January, 20th to 26th, 1999
Wednesday 20. january
Leaving Vejle by train at 6.40 a.m. - very early - but there is a risk of bad weather - so I better take an early train. Arriving at Copenhagen railway-station - and on to the new train to the airport in Kastrup.
Checking in - only with a strange travelprofe from Don Quijote travel - I'm a little worried about that - but it seems to be ok.
Almost 2 hours of waiting before bording Virgin Express, my discount-company on this trip. Nevermind - its pretty well. No food onboard - but I don't care.
The plane lands in Bruxelles - and I almost have to run to get my connection to Barcelona.
Thursday 21. january
First day of sightseeing. Down to see the Gothic quarter - very cozy. To the tourist-office to find out how to get tickets for the football-match. Pretty easy - just go to the stadium to buy them.
So down into the Metro and on to Camp Nou. Find a ticketoffice and buys my ticket for the sunday-match. 7000 pesates - that's about 50 us$
Then back to town. And a trip down to the harbour. Very nice place. There's a aerial ropeway goint to the Mountjuic-mountain. I have to try that one.
Off we go - crossing the harbour and on to the mountain. Very nice view over the city. It's late afternoon and you can really see the smog. But the weather is nice up here.
Walk down the streets of the mountain. Here you have to take care. There's a lot of cars. They seem to use these streets for driving-schools!
Dinner at a restaurant on Place Reial - right beside the hotel. There are very few people, but nevertheless plenty of waiters. You can sit down comfortably and admire their ability to cross their hands on the back - and doing nothing at all.
Friday 22. january
Today is the day for a trip to Montserrat - some monestary in the mountains outside Barcelona.
Taget the train from Place Espanya out of town. There should be some kind of lift the last way up to the monestary. But the lift is closes due to its yearly renovation - probably a good idea - so instead they are running busses to the top of the mountain.
At the top a little before 1 pm. In to the monestery-church which is very beautiful - and quite a lot of people here - they are ready for some kind of show it seems. Suddenly a small boy's choir appears - they sing a song - very pretty I should say. Then there's another one - this time in a duet with the audience. And when you finally thinks that the show really starts - they just leave - and it's all over. Vesper it is called I later discover.
I then spend some hours around the monestery - take a walk along the mountain - and enjoys the great wiews down the valley. Very nice it is.
At 5 pm back to the bus that take me to the station and the train to Barcelona. Into the Rambla and the hotel.
Saturday 23. january
Sightseeing in Barcelona - on foot - this is a real Gaudi-day today
First from the hotel through a number of small streets cross the town to the church "La Segrada Familia" - translated "The holy family" (sounds like a Monty Python movie). Very strange architecture - and they are still building - and have been for more than a century!!
From there I walk up the hills that is placed all the way around downtown. Up to Parc Guell. Again it's Gaudi-time - and a park with an architecture that looks almost like a playground. Pretty much fun in fact - and by the way - a very nice view to the city from the park.
From here I walk to Downtown. Passes several strange Gaudi-houses. Down the Rambla where there's a lot of people - as usual.
In the evening to Place Espanya and towards the Palais Nacional, where there is a very nice fountain with plenty of colours. And at 7 pm - and every half hour - the fountain goes hand in hand with some tasty music - very tastefull - "Über all auf der welt..............."
Sunday 24. january
I start this day with a trip to Parc de la Ciutedelle. Very nice park - and very much a place the people go - for playing cards, inlineskating, petanque, whatever. Someone is dancing some local catalan folkdances - "La tarantella" (I think). They are collecting money for something - probably themself.
From the park I go to the harbour and back to the Rambla. It seems like all people of Barcelona is walking the streets today. There is people everywhere - and they are all bringing dogs along them. But the weather couldn't be better for this kind of exercise.
In the afternoon it's time for the highlight of this tour. Football. Take my Metro-train to be there early. I'm at Camp Nou 1½ hour before the game. Waste - only tourists arrive this early - and the gates are not even open yet.
They do about an hour before the game - I walk in - and find my place on the "3.floor" - very good place - and what a view. But - there is no crowd it seems??
Half an hour before the game. Still very few people. But then suddenly things starts to happen. Suddenly all the people seem to arrive - and within the next half hour there's a lot of us - 85.000 to be exact.
Very good match F.C.Barcelona-Zaragoza 3-1. 2 goals by Rivaldo, 1 by Cocu. Milosevic (no - not that guy) scores for Zaragoza. People really involve themselves - not a single drunk around - the match is to important - you could miss something. Everybody is happy - only the referee was a bloody idiot.
The game is over - and 85.000 people leave the stadium - but with much less hassle and dazzle then when 4.000 leave from the stadium here in Vejle. For some unknown reason I decide to walk back to downtown - this is a very good idea - it takes 2 hours!
Back to the hotel to watch TV. All programs seems to be football-programs this evening.
Monday 25. january
Last day in town. Has been considering to go to a small town at the Mediteranean, but decides to stay in Barcelona. There's still much to see.
First I go to the Montjuic-mountain to the Olympic Stadium. It's the first time I have seen escalotors to the top of a mountain. I look around a little, before going back to downtown.
Watches the life at the Rambla and in the small streets around my hotel and the old part of town. Barcelona is a nice place. You don't have to worry when walking the city. So I spend the rest of the day doing that.
Back to the hotel where Iben from Don Quijote calls. She wants to take me to the airport at 5.15 am the next day. OK with me....
Early to bed. I have to get up at 5. Some french schoolkids makes sure, make sure you don't close an eye before 2 am. Bloody kids.....
Tuesday 26. january
Leaving with Ibens Taxi at 5.15 am - it takes about 20 min to the airport at this time of the night. When the traffic is bad it takes about 2 hours she tells me. But the traffic is not bad at 5 am....
Check in - flight to Bruxelles - change flight - flight to Kastrup - train to Copenhagen central - change train - train to Vejle - back home....
Finally in Barcelona - get my luggage - out of the airport - find the bus to Place de Cataluny in Downtown Barcelona. Things are going pretty fast, so I don't even notice there's a Don Quijote agent in the airport to pick me up!
From Place de Catalunya I follow the Rambla to Place Reial and my hotel called Roma Reial. There's a strange note from the travel agent - later I found out that they couldn't understand that they didn't catch me at the airport.
Gets my room - it's 7 pm now - nice hotel - own bathroom and tv - this is not going to get much better.
Out into town - a little walk around the neighbourhood - a "baguette" with ham and cheese - and back to the hotel.