It was just soddin’ typical I had the seat with the broken air blower. Beads of sweat ran down my face as the temperature approached 100 degrees Fahrenheit outside. The smell of body odour had got progressively worse from the moment we departed for the Catalonian capital of Barcelona.
To be honest, I was one of the main culprits; my shirt had stuck to my back and needed constant peeling to allow some air circulation around my body.
“We’ll be stopping in about ten minutes at the Nou Camp. Please be back on the coach no later than 12 o’clock,” bellowed the driver’s voice over the tannoy. All I could think of at this moment was getting off and finding a shady corner with a cool breeze.
As a football fan I found the Nou Camp fascinating. Home of Barcelona Football Club, it’s a magnificent example of modern stadia, holding over 100,000 supporters when full. The size of the trophy room is testament to their successful history and standing in the European game.
Back on the coach, we headed through town and the myriad of streets lined with tall trees and even taller buildings. Every household name was present and trading with the locals and tourists drawn to this great city.
We were dropped off at the docks and as luck would have it a showboat was about to set sail offering tours of the harbour. I jumped aboard, intrigued to see Barcelona from the sea. I wanted to stand back and capture the city’s character from afar.
Immediately after setting sail the fight for shaded seats began in earnest. The clever ones had got in early, sacrificing the great dockland views to secure their seats for the long haul. The rest of us had to decide between standing at the back and suffer the impending backache, or sit in the sun and toil under the intense rays.
The backache wasn’t too bad in the end. The city looked great but some of the yachts looked even better. Back ashore I headed for Las Ramblas, a wonderful cocktail of street entertainers and market traders. Everything from children’s shoes to chickens can be bought along the famous walkway.
However, the sheer volume of tourists acts as a magnet for pickpockets and scamsters. At night it can also turn into something of a red light area. But keep your wits about you and there’s no reason why you can’t have a great time about the Ramblas.