Surprisingly, after our late night visit to the Camp Nou, Scott announced at breakfast that he wanted to go back into Barcelona to see the sights. This took us by surprise but we reacted quickly to his suggestion and drove down to Vilanova where we parked the car near Simply then walked the couple of hundred metres to the train station. Mary suggested we buy an all-day ticket each to see us to Barcelona and back plus Metro and buses while we were there. These tickets proved well worthwhile although we did have a bit of difficulty at Sants station as we hadn’t quite understood exactly how they worked. (Isn’t that right, Mary?)

Nonetheless we soon found ourselves at Playa España with the intention of climbing the hill to the Olympic village at the top behind the national museum. First thing we encountered was an enormous queue of extravagantly-clad young folk waiting to be admitted to the 19th World Manga Exhibition. What a sight they made: fairies, goblins and exotic creatures mingling with menacing wizards and furry animals. This was however not an event for young children as some of the teenage girls were quite provocatively dressed leaving almost nothing to the imagination. I personally found it quite interesting although Scott told me they were all freaks and I was an old perv! Well, you have to look, don’t you!

"For these are my Fountains...."

“For these are my Fountains….”

While mother and father chose to use the lovely outdoor escalators to reach the summit of the hill, Scott insisted on climbing all the huge flights of stairs as part of his daily fitness routine. His way was sometimes barred by crowds of Manga fans (mostly girls) but I’m sure he didn’t stare as a well-brought up boy wouldn’t. Atop the hill we paused to appreciate the sight back down through Roman pillars and Venetian columns to the Bullring (now a shopping centre) while we were well entertained by a brilliant Spanish guitarist who finger-picked his way through a whole series of classic numbers.

Downhill to Playa España

Downhill to Playa España

Father and son

Father and son

Behind the museum and refreshed by a sandwich and cold drink, we explored the Olympic village including the main athletics stadium (now the home of FC Espanyol, the other football team in Barcelona), the roman atrium, the Olympic monument and the famous swimming pool where THAT diving-board used to be. Pity it was dismantled years ago. While Scott and I went in to see where it used to be, Mary checked out the timetable at a bus-stop nearby and proudly announced on our return that we could take the 125 bus down to the Marina. What a stroke of good fortune, and well done Mary!

30 minutes later, when we found ourselves back at the same bus-stop, having gone down the hill, toured a container depot, ridden through 2 very dodgy housing estates and come straight back up the hill again, my dear wife was not quite so popular with her two most-loved ones and Scott had that look on his face again, you know, the one he wore permanently from the age of 14 to 17. I tried to explain away Mary’s error of judgement and we promised not to remind her of her faux-pas……… at least not too often!

A short Metro journey later we were at the Playa Cataluña where Mary and Scott strolled through the masses of pigeons in the huge square while I took a detour at a respectful distance from our winged friends. Spanish birds are exactly the same as British birds as far as my phobia is concerned: flapping in either language sends me racing for cover! We had a pleasant stroll down the Ramblas and dipped into the food market halfway down before crossing to the harbour beyond Columbus’ column and wandering through the Mare Magnum commercial centre where we almost had tea but changed our minds at the very last minute. The waiter was a bit puzzled but I blamed our decision on Scott’s dodgy temperament and we exchanged tales of woe about our respective offspring, allowing us to leave with no harm done.

As usual I fell asleep on the train home but was wide awake to pop into Simply and buy the tea. Up at the campsite we put our (sore) feet up and chatted all evening about what’s been happening to all of us. We told Scott everything that has been going on and he told us snippets of life in the flat, enough to allay our fears……. just! Bed soon beckoned but not before I’d installed the fan heater in the awning to stop the wee soul from succumbing to the freezing night-time temperatures of Vilanova……. all 19 degrees of it!

We had planned to have a quiet day on Sunday but once again Scott was raring to go. So was I, but only to the loo! After a short family discussion I resolved to drive Scott and I into Barcelona (a first for me) where we would do the Camp Nou Experience tour and then visit the Sagrada Familia. Having observed the route taken by the supporters’ bus on Friday night I simply followed that and ended up parked right outside the bus park and 200 metres from the stadium. Clever old me!

I lift the trophy... again!

I lift the trophy… again!

The tour of the stadium was brilliant for Scott and he revelled in all the sights and sounds of the history of FC Barcelona. As it was my 4th time there I wasn’t quite as enthralled, although the new corner dedicated to Lionel Messi and his many personal achievements was pretty amazing I must admit.

Fill these boots

Fill these boots

The boy has balls!

The boy has balls!

A million photos later we left the Camp Nou , walked back up the hill past the car and took the Metro to the Sagrada Familia. As usual there was a long queue waiting to be admitted but we were inside within half an hour and spent the next hour or so in Gaudi’s masterpiece, a veritable Enchanted Forest of a Cathedral and the best you’ll ever see. Absolutely breath-taking it is!

Enchanted forest

Enchanted forest

The melting cake

The melting cake

Two million photos later Scott and I dragged ourselves away from the sumptuous sculptures and carvings, said Adios to the melting cake of a basilica and plunged back into the Underground where we took a Metro train back to the car. 30 minutes later we were safely back in Vilanova Park where Mary had tea waiting for us. Now there’s a first!

Believe it or not, the following day, we didn’t go to Barcelona! My feet were absolutely delighted, but I didn’t let them off lightly. By 10 o’clock, Scott and I had walked the 2 miles uphill to the watchtower (cue Hendrix!) and he was able to take in the stunning view back over Vilanova i la Geltru to the Med. Naturally he did a Messi!

That's Scott, not Messi.

That’s Scott, not Messi.

The rest of the day, mother and son assured each other that all was well and there was nowt to worry about. After we dropped Mary off at her work, Scott and I went to Simply at his request where he chose the tea for his last night. With Mary safely back home from school we tucked in to chicken fajitas, a Scott speciality and we all agreed that they were tasty indeed. The evening was spent in conversation, with a couple of games of cards to break the hours up, but it was an early night for everyone as someone had a flight to catch the next morning.

In case you’re expecting a drama, there was none. We got to the airport in plenty time and our duckling flew away.

Quack! Quack!

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