower.

The spiral staircase on the way down from the towers.

The view over Barcelona from one of the viewing areas in the Nativity tower.

We had a great time visiting this and it will be interesting to see if they complete it in time for 2026 which is the expected completion date.

Another pintxos dinner

We went out looking for a restaurant last night that we looked up online but right before it as in on the other side of the street was all you could eat Pintxos with Palella & a desert for 15 euro each.

Once inside we checked out the offering and ended up with just the all you could eat Pintxos for 12 euro. There was no way I could eat a palella and desert as well.

Pam really enjoyed them but I thought they were a bit of a lower quality than we had the night before. Maybe it was the drunken pommy slobs who were too loud for their own good and distracted everyone else from having a nice meal.

Pam decided on a rather large Sangria @ 7 EURO 

What you did not see is that we mainly ate the toppings and left the bread behind.

Pizza for lunch @ lola's bakery

Yesterday when we arrived and visited the Picasso exhibition we walked past this little bakery with a sign for Pizzaa for 2 euro. We went in and bought a slice of pizza for 2.50 (2.0 was for a Margarita which is just cheese & tomato) - our slice was Champignons which is Mushrooms.

They were very good mushrooms and also had a truffle oil I assume on the slice. We both thought this is the best pizza maybe ever we have had.

A whole Margarita and some champignons and another slice.

The champignon slice

and again the champignon slice

This was just a little bakery that did things well - it was very very good.

Dinner in Barcelona at Irati Taverna Basca

For dinner we wanted to try some Pintxos again, so I did a search online and found a place quite close that good reviews.

When you enter you are given a plate and you just help yourself and in the end they count up the number of sticks and charge you based on that.

Anchovies with a nice puree on top along with little sliced garnish

I don't really know what this was but it was very nice.

Sliced Pork 

This was a terrine placed in side a thin crispy wrapper.

A cheese with a jam and nuts

Another cheese with a green pepper and sliced chorizo

A moose of tuna stuff in a pepper along with a little garnish of pikelet.

A breaded goat cheese.

A mouse or cream cheese along with something like Cherry Jam on top

The Pintxos each cost 2.10 Euro which was probably OK. We got charged 4 euro for a beer and 4 euro for a simple wine which seemed expensive compared to Madrid.

Copyright © Chris & Pam - 2020